At Forrester we get a lot of questions about the use of social technology within the enterprise.IT organizations are trying to uncover successful ways to apply social technology for their business customers – looking for the new solution will be the “Facebook for the enterprise”. We also know that many technology companies think this will be a crucial development in the market:a recent survey indicated that 74% of technology marketers and strategists believe web 2.0 tools will be important or very important to their business strategy over the next 1-3 years.
I personally believe that innovation tools have the best potential in the application of social technologies within businesses.What is innovation if not the ability to source ideas from disparate sources, manage those ideas through a commercial development process, and evaluate their success?
For my latest report -- Innovating Corporate Strategy Services -- I analyzed services providers' (from classical management consulting firms to traditional IT providers, from very small to very large organizations) track record in the innovation of lead themes or paradigms.
Thought leadership efforts play a highly significant role, especially in consulting services (they grant you access to the big guys, they drive new services and engagements, and generate recognition in an IP- dominated environment), however I was surprised about the small number that I found in the end.
All the smart people, all the dedicated research organizations, and obviously all the great client engagements have not really led to more sophisticated forward-looking thinking and "next big things"
Two key conclusions I came up with:
1. Most IT providers lag the vision thing: In a world shifting from IT to BT, providers must become not only tech but business visionaries. They tend to assimilate to trends and paradigms rather than innovate or shape them.
At its green summit event last week, IBM brought together a powerful collection of vendor partners to address customers' sustainability challenges and opportunities. The Green Sigma Coalition is notably different from other vendor partnerships in the green IT space, for three reasons:
I received a comment from a Forrester client about ITIL and BSM, and their respective potential influence on each other. Most notably whether BSM was the only mean to implement ITIL.
My background is in process control automation and software engineering, two disciplines firmly grounded in technology and reality. For me, the word "process" invokes a very specific meaning and definition such as CPRET.
CPRET is a mnemonic for the basic definition of process in process engineering: it stands for Constraints, Product, Resources, input Elements and Transformation which are the basic components of a process. In process engineering, a process is a suite of transformations of elements into a given output (product) given a set of constraints and resources. From this definition, we can see that technology has a strong influence on the process: the transformation part is a clear function of the technology available as input and resources in IT are strongly influenced by the technology used. As we mostly deal with information and data in IT management processes, the type of data available is either helping or impeding the transformation part.
Vendor Strategy Professionals have been discussing the difference between product and solutions for as long as I have been in the industry. And I would like to claim that those 30 years of experience gives me the right to state that most vendor product launches still do not actually reflect that difference. So, it is al the more refreshing to observe HP Software's annoucement of their new IT Finanancial Management solution earlier this week in Las Vegas.
They have got it all extremely right: the right message, the right development process and the right package of technology and services.
In our March 2009 report, "Market Overview: IT Financial Management Software", where we described this emerging segment, see http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,54520,00.html, we were quite clear about the challenges of providing solutions in this segment. The buying center will be complex and the probable users will be a mix of IT experts who know little about financial analysis and finance experts who know little of IT details. The proof of IT financial management project success will be getting good role-based reporting and ensuring all the plumbing of data sources are in place.
... is one of the fundamental questions we ask in our strategy & global trends 2009 online survey.
With this survey we want to get a better understanding on how you as vendor strategist have set or shaped the corporate framework of your software, hardware, services, or telecommunications company -- for today, and for the next 3-5 years. Is your strategy more centered around your company and products or around your customers and what is your internal approach to strategy -- top down or bottom up?
In addition, we ask how shorter- and longer-term trends across economic cycle dynamics, globalization patterns, technology adoption, and corporate responsibility is affecting your business.
I have just returned from the Annual International Nortel Networks Users Association (INNUA) Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. At the event, I was again struck by the loyalty of the Nortel customer base. There were 1,500 some in attendance. I saw Nortel customers and partners who hailed from Boston to San Francisco and as far away as Denmark, India, and Brazil. Nortel had a group of nearly 250 partners from the Carribean and Latin America in town for training as well. Attendance was down considerably (nearly cut in half) compared to last year, but those who were in attendance were serious – considering their options and Nortel’s future. While Nortel compared their history to Pittsburgh’s – a gritty town with staying power that has reinvented itself for the new economy – customers really wanted to know about the future. Nortel preferred to focus on comparisons to the six time World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers – customers wanted to compare then to the Pittsburgh Penguins wondering whether they could pull off one more win to take the Cup.
I’ve been doing a lot of research into
the consumer security market lately, and with it the rise of consumer security freeware (AVG, etc). One of the interesting findings is that those who use security freeware are not primarily motivated by price. In fact, price is less of an influence on their selection than it is for the consumers who use paid security products.
You all wear IT security hats during the
day. But if you’re like me, that hat never gets completely removed when outside
of work either: you protect your computers at home, and you also help protect those
of your family members, your friends, and the occasional neighbor or two. Indeed, when it comes to computer security, you’re
likely a savvy consumer shopper and a strong influencer of other people's purchases. So if you use free
consumer security software, considered using, or used it and switched back to
pay versions, take a look at my new post on the security freeware trend.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Lately, I’ve been delving quite a bit into the consumer
security market. This is perhaps the biggest change in my security coverage as
I moved to focus on vendor-oriented research. Forrester doesn’t have consumer
clients, so our coverage of consumer security in the past has been less then rigorous,
except in cases where our IT clients raise issues in areas like B2C/G2C online
security (phishing, risk based authentication, fraud and identity theft, etc.)
A major source of anxiety for the consumer
security vendors is freeware. Companies like AVG, ALWIL (Avast!), Avira, and
others offer antivirus for free, with Microsoft hitting the market soon with
its new service code-named Morro. But it’s more than just AV: with free antispyware,
free personal firewall, free HIDS and so
on, the big consumer security vendors have a right to be concerned. Take Symantec,
where 30% of its revenues and 45% of its income comes from its consumer
security division. Symantec and others – such as McAfee, Trend, and even Tier 2 players like Kaspersky – have revenue streams to protect in their consumer security products.