This new generation of workers born between 1980 and 2000 is very different from those workers of previous generations. Millennials are naturally adept with technology. They figure out how a new application or a particular device works—and they like the challenge. They live in online communities and are remarkable in their outreach to others through microblogging, social networks, text messaging, instant messaging, etc. One Millennial said to me recently, “Email is too slow. I use it only when I have to write something formal.” They are not afraid to say what they think. They respect older generations for their experience and knowledge, but Millennials are fearless in challenging them with other perspectives.
According to The Economist, 2009 will be the year of the CFO. After reading Lucy Kellaway’s article in The Economist earlier this year, I can’t seem to shake this image in my head of a maniacal axe-wielding CFO’s lopping off departmental budgets. A la the French Revolution, “off with their heads!” Except with the CFO it’s more like “off with their bloated budgets!” Hmmm, doesn’t seem to have the same ring as the French Revolution mantra.
Microsoft today announced the public beta of Exchange 2010. This product is a natural extension and improvement over Exchange 2007 (and anybody on Exchange 2003 should really be looking at it), but it also introduces at least one important new capability: email archiving.
But I'll let my colleagues explain that in more detail. I want to focus today on one aspect of Exchange 2010 that should matter to information and knowledge management professionals at large firms: saving money by moving occasional users to the cloud.
Microsoft's Software + Service strategy has rapidly matured and is native to Exchange 2010. This architecture of a single environment that spans on-premise and cloud-based gives large firms an opportunity to leave some mailboxes on-premise and host others in the cloud to save money without incurring admin hassles.
Exchange 2010 is the first product that Microsoft has engineered to run as well in the cloud as on-premise. That means it will be easier to split your domain and run a single managed environment (meaning one admin console, one archiving management tool set, one legal hold implementation, one message filtering solution) across an on-premise and cloud-based implementation.
Sigh. I guess it was to be expected, but the Apple opinionsphere has been overstating the case for iPhone. Based on the careful research that we did, we do think that iPhone is ready for the enterprise to consider. But that doesn't mean other mobile devices aren't more enterprise-worthy.
And if you you think iPhone case studies are falling out of the trees like acorns in autumn, trust me -- they'renot. It was hard to find three companies willing to talk opening about their iPhone experiences. In fact, it took me almost six months to find those brave souls.
So, let's be clear:
BlackBerry is the dominant mobile device for the enterprise in the US and will be for the foreseeable future. In fact, I wrote about BlackBerry's mobile collaboration platformlast fall. BlackBerry is a great platform for mobile collaboration because of its security, network, manageability, form factor choice, global carrier support, ISV experience, and superior messaging capabilities.
We hear from many Forrester clients that they would have to pry BlackBerrys out of the "cold dead fingers" of their employees. That says something about how important that device is to productivity.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) continues its rapid growth — becoming an increasingly strategic part of firms’ application portfolios. Firms are using SaaS across a wide range of applications from CRM to ERP to IT, for deployments of all sizes, and across multiple geographies. As firms make heavier use of SaaS solutions, CIOs must ensure proper due diligence in the selection process. Although some SaaS still comes in through under the radar screen, business led deployments, centralized groups in IT, sourcing, and vendor management should take ownership of the research, purchasing, negotiations, and ongoing vendor relationships for these solutions.
Forrester suggests CIOs ensure the following considerations in SaaS sourcing:
If you had asked me three years ago whether the mobile industry would become a free-for-all of innovation and opportunity, I would have been forced to sigh and say, "can't see how -- the carriers don't seem interested in unlocking that potential."
I would certainly have been wrong as Apple has so impressively shown with its iPhone strategy (with first AT&T's and now 100s of carrier's support).
After 21 months in market, it's quite clear that Apple is redefining its third industry: first the computer industry, next the music industry, and now the mobile industry. With 25,000 applications (yes, mostly consumer applications today) available on Apple's private store and a reported 800,000,000 downloads, the iPhone has become a new platform for innovation.
At least one major enterprise vendor -- Cisco -- now treats the iPhone ahead of BlackBerry devices as a tier one device, at least as demonstrated by its WebEx and Cisco Call Manager applications.
During my first year as a Forrester analyst, one widespread pain point has made itself apparent: IT leaders wrestle with the subject of metrics, particularly in these challenging economic times. Most people I talk with are effective at collecting and reporting the basics: project on-time and on-budget performance, application up time, and help desk call statistics. But other measurements are more difficult to engineer. And there are so many things that can be measured; it’s difficult to figure out which ones really matter and are worth the time needed to collect and report them.
The “old” IT — notoriously self-marginalizing function that delivered one-size-fits-all infrastructures, blew up the IT budget, and delivered “IT speak” instead of business relevant solutions — has ceased to exist. CIOs have either outsourced it, recreated it from its ashes, or are combining both approaches to establish a new and more business-relevant IT.