A.G. Lafley, Procter & Gamble's CEO (and now Chairman), penned an HBR article in May that I think best summarizes the job of the CEO. Get your assistant to buy it -- and you should read it -- very good stuff.
To give a taste, here's my summary, plus a few of my favorite quotes.
Lafley argues that because the CEO doesn't report to anyone within the enterprise, only he can truly advocate for customers and shareholders. As Peter Drucker, Lafley's guru, stated: "The CEO is the link between the Inside that is 'the organization' and the Outside of society, economy, technology, markets, and customers. Inside there are only costs. Results are only on the outside."
A common diagnosis of many troubled app dev shops is that they don't understand the business well enough. The result is developers build applications that don't quite satisify the business needs, are hard to change, have poor user experiences, are not delivered on time, or any combination of the above. Despite all the silver bullets over the years such as formal methodologies, new roles, tools, and technologies, app dev shops remain largely afflicted. According to a survey I conducted last year, application developers concur that a common characteristic of great application developers is that they have a deep understanding of the business domain. Understanding the business does not mean you read the docs. It means you know the business in your bones.
Most of the companies I speak with are focusing on changing their go-to-market models and asking their sales people to call higher in organizations.The term “trusted advisor” is batted about within the halls and conference rooms of vendor organizations.
I’ve yet to run into a marketing or sales leader who IS NOT encouraging their sales team to elevate their access level.
Who could have a problem with a sales organization focusing on gaining more consistent access to the budget holders that control their fate?
The real problem here is that these organizations do not realize they are making a dramatic and fundamental shift from being focused on market share (promoting products and measuring their unit sales) to a wallet share (the percentage of available spend a particular executive has in the vendors category) orientation.
Incremental changes don’t work when you are fundamentally changing the game.
Over the past year, many online retailers have looked to tap
into global online shoppers by adding international shipping options. International shipping presents a relatively low-cost first step into
global markets - it also allows retailers to tap into the increasingly international
consideration set of consumers around the globe. This topic has been key within
our research this year: our international shipping report addresses this issue from the US
perspective and we’ll soon be posting a report on cross-border shopping within Europe.
BTM (Business Transaction Management) is starting to appear on the radar screen of many clients and vendors. BTM is based on the ability to trace a transaction path through n-tiers of infrastructure components in order to provide 1) visibility into the transaction, 2) a template that could be used to understand how the infrastructure supports the transaction and 3) a basis to define whether a transaction behavior in normal, that is within the resource usage bracket observed historically or abnormal, signaling a performance or availability issue. Many products have appeared on the market over time to support this transaction tracing or transaction tracking ability. Bristol Technology (now HP), MQ Software Q!Nami (now BMC) supported MQ Series and Websphere MQ. ClearApp (now Oracle) and dynaTrace have this capability built in their SOA-APM monitoring solution, Optier and Correlsense provide visibility into transaction paths. Now we find this capability as one of the requirements for Application Performance Management: IBM ITCAM has looked into this issue from the get go, CA is developing the capability for Wily, HP is working on expanding Bristol, Compuware and Opnet can take advantage of their network analysis solutions to provide this information, Quest Software has added this feature in their APM solution and Precise is also walking the same path . Why?
Nearly two years ago, I heard that an influential blogger was interested in an analyst job at Forrester. I had just taken over management of our interactive marketing team and to my complete pleasure was able to hire that blogger -- Jeremiah Owyang.
After two weeks of holiday, I found the following interesting article in my inbox from Edward Keehnen, a Dutch researcher who did a PhD. on the decision behavior of young and older Dutch consumers.
His results show that both young and older consumers regard themselves as quite experienced buyers (61% and 67% respectively). For older consumers the level of experience has increased in the past ten years, and they also feel they are more experienced than their kids. But despite this level of confidence, when they are buying goods or services they tend to feel lost in the richness of choices: About 40% of Dutch consumers over 50 feel lost when shopping for insurances, and this goes up to a high 51% for consumers between 20 and 26 years old.
It's discussion time, folks. I want to hear what you think about the potential for Facebook and Twitter on the TV screen. No, stop laughing, I'm serious.
I ask because I published a report for Forrester earlier this month called Five Things We Want From Social TV (click here to read). It was partly in response to Verizon FiOS's new Facebook and Twitter TV widgets which were released in early July. (Look at a demo on YouTube here). Here's the summary so you know what I wrote about:
Thanks to Verizon, the first meaningful Facebook widget in the US has come to the TV. Some question whether the active Social Computing experience has any place in the so-called "lean back" living room experience. Those people are wrong. Once Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Computing platforms are properly ported to the TV screen, a new explosion of media and technology convergence will occur, affecting the product strategies of device makers, content providers, and pay TV providers. In this report, we propose the five things that Social TV providers should prioritize — steps that will lead to a converged future of Social Computing and TV viewing.
All my cards are on the table: I obviously believe in this because I said it would be a new explosion of media and technology convergence and them's fightin words.
I recently completed a report comparing the movements and trends in IT budgets across different countries across the Asia Pacific region. The general finding of the report was that although IT budgets are down on average, there is a chasm appearing between the "haves and have nots" for IT spend. In summary, while the average decrease in IT budget decrease is around 5%, of those companies getting an increased IT budget, their spend increased by between 15-20% on average, and for those receiving an IT budget cut, the decrease was often around 20%. The decisive factor on the direction of the IT budget was often the level of exposure to the global financial crisis. Those with a high level have seen the highest budget cuts, those with low levels of exposure (or those profiting from the crisis) are seeing increases or flat IT budgets.
But as is often the case with statistics, they do not tell the entire story. What is becoming clear is that even those companies with increased IT budgets are looking to decrease their IT spend in as many areas as possible. Much of the interest in the region in cloud computing has actually come from the public sector - one of the sectors that has been relatively sheltered from the slowdown in IT spend. Virtualisation is on the agenda for nearly all companies, as they look to make better use of the hardware that they already have.