Age Of The Customer Drives Investment In Business Intelligence Tools

Jennifer Adams

In the age of the customer, customer-obsessed firms serious about personalizing customer experience invest in business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools.  Companies collect more and more data on their clients today. BI software is increasingly important to extract information from the raw data, revealing insights. Analytics software tools go beyond traditional reporting and analysis to anticipate customer behavior and provide real-time insights.

In our recently published Business Intelligence And Analytics Software Forecast (Global), 2015 to 2020, we take a more in-depth look at the market’s growth potential. We expect the global BI and analytics software market to grow at a 12% CAGR over the 2015 to 2020 period.

The traditional BI market has matured, but still offers a significant growth opportunity. While business intelligence software is not a new product, Forrester projects robust growth for the solution. As we move into the Internet of Things era, an exponential increase in the number of connected devices will drive demand for BI software tools to understand the information. We expect the BI software market to grow at a 9% CAGR over the forecast period.

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ForecastView Meets Business Technology

Jennifer Adams

Welcome to my blog!

I joined Forrester recently as a senior forecast analyst on the ForecastView team focusing on business technology (BT) topics. What is ForecastView you ask? It’s a Forrester product that puts the numbers around our research reports by publishing a five-year quantitative outlook. To learn how our forecasts can help you with your investment decisions, read our ForecastView overview.

Our BT forecast team takes a look at cloud, security, IoT, business intelligence, marketing ad technology, Big Data, and other hot topics in the BT space. We launched our ForecastView BT bundle in 2015. In case you missed it, our three 2015 forecasts examined eCommerce platforms, cloud security, and API management. Some highlights:

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IBM Opens Its Global Watson IoT Headquarters In Munich

Dan Bieler

IBM opened its global Watson Internet of Things (IoT) headquarters in Munich this week. It is hardly unusual for this quintessential global business to open research centers on a global scale. But the decision to move the HQ for one of the most dynamic areas of the digital transformation arena to Munich is noteworthy for several reasons. The move underlines that:

  • IoT has a very strong B2B component. Yes, IoT will play a role in consumer segments such as the connected home. But connectivity limitations and costs, compliance, and security will put many IoT ambitions in the consumer space to rest. The real action will be in the B2B space, where IoT will be elemental to drive activities like predictive maintenance, fleet management, traffic management, supply chain management, and order processing. Forrester expects the market size for B2B eCommerce, of which IoT is a subset, to be about twice that of B2C by 2020.
  • IoT and big data are closely intertwined. The real value of IoT solutions will not come from the hardware components of connected assets but from the data they generate and consume. In order to manage and make sense of the data that connected assets generate, cognitive systems and machine learning will play a fundamental role for the evolution of IoT. “Employing” Watson in the IoT context elevates IBM’s role in the IoT market significantly.
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Predictive Analytics Requires A Customer-Obsessed Innovation Culture

Fred Giron

Over the past month, I participated in predictive analytics events in Indonesia and Thailand organized by SAP with about 70 regional CIOs. There is a palpable excitement around predictive analytics these days, but I see a risk that, beyond the excitement of the demo and first implementations, a number of these advanced analytic tools remain shelfware. Why? Because tech management teams often struggle to realize the business value of these investments.

With this in mind, my presentations focused on why companies need to approach analytics with a new mindset: The business discipline and technology to harness insights and consistently turn data into effective action. My colleagues Ted Schadler and Brian Hopkins call the resulting business capability a system of insights. This approach received a lot of positive feedback from the audience and generated discussions on how it can solve their key data & analytics challenges:

  • Ensure strong business support. Many CIOs I have talked to complained that they lack business support, because business sees data & analytics as a technology responsibility and they simply do not want to get engaged. My recommendation to them: stop talking about Big Data and start focusing on business outcomes like improved customer loyalty. That’s where the System of Insights concept can help. Actually, one of the CIOs, part of a large Indonesian conglomerate, told me that this approach would really help him explain how business and tech teams need to collaborate to turn data and insights into actual business value.
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Unleash Your Digital Predator

Nigel Fenwick

Your customers' digital experiences with other suppliers already shape their perceptions of value. Today, your customer assess the value of your services based in part on your ability to integrate into their digital world. The future belongs to companies able to harness digital to create new sources of customer value - these companies are destined to become digital predators, swallowing up lesser digital prey. 

