Presenting the 2013 Forrester Wave on Desktop Videoconferencing

Philipp Karcher

Today we published the Forrester Wave evaluation of Desktop Videoconferencing solutions.

Technology improvements are lowering the infrastructure and price barriers to using videoconferencing, making it available to more people and generating new applications. Employees want desktop videoconferencing because they don’t have to get up and go somewhere, reserve a room, ask for permission, deal with chargebacks, or ask for help to use it. Based on rapid adoption over the past three years we anticipate that within the next three years more than half of information workers will use desktop videoconferencing at least occasionally for work.

There are four major categories of solutions: consumer applications, unified communications (UC) clients, video pure plays, and webconferencing.

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Microsoft’s Surface Hardware Additions Show Creativity And Perseverance In Cracking Mobile Innovation

Frank Gillett

Microsoft’s Surface generation 2 announcements today show that they are firmly committed to the hardware business for tablets and PCs, not just Nokia Windows Phones. See my colleague JP Gownder’s blog post for his take on how Microsoft will need to update branding and go-to-market to succeed.

As with the original Xbox bet more than a decade ago, Microsoft will persevere in creating premium, fully controlled hardware and service experiences. This will create more and more contrast with low-end Windows devices from many OEMs. I predict that Microsoft will eventually anoint a handful of OEMs, two to four, as premium providers — which means that Microsoft will have to create a premium Windows label or branding to distinguish these premium hardware offerings from the budget offerings that many buyers will still focus on.

The details of the new Surface devices — better performance, battery life, kickstand, displays, and more — and the range of new accessories — such as dock, battery and backlit keyboard covers, and more — are proof of an expanding hardware ecosystem. The Surface Remix, a musical controller that magnetically clicks in like the TouchCover, is a very creative and novel addition to the possibilities of mobile devices.

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Business Technology Strategy Template

Nigel Fenwick

Here’s a riddle: What is it that almost every organization believes it needs, many organizations have, and few organizations use? The answer is an IT strategy.

CEOs and CFOs task new CIOs and old CIOs alike with developing an IT strategy. But despite the millions of dollars, pounds, euros, and yen spent on creating IT strategy every year, few of these strategies will be put to effective use. The IT strategy is the foundation upon which CIOs communicate the value of IT across the enterprise. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, only 18% of organizations have IT teams that communicate the value of IT effectively.

And one of the most common questions I receive from clients since publishing the Business Technology Strategic Planning Playbook is "do you have a plan template we can use?" At last I can answer, "yes - here it is!"
 
What differentiates a good business technology strategy?
 
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Cyber Breach Crisis For Mobile Operator Vodafone Has Implications For The Broader Telco Industry

Dan Bieler

by Dan Bieler and Ed Ferrara

Mobile Operator Vodafone Is In The Midst Of A Security Breach Crisis

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Personal Communication Services and Social Collaboration Are Entering The Workplace

Dan Bieler

By Dan Bieler and Enza Iannopollo

Personal communications services, which we define as communication and collaboration services that merge private, social and business communication in one personal view, are becoming part of the work environment. Services like Skype or Google Apps allow users to speak and send messages across multiple communications services to communicate and collaborate just as they would as consumers within a corporate context. Empowered employees expect to use these collaboration channels not just for personal use but also for work.

Although Skype has been around for more than decade, the market for personal communications services in a business context is still very much evolving. The personal communication experience is complex and challenging, as individuals wrestle with multiple communications services to manage an increasingly diverse set of communication and collaboration technologies.

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5 Steps to transform IT from order-taker to business partner

Nigel Fenwick

Let's face it, IT often suffers from a bad reputation. And in many cases it's well deserved. Over the years many IT leaders attempted to change IT's reputation by empowering other departments to dictate what IT should be doing — and in the process they became order-takers. And the portfolio of projects from well-meaning business leaders mushroomed. To cope with the overwhelming demand, IT established rigorous process around governance, forming committees with the power to determine what IT works on. And almost inevitably, many of these committees are bogged down by politics — meaning IT is not always working on the right things — and at the same time slowing down the whole pace of change. No wonder then that many people across the business spectrum view their own IT group as a slow, unresponsive impediment to getting things done. 

