Winners Of The 2012 Forrester Groundswell Awards (Business-To-Employee Category)

We're excited to announce the first set of winners of the 2012 Forrester Groundswell Awards, honoring the best employee mobile, collaboration, and innovation stories. These awards are being announced today at Forrester's Digital Disruption Forum in Orlando. (The B2B and B2C awards will be announced next week). Once again we received many outstanding entries, but we gave extra points to the most innovative solutions with a measurable impact. Several themes emerged out of this year's entries:

  • Giving iPads to sales people is a hot mobile use case. We had multiple entries from organizations that give sales people or channel partners access to sales tools and resources on tablets. Replacing paper-based processes with always-current material is  convenient, cheaper than printing, and also creates an opportunity to wow customers during the sales process.
  • Companies are empowering employees with social tools to solve customer problems. In a world where technology has given customers incredible amounts of power, companies with turgid processes and departmental boundaries cannot be nimble enough to serve them. Only your employees can help — and they can only help you if you unleash them to use the same technologies that empower your customers. Both the winner and the runner-up in this year's Collaboration Program category integrated public social networks with internal business applications and used gamification to incent desired behaviors. 
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Upcoming Forrester Webinar — Windows: The Next Five Years

Microsoft Windows will power just one-third of personal computing devices sold during 2012. Say what? Over the past five years, the transition to mobile devices has transformed Microsoft’s position from desktop dominance to one of several players vying for share in a new competitive landscape.

And so Microsoft is making some very bold moves to transform Windows: creating a singular touch-native UX for a seamless experience across PCs and mobile devices, building an app store distribution model, and engaging its vast user base to develop core personal cloud services.

To get a jump on Microsoft’s upcoming release of Windows 8 OS and Surface tablets, join our webinar, "Microsoft Windows Evolves From Dominance To Contender," tomorrow October 19th, 2012 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern time (15:00-16:00 GMT).

You’ll learn about the trends and behaviors shaping a painful, but ultimately successful, five-year migration for the Windows franchise. We will size and forecast the future of Windows’ presence in a device landscape where market share is measured across all computing devices, not just PCs. And we will outline the new personal computing success metrics for OS providers and ecosystems, which look beyond device market share to customer engagement across multiple formats, online services, and content delivery.

Look forward to seeing you there. 

Goodbye Privacy. Conventional Security Measures Can Be Neutered By A Careless Programmer

More and more data is stored online by both consumers and businesses. The convenience of using services such as DropboxBoxGoogle DriveMicrosoft Live Skydrive, and SugarSync is indisputable. But, is it safe? All of the services certainly require a user password to access folders, and some of the services even encrypt the stored files. Dropbox reassures customers, "Other Dropbox users can't see your private files in Dropbox unless you deliberately invite them or put them in your Public folder."

The security measures employed by these file-synching and sharing services are all well and good, but they can be instantly, innocently neutered by a distracted programmer. Goodbye privacy. All your personal files, customer lists, business plans, and top-secret product designs become available for all the world to see. How can this happen even though these services are sophisticated authetication and encryption technologies? The answer: a careless bug introduced in the code.

Below is some Java code I wrote for a fictitious file-sharing service called CloudCabinet to demonstrate how this can happen. Imagine a distracted programmer texting her girlfriend on her iPhone while cutting and pasting Java code. Even non-Java programmers should be able to find the error in the code below.

 

 

Mike Gualtieri
 
 
 
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T-Systems Needs To Be More Disruptive To Tackle Growth Opportunities

 

Dan Bieler, Brownlee Thomas, Frederic Giron, Stefan Ried, Chris Mines, Pascal Matzke, Jennifer Belissent

T-Systems hosted its 2012 analyst & sourcing advisor event recently. To be sure, T-Systems remains one of the most advanced true ICT providers in the European market. But T-Systems ought to demonstrate more clearly how it can support and enhance business process for its customers and improve the customer experience for its customers’ customers. Of course T-Systems is not alone. The ICT industry needs to emphasize proven capabilities in delivering enterprise-grade ICT solutions ranging from co-management of infrastructure resources to full outsourcing.

