We’ll look back on this recession as much more than an ugly economic moment. History will view it as The Gateway — a portal connecting two very different eras.
When the economic clouds clear, many prevailing elites will have been swept away, organizational structures will have fallen, and many who were formerly in control will have lost power. Those who can speak digital will thrive, and those who cannot will finally get the message and retire.
The signs are everywhere. Post-Gateway players: Obama; Amazon; Zappos; Jet Blue; Twitter; Facebook; blogs; Craigslist; broadband; Wikipedia; DVRs and iTunes. Pre-Gateway: GM; The New York Times; the Republican party; shopping malls; print advertising; excessive executive pay; TV networks; boards of directors full of aging plutocrats; and the TV-centered Washington chattering classes. Like the US Civil War, which separated an agrarian society from an industrialized economy, or World War I — a death knell for many European elites — the Gateway Recession is exposing fundamental weaknesses in long-standing political, cultural, and economic institutions.
Here are the new challenges and rules that await CEOs on the other side of that door:
While the cloud-based cost of email is pretty transparent (many providers, including Microsoft and Google, publish their per-user per-month costs), the cost of running email on-premises is often a big mystery to everyone, including most CIOs. The big challenge is that the costs are spread throughout the budget: some in the hardware budget, some in the software budget, some in the storage budget, some in the cost of capital budget, some in the staffing budgets, and so on.
After dozens of these discussions and after a survey of 53 information & knowledge management professionals to ask about the cost of email, it is abundantly clear that few firms know their true cost of running email on-premises. And this matters if you're considering a move to cloud-based email.
In early June, Sun Microsystems announced the Sun Learning Exchange. This is a commercial offering that borrows directly from Sun's own experiments, experience, and expositions on learning. We've written about this in a Forrester report: Tap The Potential Of "YouTube For The Enterprise," and now it's available to others.
Sun's CTO of Learning, Charles Beckham, has tapped his experience as a Java entrepreneur (he was part of the team that built one of the first J2EE application servers, NetDynamics) and bent it to the challenges of on-the-job learning. In an interview with Charles last fall, we came away convinced that his just-enough, wisdom of the crowds, power of video approach to learning was important.
Three things anchor the Sun Learning Exchange:
The power of all employee-generated media, including video, audio, and blogs.
A learning platform that is minimally invasive and maximally open to social contribution.
A metric on social contributions to drive participation.
Cloud, Private Cloud, fill in the blank . Personal Cloud. Don't be surprised if you hear about the Personal Cloud. It is the next natural progression in Cloudmania. Don't get me wrong. I am a fan of Cloud computing as an exciting new deployment option for applications as I said in a previous post.
Enterprise IT infrastructure & operations professionals have many cloud computing technologies to choose from today, and new solutions seem to appear all the time. What are all these technologies? How do you categorize them? Which are mature and which need a lot of work?
Forrester is kicking off a TechRadar on the topic and wants your input. A Forrester TechRadar attempts to provide clarity about the types of technologies in a given category and plot their maturity today and the pace at which it is improving, as well as the level of business value this type of technology will bring to enterprise IT.
Chip explains why customer service is an important facet of business to improve during the economic downturn, and details specific ways that companies can improve their customer service without breaking the bank to do so.
Good play by Amazon. There is a lot of buzz around mCommerce right now - what is it? what does it mean? how fast will "it" grow? what role will it play in the multi-channel retail experience?
One of the top reasons consumers give for buying in a physical location after conducting research online is immediacy - can get it/buy it now. On a cell phone in a physical location, comparison pricing has the potential to either finalize the deal (if the store does indeed have the lowest price) or take the customer out the door - either to another store or online.
SnapTell - already popular with cell phone users - adds to Amazon's growing portfolio of mobile services (which I find impressive already) - and is a bit of a defensive move. I think they may yet bring a few people back to online (or one of their retail partners) with this service.
Our latest featured podcast is Leslie Owens's "The Use Of Text Analytics To Mine Unstructured Content."
In this podcast, Leslie sheds light on the tools and resources available to analyze and classify “unstructured text,” such as emails or survey documents. These tools could yield solutions to business problems as an add-on for business intelligence tools, or for customer relationship management.