Hadoop Isn’t For Everyone, But There Are Cloud-Based Big Data Solutions For Us All

James Staten
If you think you can do big data in-house, get ready for a lot of disappointment. If the data you want to analyze is in the terabytes in size, comes from multiple sources -- streams in from customers, devices or sensors -- and the insights you need are more complex than basic trending, you are probably looking for a data scientist or two. You probably have an open job requisition for an Hadoop expert as well and have hit the limit on what your capital budget will let you buy to house all this data and insights. Thus you are likely taking a hard look at some cloud-based options to fill your short term needs.
 
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Forrester's Top Trends For Customer Service In 2015

Kate Leggett

As 2014 winds down, I have taken the time to pause, and look ahead to what top customer service trends are surfacing for 2015 and beyond. Good service — whether it's to answer a customer's question prior to purchase, or help a customer resolve an issue post-purchase should be pain-free, proactive at a minimum and preemptive at best, deeply personalized, and delivered with maximum productivity. Here are 6 top trends - out of a total of 10 - that I am keeping my eye on. My full report highlighting all trends can be found here:

Trend 1: Customers Embrace Emerging Channels To Reduce Friction. In our recent survey, we found that web self-service was the most widely used communication channel for customer service, surpassing use of the voice channel for the first time. In 2015, we predict that customers will continue to demand  effortless interactions over web and mobile self-service channels. They will also explore new communication channels such as video chat with screen sharing and annotation.

Trend 2: Companies Will Explore Proactive Engagement. Proactive engagements anticipate the what, when, where, and how for customers, and prioritize information and functionality to speed customer time-to-completion. In 2015, we expect organizations to explore proactive engagement - whether it's proactive chat, proactive offers, or proactive content  - delivered at the right time in a customer's pre-purchase journey to help answer customer questions. They will use learnings from these proactive engagements to improve operational performance and to predict future customer behavior.

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Introducing The Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management (DAM) For Customer Experience, Q4, 2014

Anjali Yakkundi

Today, everyone is a content publisher. This is due to lower content creation costs (consider the cost of creating HD videos now versus five years ago) and the increasing need to deliver engaging, rich-media-driven experiences. As organizations across verticals morph to become content publishers, best-of-breed digital asset management (DAM) solutions are garnering increasing amounts of interest. Why the fuss? These solutions can help manage the content creation process, manage finalized rich media content, and prepare content for delivery across channels.

As organizations begin placing a premium on DAM technology, they need the technology to do more than serve as a static, siloed content repository. Instead, solutions now must support two key business imperatives:

  • Digital experience delivery. DAM solutions must provide deeper functionality to prepare rich media content to be delivered globally and across channels. To do this, solutions must support vision and functionality to support greater automation in managing global/local versions of content, various renditions of content across channels, and integration with key systems of engagement (e.g. eCommerce, web content management, campaign management).
  • Marketing and business agility. DAM solutions must allow marketers and other business users to work with greater agility as well as operational efficiency and effectiveness. To do this, DAM solutions must support greater business process management, automation for key content management tasks (e.g. tagging, rights management, version control), and integration with a greater enterprise marketing technology ecosystem to fuel greater efficiency and effectiveness.
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China CDN Alternatives After Verizon’s EdgeCast CDN Outage

Mark Grannan

(note: blog collaboration by Mark Grannan, Phillip Karcher and Charlie Dai)

Are you an EdgeCast (now part of Verizon) customer? Chances are good that your traffic into China over the past week has been interrupted or blocked. Verizon claims this is without “rhyme or reason” in their statement.  We can look to the past to see that content censors have previously also stopped YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and we can look to the coming days when China hosts the World Internet Conference in Zhejiang to make guesses as to why.  However, it’s not fruitful to guess at what traffic coming from EdgeCast’s servers has tripped the censors, because we may simply never know.

