Forrester Client Choice 2009

2008 was a tumultuous year for IT Infrastructure & Operations professionals. With an uncertain economic climate continuing to affect decisions in 2009, many companies have been forced to change the way they do business, scaling back on IT projects, staffing, and leveraging more outsourcing options. Clearly, we're not out of the financial woods yet, and IT is being counted on more than ever to bring change into the business.

Forrester knows the IT organization is no stranger to budget constraints and pressure from business to save money. It's been said that it's "always a recession in IT," and, to ensure our research is providing valuable insight on how IT is making decisions in 2009 Forrester's IT Infrastructure & Operations team wants to work with you to develop research topics that will answer your questions.

We'd like you to tell us what research could help you prioritize or launch 2009 money-saving initiatives? 

  • Peer organization overview
  • Server virtualization
  • Green IT

Click on the "vote now" button below and see what your peers say will be their top money-saving indicatives for 2009, while helping us write the research that matters most to you!

The Growing Importance Of Enterprise Risk Management

Kylemcnabb by Kyle McNabb

Throughout the Fall of 2008 I had the opportunity to speak with a large number of professionals that work for or directly support executives responsible for compliance and risk management endeavors - such as Chief Risk Officers. I learned a few things that may impact your 2009 and 2010 plans for information management technologies such as business intelligence, business process management suites, and enterprise content management.

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Wi-Fi: The Only Network You Need?

Chrissilva CES, the showcase of all tech that is likely to make a splash over the next year, is upon us. While reserved primarily for, as the name implies, consumer technology, there are fundamental tools and technologies that will impact businesses as well.

News coming out of Las Vegas today is around chipmaker Intel's use of existing Wi-Fi radios for personal area network (PAN) connectivity. The release of the updated Wi-Fi driver software will allow the existing wireless 802.11 radios inside devices with the Centrino 2 chipset to use the radio as a means to connect to an IP-based network as well as local, Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The devices, ranging from cameras to network attached storage (NAS) will allow users to rely on the Wi-Fi radio in their Centrino-powered device to provide IP connectivity as well as file sharing and peripheral connectivity. Currently, the standard for most PAN applications and peripheral devices is Bluetooth, however Ozmo Devices, a firm partially funded by Intel, is out to change that.

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WebEx Goes Mobile On iPhone; Notes 8.5 Ships On Macs

Tedschadler by Ted Schadler

MacWorld held two important announcements for collaboration professionals, especially those interested in multidevice future:

1. Lotus announced that Notes 8.5 is shipping on Macintoshes, specifically on the new Leopard version of OS X. And its open source office productivity suite, Symphony will be available in a few months. Why does this matter? It matters because Lotus has a clear, vigorous multidevice strategy for the tools that make information workers productive. See Ed Brill's post for the IBM point of view.

2. Cisco announced that WebEx Meeting Center is available on iPhones. In fact, you can download it today to your iPhone. While I haven't yet had the chance to put it through its paces, this announcement signals Cisco's commitment to supporting multiple devices. I expect them to continue to roll unified communications apps on mobile phones of every flavor.

Here are some details:

  • The native iPhone application is freely available at the Apple AppStore or at iTunes.
  • It doesn't cost any more to attend a meeting over an iPhone. (But the hoster does have to be running the most current version of the WebEx software.)
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Be a Services Provider To Your Business To Boost Understanding

How do your business peers view IT? 

a) a black box of spending
b) a large bureaucracy which my function tries to work with
c) a collection of applications and projects
d) the help desk, and the relationship manager I work with
e) a set of business services supporting my department or function

Now, which of these is the most beneficial perspective — the one that leads to your firm getting the most bang for your technology spending?

The correct answer is e) a set of business services supporting my department or function. 

Why? – because the others eliminate any useful dialogue between you (the IT organization) and business execs (your customers).  By viewing IT as a set of business services, such as a ‘product engineering service’ or a ‘field sales support service’, IT spending is mapped to functions which business cares about. When the IT organization is aligned around these services, redundant applications, overlapping projects, and organizational silos are more easily exposed, and the business-IT discussion is re-focused on service levels, costs and capabilities. 

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Should Your Email Live In The Cloud?

Tedschadler by Ted Schadler

Should your email live in the cloud?

Colleague Chris Voce and I have written a pair of reports to answer that question from the perspectives of an information and knowledge management professional and an infrastructure and operations professional. For many firms, the answer is "yes," certainly for some users or some email support services.

The first report tackles the issues of cost. It turns out that most companies have no idea what their fully loaded email costs are (and most low-ball the estimates). But once you add in staffing costs; server and desktop software licenses; upgrades and support fees; archiving and filtering costs; mobile support; hardware, storage, and power costs; and financing costs, email's a big ticket item, as much as $36 per user per month for a 15,000 person company offering BlackBerry support.

Some findings from this cost analysis:

  • A mobile-less information worker can cost $25 per user per month or a whopping $300 per user per year. In a 10,000-person company doing message archiving, that's an annual budget line item of $3 million.
  • When you compare the fully loaded costs of on-premise email to the cloud-based alternatives, the cloud service wins for many worker segments in companies (or divisions) of 15,000 users or less.
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Analysts Evolve, Data-Centric Security Devolves

I am pleased to announce that this is my inaugural post on the Forrester SRM blog. Not only that, it's the day that my first research report went live on the Forrester site.

About me: I am a long-time Forrester fan. My first exposure to Forrester came back in 1994, when I was a lowly systems analyst figuring out how to build IT systems to manage trucks and warehouses. I always loved the Forrester writing style: interesting data, strong prose and solid recommendations -- written by people utterly unafraid to take tough positions. And now 15 years later, here I am trying to do the same. I'm pleased to be here, working with such a talented team of professionals!

My first report, called Data-Centric Security Requires Devolution, Not a Revolution, begins by talking about how securing enterprise data has become a top priority for enterprise CISOs. By "data" we mean structured and unstructured bits of information sprinkled all over the landscape: in databases, documents and e-mails, residing on servers, laptops, desktops and mobile devices.

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Innovation. You need two funnels.

Here’s another follow-up post to our recent jam session on using a down economy as an enabler for sustained improvements in IT.
One of our calls took on the topic of protecting and promoting innovation -- a big, squishy topic to which a blog post alone can’t do justice.  So let me touch on the highlights.
77% percent of our jam session attendees are actively cutting capital spending or planning to do so in the very near future. Not surprising. And 50% said that of the remaining budgets a smaller ratio will be allocated to new, innovative investments. Also not surprising.
Within our clients we see plenty of knee jerk cuts of anything with a “new” or “long-term” label attached. I say “knee jerk” because quick use of the scalpel is a just another of those involuntary responses that we’ve grown accustomed to in IT. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in some cases, that long-term wish list is exactly what should be cut.

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