More than 90,000 iPad-only apps are available today. Forrester clients in a wide range of industries — media, software, retail, travel, consumer packaged goods, financial services, pharmaceuticals, utilities, and more — are scrambling to determine how to develop their own iPad app strategies (or browser-based iPad strategies).
Clients are asking us to help them address both challenges and opportunities associated with the iPad: How do I develop an app product strategy for the iPad? Does the browser matter, too? What will make my app or browser experience stand out from the competition? How will an iPad app complement my smartphone and Web properties?
If you are navigating these sorts of decisions, I'd like to invite you to a very exciting event being hosted by an analyst on my team, Sarah Rotman Epps. Sarah's holding a Workshop on July 27 (in San Francisco) to help clients like you separate the hype from the reality and take concrete steps toward developing a winning iPad app and browser strategy.
The Workshop: POST — Refining Your Strategy For iPads And Tablets
This Workshop focuses on refining your strategy for reaching and supporting your key constituencies through iPads and other tablets. We'll take you through the POST (people, objectives, strategy, and technology) process, helping you to:
Understand where the tablet market is going based on Forrester's latest data and insights.
Apply what other companies have done to your own tablet strategy.
I recently spoke with a Forrester I&O client looking for “incident classification best practice.” I knew that I should have had knowledge of this, or at least access to it, but all I had was a loose set of guiding principles that are probably more “common sense” rather than “best practice.” I was happy to talk with the client but wanted to know what I had missed.
Google seemed a great place to start. After all, Googling “ITIL” results in 21 million hits (I do appreciate that not all of these will relate to the IT service management best practice framework though). So I Googled “incident classification best practice” (plus “incident categorization best practice”) and was surprised at the results. Well, the LACK of results. There was no freely available advice or guidance on this subject.
The main reason for my surprise is that, with the wealth of IT service management best (or good) practice out there (especially with ITIL espoused as THE framework of IT service management best practice), this is one area where I definitely think that value could be derived by documenting successes and the pitfalls to avoid.
Given that many organizations adopting ITSM best practice, or ITIL, will start with the service desk and incident management, the creation of a robust incident classification hierarchy is something they will need to do. A similar opportunity also arises when organizations switch between competing ITSM products as part of the well-documented ITSM tool churn. For others it is relevant when the realization sinks in that the existing incident classification hierarchy is cumbersome and ineffective. Incident classification is important, so where is the best practice?
My colleague Julie Ask has just published an important report, "The Future Of Mobile Is User Context," introducing how companies will use the new intelligence and capabilities of smartphones to deliver better customer experiences in their own context. I quote here from her report:
"In the future, improving the convenience of mobile services will be achieved via improving the use of context in delivering mobile experiences. Consumer product strategists must anticipate what their customers want when they fire up their phones and launch an application or mobile website. Intuit’s SnapTax, for example, must leverage a customer’s home state to file the appropriate tax forms.
"To help consumer product strategists get ahead of this evolving expectation, Forrester has defined a vocabulary to help consumer product strategists discuss, plan, and execute on the opportunity to deliver services, messages, and transactions with full knowledge of the customer’s current situation. Forrester calls this the customer’s 'mobile context' and defines it as:
"The sum total of what your customer has told you and is experiencing at the moment of engagement.
"A customer’s mobile context consists of his:
"Situation: the current location, altitude, environmental conditions, and speed the customer is experiencing.
"Preferences: the history and personal decisions the customer has shared with you or with his or her social networks.
Embarking on your ITIL initiative can be daunting. Often, the breadth and scope of ITIL can leave I&O departments struggling to create a solid road map -- Where do I start? Can I pick and choose ITIL principles? Do I even need ITIL? Without answers, any one of these questions can put up a roadblock on your journey to smooth service management, so here are some tips to put you on the right track:
Make sure you take the time to define and understand exactly what problem you're trying to solve -- many companies who skip this step end up regretting it.
Before you can decide where you want to go, you need to know where you’re coming from. Measure your ITSM maturity level, and then define where you want to go and how much you want to improve.
Once you know your ITSM baseline and the problem that you want to solve, you can figure out the best place to start in the ITIL v3 framework.
Start Your Engines
Keep in mind that technology or domain silos don’t work, and process silos don’t work either. Switch to a hybrid model for best results.
When determining who your process heads should be, incident and problem management should NOT be rolled together under one person. Incident management is about fire-fighting, and problem management is about root cause analysis -- two very different competencies.
Innovations in mobile technologies are making the mobile Internet increasingly ubiquitous and powerful. Consumers are drawn to the mobile Internet because it can be highly contextual and leverages information such as geo-location, presence, and user-specific information to deliver a rich and intensely personal experience.
As my colleague Julie Ask pointed out in her new report eBusiness: The Future Of Mobile Is User Context, companies that produce consumer products/services will increasingly take user context into account to produce convenient products with relevancy and immediacy for consumers. Already location-aware applications are becoming more and more ubiquitous; our movements as individuals are invariably documented somewhere.
Our phone is packed with sensors that can gather more contextual information about its surroundings than anything we’ve seen before. Sensors such as GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, NFC, and high resolution cameras are now commonplace in smartphones. Emerging sensor technologies like barometer, microbolometers, and chemical sensors will provide even richer user context information.
Soon your phone will not only know where you are, but what you are doing, how fast you are moving — and if Apple gets their way, the rate your heart beats!