T-Systems, like many of its competitors, is busy making sure that it doesn't bleed too much in what T-Systems calls the red ocean, i.e.: the highly competitive market segment of legacy services. That's a good start. At the event, T-Systems very clearly communicated the progress at its internal production factory. This aspect is critical for streamlining and standardizing the portfolio, boosting margins, and developing products and services that the revamped sales team then can actually sell. One tangible outcome of this effort shows through in the high customer-satisfaction level and deal wins like BAT, OMG, and Georg Fischer. Importantly, T-Systems also has put in place a rigorous certification framework for ensuring quality of service with suppliers.

However, T-Systems still needs to convince in areas of the blue ocean, i.e.: the emerging innovative market segment. Like many of its competitors, T-Systems is not finding this easy. Why? Because T-Systems continues to prop up its legacy business: selling technology solutions.

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T-Systems Ought To Be More Disruptive To Tackle Growth Opportunities

Dan Bieler, Frederic Giron, Brownlee Thomas, Ph.D., Stefan Ried, Christopher Mines, Pascal Matzke, Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

T-Systems hosted its 2012 analyst and sourcing advisor event recently. To be sure, T-Systems remains one of the most advanced true ICT providers in the European market. But T-Systems ought to demonstrate more clearly how it can support and enhance business process for its customers and improve the customer experience for its customers’ customers. Of course T-Systems is not alone. The ICT industry needs to emphasize proven capabilities in delivering enterprise-grade ICT solutions ranging from co-management of infrastructure resources to full outsourcing.

T-Systems, like many of its competitors, is busy making sure that it does not bleed too much in what T-Systems calls the red ocean, i.e., the highly competitive market segment of legacy services. That's a good start. At the event, T-Systems communicated very clearly the progress at its internal production factory. This aspect is critical for streamlining and standardizing the portfolio, boosting margins, and developing products and services that the revamped sales team then can actually sell. One tangible outcome of this effort shows through in the high customer satisfaction level and deal wins like BAT, OMG, and Georg Fischer. Importantly, T-Systems also has put in place a rigorous certification framework for ensuring quality of service with suppliers.

However, T-Systems still needs to convince in areas of the blue ocean, i.e., the emerging innovative market segment. Like many of its competitors, T-Systems is not finding this easy. Why? Because T-Systems continues to prop up its legacy business: selling technology solutions.

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50 Shards Of ITIL – The Bane And Pain Of ITSM Tool Selection

OK, it really should be the “500 shards of ITIL” but it just didn’t sound as sexy.

“ITIL is sexy?” I hear you cry. Maybe not for most, but IT service management (ITSM) is something many of us are passionate about. Or, to be more precise, the delivery of high-quality, business-centric IT services is something many of us are passionate about – with ITSM purely the means to that end.

Anyway I wander from my point . . . the “500 shards of ITIL” I refer to are the 500 extremely granular, ITIL-espoused capability points that far too many organizations commonly use as the basis for new ITSM tool selection. As I wrote in a recent blog for the ITSM Review: “the current method of creating RFPs (request for proposal documents) and selecting vendors based on a cut-and-paste, ask-for-everything-possible-mentality is so, so flawed.”

In a soon-to-be-released market overview of SaaS ITSM tools I add that “Customers often ask the wrong questions during product evaluations and therefore don’t get the answers they need.” Think about it – multiple choice is far easier to pass than an essay-style exam, and do you really need that infrequently adopted ITIL-espoused capability? If you don’t, why on earth are you asking for it?

Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.”

