Outside of BPM, one of my other passions is mentoring college students through the process of launching new startups. I enjoy helping students tighten up their business ideas and seeing them build business plans that can attract the funding they need to stand up and implement their ventures.
Recently, after reviewing and providing feedback on a student’s business plan, the student responded, “I can launch my business without a business plan; all this planning seems like a waste of time.” At first, I thought he was joking. However, I could read by the look on his face that he was serious. I am sure you can imagine the conversation that followed.
The next day when I reflected on the conversation, I had a moment of satori. I could see that startups share the same risk/reward profile as business process management initiatives. Just like startups, BPM initiatives promise huge returns to investors and stakeholders. Additionally, just like startups, BPM initiatives are fraught with risks such as inadequate funding, low adoption, and difficulty attracting skilled resources.
My conversation with the student about the importance of business planning seemed to parallel conversations I often have with enterprise architects and business architects launching or retooling their BPM initiatives. Most tend to overestimate the BPM’s potential rewards and downplay — or do not fully understand — the risks involved with launching a BPM initiative. However, for the most successful BPM initiatives, I have found that their leaders tend to have a “lean startup” mentality.
What does it mean to have a “lean startup” mentality?
There was lots of feedback on the last blog (“Risk Data, Risky Business?”) that clearly indicates the divide between definitions in trust and quality. It is a great jumping off point for the next hot topic, data governance for big data.
The comment I hear most from clients, particularly when discussing big data, is, “Data governance inhibits agility.” Why be hindered by committees and bureaucracy when you want freedom to experiment and discover?
Current thinking: Data governance is freedom from risk.The stakes are high when it comes to data-intensive projects, and having the right alignment between IT and the business is crucial. Data governance has been the gold standard to establish the right roles, responsibilities, processes, and procedures to deliver trusted secure data. Success has been achieved through legislative means by enacting policies and procedures that reduce risk to the business from bad data and bad data management project implementation. Data governance was meant to keep bad things from happening.
Today’s data governance approach is important and certainly has a place in the new world of big data. When data enters the inner sanctum of an organization, management needs to be rigorous.
Yet, the challenge is that legislative data governance by nature is focused on risk avoidance. Often this model is still IT led. This holds progress back as the business may be at the table, but it isn’t bought in. This is evidenced by committee and project management style data governance programs focused on ownership, scope, and timelines. All this management and process takes time and stifles experimentation and growth.
Surprise! Modern application development is not primarily about new programming languages or agile. It’s all about lower barriers to tools and technologies, talent collaboration, mobile first, and . . . energy drinks. Forrester Senior Analyst Michael Facemire returns to TechnoPolitics to discuss the hallmarks of modern application development that software entrepreneurs embrace and venture capitalists love. Topics discussed include cloud computing, polyglot programming, APIs, developer talent, coding tools, and yes, energy drinks.
Modern Application Development With Michael Facemire
Forrester held its first CIO Summit in New Delhi, India on September 26, 2012. The theme of the event was “From IT To Business Technology (BT) And Beyond.” There were more than 100 attendees, and it was truly a memorable experience interacting with everyone. By the end of the day, I had received encouraging responses from attendees, as many CIOs expressed their willingness to work with Forrester. They found that no other research firm focuses on understanding how changing customer expectations affect what the business needs from them or helps them make better decisions to become successful and influential leaders. We had a great mix of analyst and CIO presentations, and the panel discussion on “Taking Your First Business Technology Steps” with our guest CIO speakers was complete bliss.
The key takeaways from the summit:
· IT/business alignment doesn’t necessarily equate to success. The consumerization of IT and fast-changing business dynamics make it challenging for CIOs to continue to align their IT organizations with the business. The reality in today’s world is that IT must become an integral part of the business and CIOs need to develop their IT strategy in conjunction with business leaders.
· Disrupt or be ready to get disrupted. According to Forrester’sForrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey, Q2 2012,customer expectations are the top concern among business decision-makers in Asia Pacific. Today, customers are redefining differentiation for organizations in the age of the customer and are setting the stage for rapid digital disruption.
Recently, my colleague Melissa Parrish wrote a great report on the Always-Addressable Customer, a population of ultra-connected consumers for whom mobile is a key touchpoint. Based on the number of Internet-connected devices they use, the locations they connect from and the frequency with which they go online each day, Melissa's analysis showed that 38% of online adults in the US already meet the criteria of always-addressable.
Her analysis got me thinking about information workers (iWorkers). What percentage of iWorkers -- based on the number and diversity of devices, locations and applications used for work -- could be called "Anytime, Anywhere iWorkers"? There are about 79 million iWorkers in the US today, about one-third of the total US online population of 247 million. Using our Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey of about 5000 iWorkers, we discovered that 15.1% -- or about 12 million -- meet our criteria of 3 connected devices, 3 locations and at least 7 applications used for work in any given month.
