Welcome back from an end of year respite and into the New Year. As you change gears from the goals of 2007 and reassess where to focus your efforts as Business Process & Applications professionals in 2008, our analysts are poised to provide the most relavant research and analyses to address the core competencies of your role.
In 2008, expect our analysts to weave the importance and impact of five key trends on Business Process & Applications professionals throughout our research and commentary. While numerous trends will affect how BP&A professionals approach their roles, these will center on next-generation applications and architectures and becoming a more business-process-oriented organization. These trends are: Dynamic Business Applications; Web 2.0 and tech populism; software-as-a-service (SaaS); business process centers of excellence (COEs); and the evolving business analyst role.
Additionally, Forrester will tailor all of our research not only to your role, but to your role's most important objectives -- what Forrester calls Success Imperatives (SIs). On January 12th, Success Imperatives will transform the forrester.com site experience. While all of Forrester's research will remain accessible, you will be able to tailor your primary site experience to the SI most critical to your success at any given time. The result? The most finely attuned offering of pertinent and up to date research, tools, teleconferences, and videos accessible all in one place.
Without further ado BP&A professionals' SIs:
1. Become a more business-process-oriented organization
2. Define a strategy and framework for governing all enterprise app decisions
3. Prepare for next-generation packaged applications and architectures
While I echo my colleagues' earlier comments on the Microsoft/FAST Search transaction, I also give Microsoft thumbs up for being the first of the major BI vendors to embrace alternative DBMS for BI. For a while now I've been predicting that alternative DBMS for BI will gain continually increasing momentum for the following reasons:
Traditional relational databases were designed from the ground up for transaction processing, not BI. Only in the last decade have they even begun to accommodate BI-style queries, and still play a constant balancing act between OLTP and OLAP optimization. Columnar databases, such as Vertica, Sybase IQ, KX, ParAccel, SAND Technology, InfoBright, are specifically designed and optimized for nothing but OLAP query processing. Their schemas are also much more flexible since it's as easy to drop, add, or update a column in a columnar database as it is to insert, change, or delete a row in a relational database.
The value of high-end search technology was demonstrated today as Microsoft offered to acquire FAST Search & Transfer for approximately $1.2b. The transaction, endorsed by FAST management and key investors, is expected to be completed in 2Q08. We see this as a good deal for FAST, a good deal for Microsoft and a good deal for customers. This is a transformative event for the enterprise search industry.
I had a recent holiday travel experience which got me thinking about loyalty programs. Here's what happened:
I traveled home to see my family in Nebraska on American Airlines, Forrester's preferred airline and the airline where I have all my miles and am currently a Platinum Advantage member. Due to a delay on my return connection out of Chicago, I didn't land back in Logan until about 12:30am on 12/26/07.
In getting off of the plane, I dropped my hat and did not realize I was without it until I was already at baggage claim. Of course I could not go back through security to look for the hat, so the security agent indicated I should ask the baggage attendant for some help.
I explained what had happened to the baggage attendant, Linda, and she immediately indicated that there was nothing she could do. I continued to try to explain that I was sure my hat was between the gate and security and just needed some help finding someone to retrace my steps. I'm not sure if she wasn't listening or didn't care, but she indicated I was providing her "improper information" and she could not help me. I mentioned that I was an AA Platinum traveler in hopes that that might help her come to my aid. In response to this information she replied, "I don't care who you are or how much you travel."
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has been seemingly more newsworthy than usual recently (even impacting Hollywood elite), with somewhat conflicting accounts of the US cracking down on bribery both here and abroad, and the rationale for the US to accept some level of bribery for the sake of broader national interests.
The holiday season gave media and industry one more opportunity to discuss Mattel’s massive product recalls this year, and admittedly, I still find myself interested in the story.In this case, it was the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s article calling out Mattel’s “Epiphany at Christmas”.
The revelation: “If it's got your company's name on it, it's your problem.”
With CardSpace and Higgins being in nascant and almost non-existent market adoption mode, you may wonder what authentication features you want to be looking for when shopping online. Usernames and passwords are a thing of the past: you can safely assume that you will use a computer to log in which has a keylogger or trojan capturing your keystrokes, and with it your username and password.
Savvy customers are increasingly turning towards online retailers and financial institutions which provide at least some form of multi-factor authentication to protect against password theft. The following list gives a compass to consumers and vendors to navigate the misty waters of online transactions.
Smart cards / USB tokens (very costly, high level of security, great user inconvenience)
Hardware based solution that contains applications, PKI certificates used to authenticate to a site. These cards can include a magstripe for physical access management and RFID proximity sensors.
I got an email last week from a marketing firm that was different than most of the briefing requests I get. This firm, Milk Media, partners with dairies to place branded advertisements on the back of the individual-sized milk cartons served at lunch time in schools around the country.
Interesting to me, is that the email (see below) calls out how similar companies have been chastised by the FTC for marketing to kids in a controlled environment. Milk Media, it claims, is an a-ok marketing environment because milk promotes a healthy lifestyle.
I wanted to take just a moment of your time to introduce you to MilkMediaand their unique niche marketing with Milk Rocks!
Great article this morning in the Wall Street Journal about Goldman Sachs’ performance during the credit meltdown. The company has expectations of record income this year, while competitors are faltering left and right.
There are three important issues in this story — and in the sub-prime crisis in general — that all good risk management professionals know, and should keep in mind as often as possible.
Business intelligence (BI) practitioners have always thought of the world as data-centric. Data integration, data warehouses, data marts, reports, and query builders were always about data. BI has traditionally excelled at answering questions like "what happened" or even "why did it happen" but always fell short on "what do I do about it" and fell short of the next logical steps which traditionally have been the realm of business process management (BPM) and business rules engines (BRE). This data-centric view of the world turns out to be plain wrong. The world is much more process and rules-centric. We run many processes every time we come to the office, these processes generate data, which in turn trigger rules, and in turn generate more data output that is being consumed by processes in an endless loop.