Three quarters into 2009, and it seems that the market share of the four megavendors in IT management software (BMC, CA, HP and IBM) has again seriously eroded against their smaller competitors. The global ITMS market itself did not shrink: smaller vendors are reporting better results than forecast.
One major reason for this turn of events is that enterprises are struggling with smaller or flat IT budgets, and are therefore looking for a bigger bang for their buck, both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX: deals are smaller, more tactical in nature and tend to favor point solutions again.
But why is it that the larger ITMS vendors cannot compete with the smaller ones in tactical solutions?
There are no templates for being an effective CEO. When asked how to be a good leader, Jack Welch answered, "Be yourself" -- and I would concur. Especially if you serve for many years, you can't fake it.
That said, there are many valuable lessons to be learned. I get inspiration and tips from fiction (Martin Sheen's President Bartlet on The West Wing), history (Churchill's writings on WW II) academics like Warren Bennis, and from watching other CEOs in action. Recently I've drawn some inspiration from John Chambers, the CEO at Cisco. Here's what I've learned:
Companies are trying to get in touch and have a conversation with their customers through social networks, but customers' interaction with companies are mostly driven by promotions or personal gain. Data from our North American Technographics online survey shows that the majority of consumers reached out to companies to enter a sweepstake of to register for a promotion. .
I just arrived back from a packed Shop.org Annual Summit. Several of us
from Forrester took part in the conference, with Sucharita delivering a keynote
on day one and Patti interviewing eBay’s John Donahoe on day two.
More and more clients are asking me to help them assess how ready their clients (usually businesses) are to engage with them via social media. This generally drives a research project. The answers are aften much more positive than clients expect.
Recently I was presenting at a major conference by Purina. What amazed me is how many retailers and distributors of horse, goat, and cattle feed were using Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with their clients on the range.
If Web 2.0 social media is that penetrated into the farbric of America, so that it is now common "out on the range," I can think of few other businesses that would not benefit from its adoption for marketing, market research, or generally driving customer intimacy.
Does anyone have any surprising social media stories they can share?
The open source project, Memcached, is a common staple for many of the largest Web sites including facebook, twitter, wikipedia, and others. The enterprise software vendors haven entered the market and have added features that are more attractive to enterprise IT - especially to Java shops.
In recent months, we have had a significant uptick in client inquiries about distributed cache technologies and how they can be used to improve performance, scale, and reduce costs of Web and application architectures. We are also encountering distributed cache technology in conjunction with other platform technologies such as CEP. There is also an intriguing potential for distributed cache technology to become a staple of cloud computing environments (some might say amazon S3 has the properties of a distributed cache).
Lead management automation requires a degree of process maturity
many B2B firms don't possess. The result? In the market overview
report about this market, published today,
I found underachievement by vendors and users alike. While the benefits
of adopting lead management automation are clear -- successful
implementations enjoy more predictable deal conversions, faster sales
cycles, and real alignment between marketing activity and sales results
-- market penetration is low. We estimate that only 2% to 5% of B2B
firms have invested in full LMA functionality to date.
I'm nobody's fan boy. I don't love any particular brand. Never have. Never will. It's not in my DNA. I love my family, I love food and wine and dinner conversation, I love making music with the band, and I love to ride my bike on Metro West roads with a buncha guys. I don't love products.
But I do love great technology that improves lives and businesses. That's my calling card and the reason I work at Forrester Research.
We have lots of data and analysis that illuminates the future. It's our stock in trade. Data like the level of enterprise IT support for BYO phones (46% provide some support). Or the number of working Americans that own a mobile phone (84%) or a smartphone (7.4%). BTW, this data shows where the real growth potential in this market is.
So what matters in the smartphone platform enterprise wars? Great products, stellar service, attractive prices, and memorable marketing matter of course. But in my experience with platforms wars and device wars through the ages, some other things will matter as well:
BYO phones will matter a lot because it allows firms to deliver the amazing benefits of smartphones to more people at lower cost. And that puts the decision into the hands of an individual (though perhaps from an approved list. [Forrester clients should ping me to see this data; it's an important shift in the market.]