I just finished a research document titled Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Data Security And Privacy Program for the The Security Architecture And Operations Playbook. This was a lot of fun to write, because I was able to look back at the 50-plus interviews conducted over the last year, all of them focused on the security metrics issue. This seems like such a hard question to answer. My conclusion is that many security organizations are measuring the wrong things.
There are several reasons for this. Here are a few of my observations:
We always measure this.
It’s too hard to get any other data.
Our budgets are fixed so we just do the best we can.
This trip is off to a rocky start, I remember thinking as I walked off the plane through the same gate I'd boarded it 30 minutes earlier. Seems there was an engine problem. No outlets available to plug my MacBook Air into so back on battery while the airline swaps aircraft. I should have taken it as a warning. I finally did reach Paris, only to have the French military storm the TGV station at Charles de Gaulle with machine guns because someone left a bag unattended outside the station. Missed my train, re-booked on the next one but downgraded to the seats with no power outlets because there were no seats left in 1st class. More time on the battery.
Switched trains in Lille, France station to board the Eurostar. Sat down in my seat at a table across from an attractive woman who looked annoyed to have to share the space. Finally plugged in the Mac after more than 7 hours use since the last charge, and promptly fell asleep before I could do any work. All in a day's work for the road warrior. I'm carrying two computers on this trip so I can get a good sense of what one of the better entries in the Ultrabook class of PCs is like to work with on the road, alongside my longtime favorite MacBook Air. So far, so good but a few things to note:
With a little conservation of screen brightness, shutting off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the plane, and making sure I close down resource-intensive apps, I can usually get 7+ hours' use on the MacBook Air before I have to find an outlet. That's fantastic for international travel days.
The best I've been able to do on the Dell so far is a little under 5 hours. To be fair though, I haven't had much time with it yet to find out how best to optimize power. One problem though is that the Dell seems to chew through its battery in 24 hours on standby.
As you may know, my colleague Craig Symons and I have started an initiative to refurbish our research agenda on business technology (BT) governance. Our intention is to develop a collection of documents on “good” IT governance practices for CIOs. The research is based on facts and findings gathered through interviews with leading practitioners, case studies, survey questions, reviews of popular and state-of-the-art methodologies, and our long standing industry experience. This blog post provides you with an overview of our assumptions, the current initiative’s status, what kind of questions we have answered so far, and what we plan next. Your feedback, questions, and recommendations are warmly welcome!
We are building the research on a few basic assumptions: BT governance and “good” IT governance are the same. We define them as a conscious effort by senior executives to establish strategies, structures, processes, and measurements for the management of technology to boost business results. We assumed also that the current wave of tech innovation affects not only how information workers and IT departments manage devices and services but also how business executives evaluate, drive, and monitor IT-related decisions.
At this stage, we have verified our assumptions through interviews with governance and industry experts and reviewed several consulting engagements and case studies. We have also launched a global survey, which we invite you to take.
Each year, Forrester Research and the Disaster Recovery Journal team up to launch a study examining the state of business and technology resiliency. Each year, we focus on a particular resiliency domain: business continuity, IT disaster recovery or crisis management and enterprise risk management. The studies provide BC and other risk managers an understanding of how they compare to the overall industry and to their peers. While each organization is unique due to its size, industry, long-term business objectives, and tolerance for risk, it's helpful to see where the industry is trending, and I’ve found that peer comparisons are always helpful when you need to convince skeptical executives that change is necessary. For better or for worse, it is a fundamental part of human nature to want to go with the herd. For those who are interested, there is a great Freaknomics podcast on the subject called “Riding the Herd Mentality: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast.”
"Enterprise mobility," my two favorite words. The reason I so enjoy working in this space is that the overall landscape changes almost daily. When I graduated college nearly 14 years ago, I immediately became a mobile developer working on cutting-edge platforms like Palm and Windows Mobile. Attempting to drive performance and efficiency gains in the enterprise on these platforms was quite a challenge.
Fortunately, we've come a long way from that point, but we still have similarly large challenges: should I use native, web, or hybrid technologies? How do I integrate with my existing back-end services? Will our existing tools, ALM processes, and testing methodologies work when implementing mobile initiatives? I am fortunate to discuss these issues with clients and vendors every day and am excited to be working on research that will use these discussions to provide a high-level direction and path through our mobile playbook for application development and delivery professionals. This report will act as your guidebook for your enterprise development concerns when navigating the current version of the mobile development landscape. As I dive into this, are there areas that you'd like me to focus on? If so, either shoot me an email or stop and see me in person in London or Orlando at our Forrester Forums and let me know what you'd like to see!