Digital Business Design Is The New Integration

Randy Heffner

If your organization is like nearly every other one I've talked to in the past 20+ years, you have a spaghetti chart of integration connections between all the siloed applications that run your business. Your customer is fractured across five applications. Your fulfillment process is broken across eight applications. Just try to pull together the data necessary to tell how profitable one of your products is. Or, as you implement mobile, external APIs, custom B2B connections, and more, how will you provide consistent, coherent access to your transactions and data?

Making sense of all the mess has been an important priority for years. The question is "how?" Forrester's latest research finds that it's time for a new kind of integration strategy. We call it "Digital Business Design":
A business-centered approach to solution architecture, implementation, and integration that brings business and technology design together by placing design priority on user roles, business transactions, processes, canonical information, events, and other business aspects that embody a complete definition of a business. 
 
Here's what we mean:
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Modern Application Development For Entrepreneurs

Mike Gualtieri

Surprise! Modern application development is not primarily about new programming languages or agile. It’s all about lower barriers to tools and technologies, talent collaboration, mobile first, and . . . energy drinks. Forrester Senior Analyst Michael Facemire returns to TechnoPolitics to discuss the hallmarks of modern application development that software entrepreneurs embrace and venture capitalists love. Topics discussed include cloud computing, polyglot programming, APIs, developer talent, coding tools, and yes, energy drinks.

Modern Application Development With Michael Facemire

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About Forrester TechnoPolitics

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Enterprise Landscaping: Pruning The Trees In Mobile Development

Michael Facemire
"Enterprise mobility," my two favorite words. The reason I so enjoy working in this space is that the overall landscape changes almost daily. When I graduated college nearly 14 years ago, I immediately became a mobile developer working on cutting-edge platforms like Palm and Windows Mobile. Attempting to drive performance and efficiency gains in the enterprise on these platforms was quite a challenge.
Fortunately, we've come a long way from that point, but we still have similarly large challenges: should I use native, web, or hybrid technologies? How do I integrate with my existing back-end services? Will our existing tools, ALM processes, and testing methodologies work when implementing mobile initiatives? I am fortunate to discuss these issues with clients and vendors every day and am excited to be working on research that will use these discussions to provide a high-level direction and path through our mobile playbook for application development and delivery professionals. This report will act as your guidebook for your enterprise development concerns when navigating the current version of the mobile development landscape. As I dive into this, are there areas that you'd like me to focus on? If so, either shoot me an email or stop and see me in person in London or Orlando at our Forrester Forums and let me know what you'd like to see!

Big Data At Business School

Mike Gualtieri

Every year the Center For Digital Strategies at Tuck chooses a technology topic to "provide MBA candidates and the Tuck and Darthmouth communities with insights into how changes in technology affect individuals, impact enterprises and reshape industries." This academic year the topic is "Big Data: The Information Explosion That Will Reshape Our World". I had the honor and privilege to kick off the series about big data at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. I am thrilled that our future business leaders are considering how big data can help companies, communities, and government make smarter decisions and provide better customer experiences. The combination of big data and predictive analytics is already changing the world. Below is the edited video of my talk on big data predictive analytics at Tuck in Hanover, NH. 

Mike Gualtieri, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

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What Do BI Vendors Mean When They Say They Integrate With Hadoop

Boris Evelson

There's certainly a lot of hype out there about big data. As I previously wrote, some of it is indeed hype, but there are still many legitimate big data cases - I saw a great example during my last business trip. Hadoop certainly plays a key role in the big data revolution, so all business intelligence (BI) vendors are jumping on the bandwagon and saying that they integrate with Hadoop. But what does that really mean? First of all, Hadoop is not a single entity; it's a conglomeration of multiple projects, each addressing a certain niche within the Hadoop ecosystem, such as data access, data integration, DBMS, system management, reporting, analytics, data exploration, and much much more. To lift the veil of hype, I recommend that you ask your BI vendors the following questions

  1. Which specific Hadoop projects do you integrate with (HDFS, Hive, HBase, Pig, Sqoop, and many others)?
  2. Do you work with the community edition software or with commercial distributions from MapR, EMC/Greenplum, Hortonworks, or Cloudera? Have these vendors certified your Hadoop implementations?
  3. Do you have tools, utilities to help the client data into Hadoop in the first place (see comment from Birst)?
  4. Are you querying Hadoop data directly from your BI tools (reports, dashboards) or are you ingesting Hadoop data into your own DBMS? If the latter:
    1. Are you selecting Hadoop result sets using Hive?
    2. Are you ingesting Hadoop data using Sqoop?
    3. Is your ETL generating and pushing down Map Reduce jobs to Hadoop? Are you generating Pig scripts?
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Government Website User Experience Design

Mike Gualtieri

The US federal government maintains a mind-boggling 1,200+ websites. The user experience design varies widely from being totally fresh and inspired to like visiting a museum dedicated to 1998 website design. This range of design is not just true for the government but also for companies and organizations. Many firms have gone through one or more redesigns in the past few years. That is harder to do for the departments and agencies of the federal government because they are often handcuffed by budget cycles, contracting rules, information regulations, and lack of design talent.

