Take A Broader View Of Agile To Survive In The Digital Age

I just finished analyzing our Q3 2012 Global State Of Enterprise Architecture Online Survey, where we asked a number of questions at the end of the survey on how firms identify and introduce new technology – new technology that your firm is counting on for innovation and competitive advantage. The results underscore a conviction that is growing in me: IT’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to standardizing everything and general aversion to risk isn't cutting the mustard. Simply put, opportunities for competitive advantage through technology-fueled disruption get missed, and this means digital extinction. Some data from our survey of 207 enterprise architects:

  • 58% reported that sales and marketing is among the top five most likely organizations to deliver technology innovations, and they are chasing windows of opportunity that close in months. IT typically takes at least a year to do anything.
  • 52% say there is at least some business dissatisfaction with the level of new technology introduction. The top reason, given by 78% of respondents, is that IT is too slow.
  • 70% of respondents admit their firms have trouble reacting to disruptions caused by emerging technology, and 60% admit to difficulty reacting to change in general.
Read more

IBM Global Business Services Refines Its Business Technology Value Proposition

I spent two days last week at an IBM Global Business Services (GBS) analyst event titled “Transforming the Front Office.” The event was designed for IBM to share its view of the future of the technology marketplace with industry analysts — and of course speak about how IBM fits into that role.

What’s clear is that IBM believes in the power of big data. Ok, so this may be obvious to the IBM watchers in the marketplace, but it’s interesting to see IBM bring to the table better marketing messages, case studies, and examples — all focused on how the GBS organization can apply that data to help clients stay competitive.

Throughout the two days with GBS, it was clear that this is more than just good marketing from IBM, it’s the core of its strategy. And that’s a fairly healthy place to be right now: Many firms tell Forrester that analytics is at the top of their list of emerging technology efforts. 58% of firms Forrester surveyed recently indicated that they’ve either implemented or are planning to implement, expand, or upgrade their BI tools over the next 12 months.

Some observations about GBS from this event: 

Read more

Keep Calm And Analyze Big Data

Big data - It screams, it cries, it's ugly, it's beautiful, it's honest, it lies, it's mysterious, it's everywhere, and it grows infinitely. But, don't worry.

Big Data, Mike Gualtieri, Forrester Research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWISS Provides Content In Context To Enhance In-Flight Experience

Whenever I fly, I’m an inveterate gawker — geographically speaking.  

Getting a window seat on a cloudless day is like getting a ticket to a great performance. At 35,000 feet you’re witness to a world playing out in miniature — cities and villages, mountains and deserts, even the occasional crop circle.

The mind wanders: What exactly am I looking at? I see the interstate highway built to bypass that little farm town in Kansas, or is it Oklahoma? I know I’m flying from Point A to B, but what I really want to know is: what’s down there? (And, how much longer will it take to get to my destination?)

Last week I flew Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) to Boston from Zurich returning from a client workshop. The experience was a vivid lesson in how an airline (core mission: get me home safely) is using content, creatively and in context, to provide a relevant and engaging customer experience in flight.

SWISS’s secret? The seat-back video screens don’t just play on-demand movies and TV shows (itself a big plus on an 8.5-hour flight). They deliver real-time mapping showing what we’re flying over; arrows mark the flight path like a “heads-up display” in some autos, along with content and photos of tourist hot spots on the ground.

At the same time, it shows the speed the plane is traveling, the altitude, and the distance and time remaining in the flight.

This isn’t brand-new technology. However, the marriage of technology, data and interface into a meaningful user experience by SWISS pushes this into bonus territory for me.

Here’s what I like about it:

Read more

Hands-On Observations Of The Microsoft Surface: Compelling.

Last weekend I spent several hours with a Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows RT, courtesy of a Forrester client. I liked it. A lot. Some quick initial observations and thoughts on what it means for I&O professionals:

  1. The combination keyboard/cover is genius. The keyboard on the tablet I used is the flat, non-tactile one instead of the one with Chiclet keys, but like the iPad it cleans the screen when it's closed. I got used to the feel quickly but would still prefer a tactile keyboard if I bought one.
  2. The performance is smooth and quick. I find RT to be very responsive on the Surface. It's not quite as fluid as iOS on an iPad, but it's close, and the touchscreen is precise. The screen is also bright and clear with rich, vibrant colors - at least to my eyes.
  3. It feels heavy but solid. Any concerns about Microsoft as a hardware vendor will vanish in the first 5 minutes with it. One glitch however: This was the second Surface for this client because the original device was defective and wouldn't recognize the keyboard, so there may be some QA glitches with early versions.
  4. I use the touchscreen more than the touchpad. I thought I'd have a hard time giving up the mouse, but found myself tapping the screen even though the Surface has a mini touchpad. It's a natural motion, and I found Office 2013 Preview a joy to use - but did need to use the touchpad for some things.
Read more

An Interactive Discussion About Digital Customer Experience Strategies

Over the past year, we’ve been discussing — through our research and client interactions — the issues involved with digital customer experiences. What’s interesting about this particular problem is how quickly the market is changing and how the issues cut across many roles and aspects of the business. How do you build a digital experience strategy that best suits your business needs and is inclusive of the roles that have a stake in digital experience success?

