I’ve recently returned from IBM Global Services Annual Analyst Event held May 1-2, 2008 in New York City. At this event, IBM leadership revealed an extensive study titled “The Enterprise of The Future”. IBM conducted detailed interviews with over 1,100 CEOs, general managers, and senior public sector and business leaders, across 40 countries and 32 industries. Their discussions revealed a clear correlation between organizations’ ability to execute within constant change and their financial performance. The study also identified five key elements in the corporate DNA of companies who successfully navigating the constant sea of business change:
• Hungry for change. Firms not only survive it, but accept it as a constant, seek it out and thrive on it.
• Innovative beyond customer imagination. Firms constantly delight their customers and constantly raise their own bar, and thus their customers (and thus outpace their competition).
• Globally integrated*. Firms actively work their global network, establishing and leveraging global Centers of Excellence and applying their resources seamlessly across their value chain.
• Disruptive by nature. Firms constantly reinvent themselves and position their business and process models to quickly shift (and anticipate) market demands.
• Genuine, not just generous. Firms engage stakeholders—NGOs, customers, their own employees—to “do well by doing good”.
Moody’s recently launched their Vendor Information Risk (VIR) ratings service. The main objective of this service is to reduce the overall burden of conducting risk assessments for organizations, as well as their service providers. The whole idea being that if Moody’s can do a risk assessment on behalf of multiple subscribers, it can make the assessment process a lot more efficient. The service provider will not have to go through multiple assessments and the subscribers will share the cost, and therefore have a much lower price point.
Many CISOs I talk to are sick of performing third party risk assessments; it takes up valuable time, is expensive, and most importantly, pulls resources away from doing actual security work within the company. On the other hand service providers are also having a hard time keeping up with these assessments. A compliance manager at a large service provider estimated that they responded to over 300 audit requests in 2007, and that number would be around 400 in 2008. Thus, a service like this could potentially save millions of dollars for service providers and subscribers.
Quickly: IT/BT executives should ensure that their goals align with the CEO's.
Forrester's IT Forum was in Las Vegas last week. Great time, with over 1,500 clients and sponsors on-site. Highlights for me were John Chambers of Cisco jumping off the stage into the audience to sell his vision and an amazingly elegant dinner for over 1,000 at the very cool Tao Club in the Venetian.
I kicked off the proceedings with a ten minute talk entitled "CEO Success Imperatives." Whenever I meet with a CEO I ask a simple question: "What do you, as the CEO, have to do to be successful?" Here are the seven themes that emerged from my CEO research:
1) Getting, keeping, building the best people. "I hire 15 people every hour. I want the best." 2) Engendering collaboration. "If HP could only harness the knowledge of HP." 3) Reaching global markets 4) Increasing profit. "HP makes $12 million per hour but spends $11 million per hour. I want to change that proportion." 5) Building a positive culture. "I want a company culture that is viewed positively from the inside and from the outside." 6) Customers, customers, customers 7) Driving innovation. "I want to figure out how to break linearity."
If you sit through any Forrester presentation--and here in Las Vegas, for the IT Forum, you can hear lots of them--you'll hear something about the transition from information technology (IT) to business technology (BT). No longer can technology vendors "fire and forget" technology, under the assumption that their clients will figure out the business case for it. Immediate, tangible benefit is increasingly important in product design and product marketing.
IT Forum is a good opportunity to further measure this trend. When you spend a few days shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, vendors, and fellow analysts, you get a lot of pings on the BT sonar. For example:
I've taken a brief leave from blogging to focus on getting the next research document done. (Plus, I took a few days off.) I didn't feel that I could afford the luxury of blogging until, with God as my witness, I finished the next draft.
Writing in the Forrester style is a lot different than writing a blog. In fact, they're almost completely different animals.
Learning a new style can be tough... Every new analyst at Forrester has to learn how to fit his or her thoughts into a framework designed for a specific purpose: make the document easy to read, at whatever level of attention the reader wants to give it. It's a foreign concept for people who learned, way back in our school days, a more linear writing technique.
Take this blog post, for example. I'm going from point A to point B, which connects to point C. You have to follow the chain of argument, if you want to understand why the author has reached a particular conclusion, foreshadowed in the introduction, and proclaimed with confidence at the end.
Quickly: The Internet will squeeze broadcasters into a slim niche.
I've often wondered whatever happened to two parts of public discourse: 1) eloquent speeches, and 2) truth-telling. I have been helping my son study American history and the other night we read two famous statements from the debates surrounding the 1850 Compromise: John C. Calhoun's defense of the South and Daniel Webster's response. Both men spoke in passionate but reasoned phrases -- one threatening secession, the other advocating union. Marvelous reading.