The Future of Online Customer Experience

Moira Dorsey

New technologies follow a pattern. They start by imitating older technologies before they evolve to their true forms. The first automobiles looked like horseless carriages. It wasn't until the Vintage Era of the 1920's that cars evolved to a form that we'd recognize today with features like front-engines, enclosed cabs, and electric starters. Televisions started off copying radios - they looked more like an armoire with a small screen stuck on the front.

In the process of working on my latest piece of research, it became clear that the Web has followed a similar pattern. Early sites imitated a much older medium - paper. And even though 'web page' still dominates our thinking, online experiences have begun to evolve away from the page-based metaphor. In the next 5 years, the evolution of online experiences toward their true form is about to take off at a much faster rate than in the previous 5 years.

Consider that today's default Web platform - a browser running on a PC - is rapidly giving way to diverse online environments. The types of devices we use to connect to the Web are proliferating. In addition to the growth of netbook adoption, there are new devices like the Chumby and the Energy Joule. Portable devices are rapidly getting more powerful - as a result, the tradeoff between mobility and capability is shrinking. And even as the hardware evolves, the interfaces on the devices we use to connect to the Web are becoming more and more customizable. And the reason any of this matters at all is because consumers are already adopting these technologies.

So what are the implications of these trends? What does it mean for the future of online experiences? At Forrester, we've concluded that the resulting online customer experiences of the future will be:

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Do you require an email address or more before giving out collateral or ROI tools?

Peter O'Neill

I've recently had several interesting discussions about one of the assessment criteria in the Forrester Vendor Positioning Review (VPR). A new VPR on IT Management Software Vendors should be out this time next week (it's been stuck in our Editing dept. for several weeks now.)

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Talking ECEM market evolution with PwC

Chris Mines

The market for enterprise carbon and energy management (ECEM) systems continues its rapid evolution. Since publishing our Market Overview report last November, we have interviewed at least a half-dozen additional systems providers coming into this nascent market.

Last week we talked with Dan DeKemper, a director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers who works with the firm's 800-person-strong sustainability practice on large-scale ECEM implementation projects. Dan told us that PwC sees three industry sectors driving ECEM adoption:

  • Utilities and Energy, the traditional "heavy emitter" industries that are focused on monitoring and reducing carbon emissions for regulatory compliance and public perception reasons.
  • Retail and CPG, two verticals where adoption is now growing faster than Energy. These companies are implementing ECEM on a voluntary basis, looking to improve brand equity and align with sustainability initiatives of some of their customers like Walmart.
  • Public sector organizations, looking to be role models for the private sector and also under executive or legislative mandate to improve energy efficiency.
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The Data Digest: Trending Consumers' Interest In Netbooks

Reineke Reitsma

Netbooks are one of the hottest consumer product categories in the consumer technology industry at this moment - at least from an industry perspective. And yesterday, after Apple's iPad announcement, consumer electronics analysts immediately started commenting and sharing their views via blogs, and twitter.

But what I've been missing is the consumer view. Let's take a look at how interested consumers are in small computers like netbooks in general, and how this has changed in the past year.

Note: I realize that the industry may not see the iPad as a netbook but both the netbook and the iPad serve the same consumer need: an easy to carry, multifunctional mobile Internet device. So consumers are likely to compare and contrast them in the product purchase consideration cycle.

Netbooks

What we see is that consumers are mostly interested in netbooks as a second or third PC that they could use while on the go, or that they consider giving one to their children. Netbooks serve a distinct purpose, for more insight please see the report 'Netbooks Are The Third PC Form Factor' by my colleague J.P. Gownder.

Do CIOs Blog — And Should They?

Sharyn Leaver

We’ve become curious ever since we interviewed Linda Cureton of NASA a few months ago, when we were a bit surprised to discover that she has an active blog (her Thanksgiving entry implores CIOs to give thanks to their “geeks”). And there’s Rob Carey, CIO of the Navy,  who has been blogging for the past two years.  So we decided to look around to see other CIOs who are actively blogging. Active implies recent — which takes quite a bit of time and thought, and is probably not for everyone. So who else besides Linda takes the time and thought? Here are a few who do, though not always frequently.

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Virtual Network Segmentation for PCI?

John Kindervag

Several clients have recently been asking about "Virtual Network Segmentation" products that claim to segment networks to reduce PCI compliance. They may use ARP or VLANs to control access to various network segments.  These type of controls work at Layer 2 and the hacker community is well versed at using tools such as Ettercap or Cain & Abel to bypass those controls.  We've recently written about Network Segmentation for PCI as part of the PCI X-Ray series.
While rereading the PCI Wireless Guidance document, I came across this nugget that puts a nail in the coffin of using VLANs as a security control:"Relying on Virtual LAN (VLAN) based segmentation alone is not sufficient. For example, having the CDE on one VLAN and the WLAN on a separate VLAN does not adequately segment the WLAN and take it out of PCI DSS scope. VLANs were designed for managing large LANs efficiently. As such, a hacker can hop across VLANs using several known techniques if adequate access controls between VLANs are not in place. As a general rule, any protocol and traffic that is not necessary in the CDE, i.e., not used or needed for credit card transactions, should be blocked. This will result in reduced risk of attack and will create a CDE that has less traffic and is thus easier to monitor."

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Jump On The iPad Before It Is Too Late: 3 Reasons To Develop An iPad App Now

Mike Gualtieri

Finally, Apple’s latest game-changing, must-have device is ripe - the iPad. The iPad is not a new idea. Tablet PCs were introduced years ago but failed to take off. More recently, the Amazon Kindle proved that a simpler form of the tablet has legs. But what Apple does brilliantly is that they do it better.

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Peace, love, and the IBM System 360s

John R. Rymer

"Our vision for 2010 is the same as IBM's for the year 1960." So said Oracle's Larry Ellison from the stage at today's event to celebrate his company's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. With Sun in hand, Oracle will now take us back to the simple virtues of mainframes 50 years ago. Updated, these virtues are:

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The Global eCommerce Adoption Cycle

Zia Daniell Wigder

One of the great things we can do with our Consumer Technographics data is compare user behavior and technology adoption in different international markets. Our recently published report The Global eCommerce Adoption Cycle uses data from four continents to provide a snapshot of eCommerce around the globe.

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Apple's iPad Will Come Into The Enterprise Through The Consumer Door. Again.

Ted Schadler

Apple just announced its media tablet (we coined these things mobile media tablets in 2005 in private client conversations and ) amidst much excitement and surprisingly little secrecy. There wasn't much if anything in the announcement that the bloggers hadn't anticipated.

This product will appear in 60 days with WiFi and in 90 days unlocked with AT&T data plan for $629 and $29/month. It will catch on quickly as an employee-provisioned third device, particularly for Mobile Professionals, 28% of the workforce. IT will support it in many organizations. After all, it's just a big iPhone to them and already 20% of firms support them.

Most of the media coverage will discuss the impact on consumer markets. I'm going to talk about the impact on businesses and on information & knowledge management professionals, the IT executive responsible for making the workforce successful with technology.

Make no mistake, this is an attractive business tool. Laptops will be left at home.

One thing's for sure, Apple knows how to time the market. And the market it's timed this time around is an important one: information workers self-provisioning what they need rather than what their employers provide. We have called this trend Technology Populism(AKA consumerization of IT), and it's important enough that we're writing a book called Groundswell Heroes about how to harness it.

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