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Profit Warning! A Software Asset Sprawl Will Weaken IT Service Providers' Financials

I recently reviewed a portfolio of about 600 software artifacts from 16 large IT service providers. This daunting exercise complements a research stream I have been working on since the beginning of the year on the future of the IT services industry. While I believe the move to software asset (SA)-based IT services will drive maturation of the services industry and help IT service providers remain relevant to their clients, the analysis of this SA inventory raises a few significant challenges:

  • Most software assets face scalability issues. Traditional sales and marketing organizations within IT service providers fail to sufficiently scale up the number of clients for their SA-based offerings. Case in point: 68% of the software assets analyzed in this inventory have fewer than five clients. This low number raises concerns on the financial viability of these offerings for service providers.
  • Service providers will face a SA sprawl over the next couple of years. On average, service providers currently have about 20 SAs in their SA portfolio. The analysis shows that this number is growing exponentially (see below). The number of SAs created has increased by an average of 26% each year since 2009 and is accelerating. More assets were created in the first six months of 2012 than in any previous entire year; SA-related investments are following a similar trajectory.
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4G Data Exchange: Another Option Arises For Mobile Operators

At a briefing last week, I spoke with Tejaswini Tilak, global head of carrier services at Telstra, who updated me on its newly launched mobile operator IPX (IP Exchange) platform. Marketed as the Telstra Global IPX Service, this service aims to enhance international roaming and next-generation mobility services for operators seeking to exchange long-term evolution (LTE) data traffic. The service promises:

  • An optimized network. Using a single channel, the Telstra Global IPX Service allows mobile operators to optimize their networks to accommodate growing mobile data consumption while providing end users with a consistent customer experience.
  • Greater efficiency. This is possible as it runs over a private network — Telstra Global’s own managed IP MPLS core network — which can maximize traffic on both legacy and new mobile platforms. 
  • Diameter signaling support. Telstra provides support for diameter signaling, a relatively new protocol that works with core IMS on IP data traffic. Tilak claims that Telstra will be able to set up multiple roaming agreements by acting as a diameter signaling hub and providing interoperability and mediation between different diameter deployments among mobile operators.
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: The Power Of Social Business Technology

Forrester TechnoPoliticsForrester Senior Analyst TJ Keitt does not think small. "The free exchange of ideas changes the world," he starts when asked to define social business. He adds, "It can also change companies." Social business is about tightly woven networks of employees interacting with loosely woven networks of partners, suppliers, and, of course, customers. The goal is for firms to become more nimble, acquire more knowledge, and share it faster. This is not about Facebook. Social business platforms such as Jive, Salesforce Chatter, TIBCO Tibbr, Microsoft SharePoint, and others are designed specifically for the social business.

In his new report The Social CIO, TJ warns that haphazard social business strategies are doomed to fail. CIOs must design and implement a social business technology that will facilitate the frictionless exchange of knowledge and ideas rather than create social technology stovepipes.
 
In this episode of Forrester TechnoPolitics, TJ makes a passionate and decisive case why CIOs should make social business technology a priority.
 
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OK, Tell Me I'm Wrong!

Everyone knows that in business you need to do two things: Increase top-line revenue growth and reduce bottom line cost. Doing both of these is how companies grow profitably. It really is that simple. Now why is it that Information Security Officers have trouble thinking this way? Read my new paper titled Determine The Business Value Of An Effective Security Program — Information Security Economics 101 - developed for the The S&R Practice Playbook.

In the paper, I argue that we need to associate the value of information security with the value of the information assets we protect. How is this value determined, you may ask? Well, ask away, because in the paper I outline a method to determine that value. It’s simple. We live in an information economy and even though we may be a bank, manufacturer, or a retailer, at the end of the day we wouldn’t be in business without information. In many ways information is what we sell.

Think about it; if we associate information security with asset value defined by the revenue these assets produce, we would understand how to prioritize security effort and we would have a lot more productive conversations at budget time.

Join in the debate, and tell me why this approach couldn’t work in your firm. I want to hear from you.