We have two Forrester webinars planned over the next week to discuss these very issues. Tomorrow’s webinar (November 20) will be held at 2:00 p.m. UK time (3:00 pm CET), and my colleagues David Aponovich, Jonathan Browne, Bobby Cameron, and I will discuss how digital experience strategies affect roles such as CIOs, Customer Experience Professionals, and Application Development & Delivery professionals. Next Tuesday (November 27) John Rymer, Adele Sage, and I will do a similar webinar at 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT. Both of these webinars will be fast-moving, interactive discussions and will use a Pardon the Interruption-style format where we’ll cover a number of questions about DX strategies and give ourselves 3 minutes to discuss each question before moving on. We’ll also be taking questions from the audience.

Read more

Elite Business Architecture Leaders Focus On Stakeholder Needs; Do You?

Over the last few months I have met or spoken to a significant number of Forrester clients who are undertaking a business architecture initiative. As you can imagine, these initiatives have various sponsors and are at various levels of maturity. Some business architecture (BA) initiatives are being driven by chief information officers (CIOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs) wanting to get a seat, and become an influencer, at the strategic decision-making table. Whilst others are being driven by business executives, who either believe business design and transformation is a business responsibility or that IT has insufficient business competency to understand and deliver what is required.

The different levels of maturity struck me, as just like the English Premier League (that’s where real football is played, for those not in the know) there are the elite (the big boys – top five or six teams) and there are the also-rans/others. There are also the elite BA teams and the non-elite BA teams. The gap between these two groups is growing, which will be a nightmare for a non-elite BA leader benchmarking his initiative against other organizations. Where one could argue in the football reference it is money that divides the two groups, as this attracts better players and creates better teams, with BA teams it appears to be more based on focus. Less mature and non-elite BA teams focus their efforts primarily on the building of BA, reacting to siloed demand and then selling or pushing BA artifacts to stakeholders in the hope that they find these artifacts useful. Whereas, the elite BA teams focus on addressing stakeholder needs and the use of BA, delivering relevant BA services and allowing stakeholders to pull the BA artifacts that address the challenges they face.

Read more

TechnoPolitics Podcast: The Future Of Identity Management With Eve Maler

Eve Maler, Forrester TechnoPoliticsCome again? You mean to tell me that Eve Maler, one of Forrester's experts on emerging identity and security solutions, has never changed her Amazon password? Yep. She aptly points out that "Amazon has no password rules." While passwords aren't dead, she says, firms that rely only on passwords for identity management are vulnerable to serious breaches. Most firms have "terrible hygiene" when it comes to identity management.

In this episode of TechnoPolitics, Eve Maler discuss how firms like Amazon and Paypal use a "constellation" of risk-based authentication techniques and technologies to protect customers' identity. The courage to make tough calls — that's Eve.

Podcast Listening Options — The Future Of Identity Management

Click here to download the MP3 file for this episode.

Read more

Which Mountain Are You Trying To Climb?

When I look at the sorts of advisory work we engage in, I am often struck by the fact that our client organizations are at very different start points on their business architecture journeys. The start point is complicated by the team’s perception of the stakeholders they serve (to whom they deliver value) and the ultimate objectives for their initiative. Not only are the start points and journeys themselves different, but the challenges met on the road also differ. So in a very real sense, working out which mountain you are scaling is just as important as the deciding the route to get there and the team required for success.

We see many different types of business architecture efforts — usually they are attempting to support one or more of the following initiatives:

  • Provide the basis for transformational change.This is especially difficult when transformation implies changing just about everything you do and, most importantly, the way you think. When the organization is going for a “wellness program,” rather than continuing to apply project fixes like Band-Aids, the challenge is to engage colleagues on that longer-term objective rather than becoming fixated with short-term efficiency goals.
  • Remove redundancy post-merger in an M&A scenario. Often, the challenge here is to take two or more distinct cultures and legacies, and develop one compelling future, complete with new organizational structure and road map to get there. Sometimes dressed up with other titles such as process harmonization, this usually involves surfacing views of the business and its purpose such that leaders and managers see past their own silo-oriented agendas.
Read more

Calling All Hadoop Vendors

We are inundated with client inquiries about #BigData. Clients want to know everything. What is the business case? What advanced visualization and predictive analytics tools should we use? Where do we find data scientists? What store, process, and access (SPA) technologies should we invest in? Among these questions, clients frequently ask about Hadoop solutions. Hadoop is one of many #BigData technologies, but it is among the hottest in terms of vendors offering Hadoop solutions to overcome the many shortcomings of just downloading the Hadoop open source binaries.

Forrester Wave™: Hadoop Solutions, 2013

I am pleased to announce that Noel Yuhanna and I plan to launch new Forrester Wave research on Hadoop solutions. The research will begin in January 2013, and we plan to publish in May 2013. This new evaluation will not be an exact update of the previous The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Hadoop Solutions, Q1 2012. The new Forrester Wave will have updated criteria, a lab evaluation, and may have a different mix of vendors.

Calling All Hadoop Vendors

Read more