Local governments continue to evaluate their short- and long-term objectives and the tools they need to achieve them. As they do, it is increasingly obvious that those tools include not only the technologies to transform their internal processes and external citizen programs and services. The business model – how the cities partner and purchase – is the most important enabler to a technology-driven government transformation. Governments no longer – if they ever really did – go out and purchase technology. Rather as governments increasingly turn to technology-driven solutions, they are pushing vendors to adopt business models that have long been popular in larger infrastructure-based public works projects – public private partnerships (PPPs).
The PPP model, however, has been a daunting proposition for many vendors. I’ve heard many technology vendor strategists state categorically:
“PPPs are not in our DNA.”
“We do them if we have to.”
“Our competitors are driving us in that direction.”
But more recently, particularly in the context of the smart city opportunities, tech vendor strategists are embracing alternative business models. They still, however, tend to avoid the term PPP – although the models chosen are all forms of “partnership” with the public entities they are serving. Here are four examples:
Forrester’s Q2 2011 Global Current State Of Business Architecture Online Survey found that organizations are optimistic about the effort it takes to create a business architecture – overly optimistic. The prevailing view is that it will be significantly easier to create business architecture than it is to create enterprise technical architecture. A significant number of Forrester’s survey respondents – 63% – thought they would create the core business architecture in less than two years. They are clearly not taking into account the multitude of challenges that make building business architecture an arduous and time-consuming task.
I talk with business architects every day. Here are the types of challenges they tell me they are facing:
No standard tools or methodologies are available. Existing EA templates and approaches offer little value. Much of the BA’s work is exploration and innovation. It takes time to find the right path.
Business architecture has to be sold. The overwhelming majority of current business architecture efforts are not chartered by business executives. This means they must be promoted and sold. Additionally, business architecture is a complex product, and every sales professional knows that complex products have elongated sales cycles.
Multiple views are the norm. Business architecture artifacts are not one size fits all. There are many different viewpoints of business issues and opportunities, including strategy, capability, and process, among others. Business executives vary in their perspectives, so multiple views of each viewpoint will have to be tailored to fit the specific audience.
While NVIDIA and to a lesser extent AMD (via its ATI branded product line) have effectively monopolized the rapidly growing and hyperbole-generating market for GPGPUs, highly parallel application accelerators, Intel has teased the industry for several years, starting with its 80-core Polaris Research Processor demonstration in 2008. Intel’s strategy was pretty transparent – it had nothing in this space, and needed to serve notice that it was actively pursuing it without showing its hand prematurely. This situation of deliberate ambiguity came to an end last month when Intel finally disclosed more details on its line of Many Independent Core (MIC) accelerators.
Intel’s approach to attached parallel processing is radically different than its competitors and appears to make excellent use of its core IP assets – fabrication and expertise and the x86 instruction set. While competing products from NVIDIA and AMD are based on graphics processing architectures, employing 100s of parallel non-x86 cores, Intel’s products will feature a smaller (32 – 64 in the disclosed products) number of simplified x86 cores on the theory that developers will be able to harvest large portions of code that already runs on 4 – 10 core x86 CPUs and easily port them to these new parallel engines.
Next to "Why won't Google allow me on +?" a currently popular question among content and collaboration professionals is, "How do we encourage employees to use social and collaboration tools?" I hear this question frequently in discussions with clients about intranets and the Information Workplace. My colleague and collaboration guru Rob Koplowitz probably answers it in his sleep by now and published a summary of best practices last year.
Last week, the question unsurprisingly popped up on the extremely useful LinkedIn Intranet Professionals forum. There has been a rich set of responses so far, including some healthy scepticism about the fundamental value of enterprise social. I encourage you to see the ongoing exchange in it's entirety. For the sake of the Forrester blog audience, here is a slightly modified version of my LinkedIn response.
Stop me if you've heard this one before . . . but think about Babe (Universal, 1995). Contrary to all tradition and expectation, Babe the pig becomes really good at helping Farmer Hoggett herd sheep. It's fantastic! A huge success!
But there's no inherent value in herding sheep. You don't herd sheep for the sake of having well-herded sheep -- you do it because having the sheep where you want them when you want them there makes it easier and more efficient and more productive to extract value from the sheep. (Such as shearing them, or . . . other ways of extracting value.)
Calling all product strategists at big name clothing and apparel companies: If you work at the likes of Gap, Macy's, Nordstrom, or American Eagle Outfitters, we at Forrester think you are currently missing out on an opportunity to delight customers, generate new revenue, and differentiate your offerings. We’ve been writing about why now is the time to experiment with mass-customized product offerings – customer-facing digital technologies have reached the point where customization is easy to deliver, and customers increasingly expect products and services will be tailored to their desires and needs.
Now it’s time for product strategists at big name clothing and retail companies to give mass customization another shot. Levi’s once offered customized jeans (from 1993-2003), but the offering was too far ahead of the curve – it didn’t have the opportunity to leverage the type of digital configuration experiences available today, and it didn’t offer buyers choice in features they wanted (like color).
We know that product strategists who want to offer mass-customized clothing and apparel products face customers who are stuck in an off-the-shelf comfort zone. We know that this customer resistance is holding back some product strategists at big brand-name clothing companies. Yet the return on investment could be significant. Incorporating customization into your product strategy will enhance current customer relationships and attract new customers that, up to now, have not been able to find what they want or need from your products.