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Four Points To Ponder In A Digitally Disruptive World

Stephen Powers

It’s amazing how quickly the world of digital experiences is changing technology, and vice-versa. I’ve covered web content management (WCM) since I joined Forrester in 2006, and that particular market has changed quite in a bit, due in large part to the disruptions caused by digital experiences. These days, many more stakeholders participate in the WCM decision-making process, traditional technology decision-makers can no longer afford to make technology decisions in a silo, and key WCM players are refining and expanding their strategies. I’ll tackle this in more depth with Ron Rogowski next month at our Forum in Orlando but, if you’re a digital experience (DX) decision-maker, you should keep in mind:

·         Don’t hold your breath for a true DX suite. Though some of the vendors are promising integrated suites that contain content management, commerce, analytics, optimization, etc., none has best-of-breed offerings in all of these areas. And even if one were available, haven’t you already made too many investments to do yet another rip-and-replace? Some of the vendor strategies remind me of the great promises of the all-encompassing enterprise content management suite (remember how that turned out)?

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BI In Russia And Israel

Boris Evelson

I recently had both the privilege and pleasure to do a deep dive into the cold and warm BI waters in Russia and Israel. Cold - because some of my experiences were sobering. Warm - because the reception could not have been more pleasant. My presentations were well attended (sponsored by www.in4media.ru in Russia and www.matrix.co.il in Israel), showing high levels of BI interest, adoption, experience, and expertise.  Challenges remain the same, as Russian and Israeli businesses struggle with BI governance, ownership, SDLC and PMO methodologies, data, and app integration just like the rest of the world. I spent long evening hours with a large global company in Israel that grew rapidly by M&A and is struggling with multiple strategic challenges: centralize or localize BI, vendor selection, end user empowerment, etc. Sound familiar?

But it was not all business as usual. A few interesting regional peculiarities did come out. For example, the "BI as a key competitive differentiator" message fell on mostly deaf ears in Russia, as Russian companies don't really compete against each other. Territories, brands, markets, and spheres of influence are handed top down from the government or negotiated in high-level deals behind closed doors. That is not to say, however, that BI in Russia is only used for reporting - multiple businesses are pushing BI to the limits such as advanced customer segmentation for better upsell/cross-sell rates. 

I was also pleasantly surprised and impressed a few times (and for those of you who know me well, you know that it's pretty hard to impress the old veteran):

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Digital Disruption: What Software Dev & Delivery Competencies Matter?

Kyle McNabb

The team and I have been testing a hypothesis for the past year while meeting with business and IT leaders in large enterprises, agencies, and smaller firms, and I'd like your input. My working hypothesis is this:

 

In this age of digital disruption and a society empowered by software-fueled technology, firms that can cultivate competencies in software development and delivery will establish competitive advantage, as they will be better equipped to meet and exceed the engagement and experience needs of their customers, employees, and constituencies.

 

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What Is IT’s Role In Digital Customer Experience Strategies?

Stephen Powers

 

 

This is a guest post from Anjali Yakkundi, a researcher serving application development & delivery professionals. 

Organizations today often take a broad focus on digital customer experiences, which carries great risks for your firm: too much experimentation for not enough return; too much duplication and waste; and too little use of data to drive and measure business results. And often, IT professionals are only involved at the end of a digital experience strategy. I’ve spoken with many individuals who recount instances when the business only comes to IT when it's ready to implement a campaign or a large-scale digital experience initiative.

 The result? IT ends up playing the “no man” to marketing teams (or eBusiness, or sales, or product teams), which then makes the IT-marketing divide even greater. Instead, IT must be an enabler for exceptional customer experiences. IT pros can and should provide major contributions to – if not help lead - their firms’ digital customer experience strategies along with marketing, line-of-business, and/or eBusiness leaders.

How can IT begin to take a more vocal role in the creation of digital experience strategies? Start by aligning better with the business, defining your technology architecture, redefining your policies and procedures, and updating your “must-have” IT skill sets.

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