But CIOs the world over are actively engaged with their leadership teams in changing IT's reputation. The goal for these CIOs is to shift IT from order-taker to business-partner, helping shape future business strategy and using technology to increase the value their organization brings to the end customers of the business.
 
This transition is not easy. Nor is it guaranteed to work. Sometimes an IT organization's employees are simply unwilling or unable to embrace the change. Sometimes the reputation of IT is so sullied that nothing short of a cold-reboot will work (organizations going down this route will start by outsourcing all of IT, then they gradually hire back key skills needed to derive more effective business outcomes).
 
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Big Data Is On The Rise In India’s Midmarket — But Without Clear Business Outcomes

Manish Bahl

As part of the research for my upcoming report on midmarket IT budgets in India, we collected responses on big data adoption trends and maturity levels from 430 midmarket businesses (those with 400 to 2,500 employees) in the country. Our research shows that around 35% of Indian midmarket firms plan to invest in big data technologies and solutions in the coming one to two years, but we also found that many of them focus on reducing costs (30%) or optimizing asset utilization (25%) as the business outcomes expected. Moreover, only 8% of midmarket CIOs who plan to invest in big data have a projected or proven ROI for their big data investments — showing that many Indian organizations are getting caught up in big data hype.

India’s weakening economic conditions have put tremendous pressure on businesses to be more competitive and drive growth. As competition in the midmarket increases, business leaders will expect new IT capabilities to respond to customer needs better, faster, and cheaper. The pressure is now firmly on CIOs to deliver clear business outcomes on their big data investments. Our survey and my discussions with Indian CIOs have led me to the following recommendations for midmarket CIOs investing in big data:

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Presenting the 2013 Forrester Wave on Webconferencing

Philipp Karcher

Webconferencing is an important, multipurpose technology used by a quarter of information workers, half of which use it for work every day. It is a mature technology, with several vendors' products making it into the Leaders category of our evaluation. The Forrester Wave report updates our previous evaluation of the market and includes 11 products:

Adobe Connect, AT&T Connect, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, FuzeBox FuzeMeeting, IBM Sametime*, IBM SmartCloud Meetings, InterCall Unified Meeting, Microsoft Lync, PGi GlobalMeet, and Saba Meeting.

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Deutsche Telekom ought to play a more central role as energy sector ecosystems manager

Dan Bieler

By Dan Bieler and Holger Kisker

At its annual Energy Analyst And Sourcing Advisor Event in Berlin, Deutsche Telekom/T-Systems re-emphasized its commitment to service the energy sector with a dedicated offering. Over the last three years, Deutsche Telekom has spent significant resources in building up expertise to become a platform and service provider for the utility sector. Our main observations during the event were that Deutsche Telekom:

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iOS7 on iPhone 5s Amps Up Apple's Focus On The Business Mobile Ecosystem

Ted Schadler
Apple's announcement yesterday of a new high-end iPhone running its new iOS7 operating system got lots of attention for improvements in things that consumers care about: fashion, entertainment, photography, device protection, and health, for example. My colleague Charles Golvin went deeper to analyze what these improvements mean to Apple's prospects as a premium phone maker.
 
Perhaps lost in the coverage was what the combination of new hardware and new software means for how businesses can use iPhones at work. The battle now is for business application developers and vendors, and Apple is on it. The formula for business success has become great products + great features for developers to harness + a great way to distribute and sell custom and commercial business apps. Apple's announcement yesterday focuses on the first two elements of that formula:
  • A focus on management APIs in iOS7 gives business software vendors new hooks to provide business-ready solutions. My colleague Christian Kane has written a Forrester report on the five major improvements in the control APIs. While an iPhone will never natively provide all the lockdown that a security-conscious CIO might want, Apple has consistently listened to the needs of mobile device and mobile application management. With these new APIs, the ecosystem of security and management vendors can ramp up their products to support CIOs rolling out BYO iPhone programs. Already, MobileIron has talked about what it will do to take advantage of this.
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