The alternative? Investigate a multi-CDN strategy across regions that represent unique geographic or political barriers. Not only does this provide fail-over redundancy, but it can be valuable for cost arbitrage and load balancing. Here is a quick summary of the CDNs that we currently track that have delivery capabilities in China:

  • Akamai (via a partnership)
  • CDNetworks
  • China Cache
  • China Net Center
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How Mature Is Your Digital Experience Delivery Practice?

Anjali Yakkundi

Application development and delivery (AD&D) groups must establish technical services and tools to enable marketing and business groups to deliver and optimize web and mobile customer experiences. But today, we’re falling well short of our goal. Forrester data reveals that 51% of marketing leaders believe that technology management groups don’t accelerate their path to success.

To help AD&D pros mature and better serve marketing, eBusiness, and other lines of business responsible for delivering customer experience, Forrester created a digital experience delivery maturity model based on interviews with senior AD&D leaders over the past 24 months. We found that success was tied to maturity not just in solutions deployed or development methodologies. Instead, success and maturity was based on four fundamental categories, many of which are technology agnostic:

  • Strategic planning. Digital experience delivery maturity is largely based on how well they have strategized, planned, and executed their digital experience delivery programs. This dimension will evolve from project-based work to a more comprehensive strategy that spans business, marketing, and technical teams.
  • People. Organizational support is a critical component to success for growing internal expertise and creating digital experience teams that are responsive to business needs. This isn't just limited to who you've hired to be on the team. Instead, people issues focus more broadly on organizational issues like organizational structure (e.g. do your developers sit in marketing? Within technology management?), collaboration, shared values, and services partner strategy.
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2015 Predictions: Big Changes In Store For App Dev Leaders

Phil Murphy

The pace of change for App Dev leaders has always been rather hectic. In my 32+ years as an "apps guy" - I can't recall a time when supply of technology resources ever fully satisfied all  demand for the work that business leaders would like to do. Satisfying that demand has always been a challenging and constant balancing act. The past few years have heralded the age of the customer, where the voice of customers is amplified by social media and enabled by mobile applications - accelerating the pace of change for app dev & delivery leaders to a relentless pace. If you're hoping for a brief respite in 2015, it's time for rethink.

As a group-think exercise, esteemed colleagues John Rymer, Kurt Bittner, Chris Mines, and I focused on predictions for calendar year 2015 in the context of the change swirling around modern app development & delivery. We believe that several watershed events will drive 2015 change to the technology we'll use, the processes we'll employ, and the comeptition for a shrinking pool of talent. The full details can be found here - Predictions 2015: Modern Apps Mean New Technologies, Processes, And Skills. As an aside, Mobile app dev & delivery is tumultuous enough to warrant its own set of predictions - see Predictions 2015: Mobile Development Goes Composable, Contextual, And Cross-Touchpoint

You'll consolidate technology:

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Debate Internet Regulation On Market Principles, Not Outdated Laws

Ted Schadler

I was reviewing this Forrester brief from May 2015 to realize that it's still terribly current in light of the recent presidential blast on net neutrality. It expresses a point of view missing from the public debate and Twitter rants in my view. It raises the bar on what consumers should expect, vendors should invest in, and governments should manage.

Original title: Debate Internet Regulation On Market Principles: Transparency, Choice, And Freedom

Published on May 15, 2014

The debate over broadband regulation — why there should or shouldn't be fast lanes and slow lanes on the Internet — has spurred outrage from nongovernmental organizations like MoveOn.org; energized the entrepreneurial juggernaut; triggered the frantic lobbying of major broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast; and wound up in federal court to take down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation. On May 15, 2014, the FCC proposes to allow content providers like Netflix and Google to do deals with broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon to ensure a quality service experience for consumers. Let the response be rational and not virulent. The worst outcome would be to hastily create or reject a policy based on old thinking. Managing the Internet for all requires new policy thinking. Forrester understands and respects the positions of the players in the debate, but in service of our CIO and CMO customers, we believe that it's time to reframe the debate on the basic principles of markets: transparency, choice, and freedom.

A VITAL INTERNET MUST REFLECT MARKET NEEDS, NOT REGULATORY HISTORY
 
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The Problem With "Technical Debt" And Other Agile Terms ...

Phil Murphy

I have a love/hate relationship with "technical debt". Having covered apps modernization, rationalization, and portfolio management at Forrester for more than a decade, I have a keen appreciation for the concept of technical debt - in all its permutations.

So I love the term for the sentiment it expresses about the need for change:

  • As we have modernized applications over the past 4 decades, we have "kicked the can" down the road far too many times - opting for expediant change over "refactoring to make it right"
  • Within any mature single app, technical debt spawned by years of compromise can accumulate to daunting levels
  • The debt eventually reaches the point of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy - today's debt is too big to tackle, so we kick it down the road and watch it grow out of control
  • Across the entire apps portfolio, the accrued debt cripples firms by gobbling up huge percentages of the available business technology (BT) spend
  • As we rush to build out customer facing and mobile apps to address the age of the customer, the technical debt within the systems of record act like an anchor on change velocity - at both the app AND portfolio levels

And I hate the term because well-intentioned techies wield it like a bludgeon to pound business leaders with an urgency to act. But imagine for a moment how it sounds to business leaders, how they react to the term:

  • "If it's technical, then its your problem Mr App Dev leader, not mine - I'm a business leader"
  • "This debt you want to hand me ... YOU created it, YOU made technology decisions - it's your problem, don't try to hand me a bill to clean up YOUR mess"
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Ignore Digital Experience Delivery Technologies At Your Own Peril

Stephen Powers
Ignore digital experience delivery platforms in 2015, and you’ll spend all of 2016 playing catch up.
 
Since 2013, no fewer than eight vendors announced enterprise-class solutions vying to offer integrated, business-centric tools to create, deliver, measure, and optimize digital experiences. Just this week, French advertising giant Publicis Groupe acquired Sapient for $3.7 billion, and the second bullet of its press release, announced Publicis.Sapient, a new platform “focused exclusively on digital transformation and the dynamics of an always-on world across marketing, omni-channel commerce, consulting and technology.”
 
In our new document, “Predictions 2015: Digital Experience Delivery Platforms Become Flexible Or Lose Momentum,”  we share why we think that 2015 is the year that application development and delivery (AD&D) and digital marketers’ worlds collide – shared platforms, customer data, budgets, and priorities will emerge within B2C and progressive B2B enterprises. Now is the time for progressive digital customer experience technology leadership — from all corners of the organization — to come together to end the patchwork strategies of the past.
 
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Without Transformation, Banks Risk Shifting Down To Low-Speed Banking In 2015

Jost Hoppermann
For several years, we have noted a shift in power from companies to customers. Customers call the shots; they can and do transfer their loyalty when they aren't catered to with engaging customer experiences. The age of the customer has reached the banking industry; as in other industries, banks must change the way they do business to move the customer center stage.
 
Thus, application development and delivery (AD&D) teams must work with their peers across the bank to develop and apply the technology, systems, and processes needed to win, serve, and retain customers, partnering with eBusiness executives leading digital banking initiatives to drive new digital innovations. And this is not just a minority movement: Forrester’s Financial Services Architecture Online Survey 2014 shows that close to 80 percent of financial services firms around the globe work on transforming their application landscape or plan to start doing so within the next two years.
 
To prepare for this transformation imperative, AD&D pros need to be aware of the key trends for banking applications; the emerging and accelerating architecture trends, products, and services; as well as their to-do lists for 2015, which you can learn more about in Peter Wannemacher's Predictions 2015 report. While some banks aren't yet ready to take full advantage of these trends, Forrester believes that AD&D teams must be aware of, learn from, and prepare for eight trends in 2015. Among them:
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