As a business leader, do you get the feeling that you're no longer playing the same game that you once were? It's not you; the world has changed. The things that used to set companies apart — such as economies of scale, distribution strength, and brand — are far less potent than they used to be. Why? Because digital technology has fundamentally changed two things: the dynamics of the markets in which you operate and the speed needed to remain competitive.

The latest report in our series on digital business – Unleash Your Digital Predator – updates our thinking on digital transformation and includes analysis of data from our latest executive research study on digital, conducted in partnership with executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

Many firms proudly point to their mobile app and proclaim "Hey, we're digital!" While they may be driving incremental revenue, all they have done is bolt another digital touchpoint onto the existing business. Digital transformation goes much further, fundamentally reshaping the way you create value for your customers and drive revenue growth. Achieving this requires that firms approach digital business from the outside in, pursuing two dimensions of digital in parallel: digital customer experience(DCX) and digital operational excellence (DOX).

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The State Of Digital Business 2016 to 2020

Nigel Fenwick

In the first in a series of reports examining the results of our latest survey on digital business, conducted in partnership with Odgers Berndtson, I look at executive perception of the impact of digital on their business. 

It turns out executives are hugely optimistic about how digital will change their business. Forty-six percent of executives surveyed believe that in less than five years digital will have an impact on more than half their sales. This suggests not only huge awareness of the potential for digital to change today's business but also an expectation that their company will be successful in making the transformation needed to bring this expectation to fruition. And it's in the biggest companies, where change is hardest, that executives expect the greatest change.

In B2B industries like consumer packaged goods (CPG), wholesale sales, and professional services, the shift is expected to be dramatic — Forrester estimates that the US B2B eCommerce market will be $1.13 trillion by 2020.

  • CPG execs expect digital to have an impact on almost half their sales. Even though the percentage predicted by 2020 is still less than 50%, if CPG companies were to generate anything close to 45% of their sales through digitally enhanced products and services or through online sales by 2020, it signals a dramatic shift in the CPG landscape. The ripple effects of the digitization of more and more CPG will be felt through wholesale and retail channels. 

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Microsoft PowerApps Aim To Unlock Employee Innovation

Nigel Fenwick

Microsoft launched "PowerApps" this week.

The idea is simple: provide an easy to use toolkit that empowers employees (and tech management pros) to build their own mobile/desktop apps on top of existing data sources such as systems of record and even Excel spreadsheets, and do it as easily as they build PowerPoint decks today.

Announcing the initial preview beta launch this week at Convergence EMEA, Microsoft demonstrated just how easy it will be for employees to build their own apps to digitize their business processes and make things better, faster, cheaper, etc., etc..

At first look PowerApps has the potential to empower employees across the business to take ownership of their digital future. But I suspect some older CIOs will feel a touch of Déjà Vu. When dBase came onto the market in 1979 – OK that's before our time but there are lessons to be learned from history so bear with me here – there was tremendous excitement that employees could now create their own aplications to replace manual processes. What resulted was a plethora of applications that ushered in 36 years of shadow IT. And the maintenance of many of those poorly designed dBase (and all the other tools that followed) applications eventually fell to IT. Or IT was asked to build a scalable version of these applications that often became business critical. Will PowerApps lead to applications chaos? Will we see apps mushroom the way SharePoint sites have? We'll see.

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Your Business Is Already A Multicloud Business

Paul Miller

For all sorts of reasons, CIOs increasingly find themselves trying to introduce (or impose, resurrect, or enforce) governance, compliance, audit and oversight across a dizzying array of cloud solutions. Some may have been introduced by themselves or their predecessors, but most have entered the business by other means.

image of clouds in the desert

Multiple clouds, in the Nevada desert (Source: Paul Miller)

Perhaps they've been procured, properly, by departments from Sales and Marketing to Logistics and Customer Support. Or perhaps it's a lone developer or a small team, with a company credit card and a problem to solve.

However it happened, your business is already a multicloud business, and the CIO is — increasingly — expected to answer for inefficiencies, regulatory lapses, poor financial controls, and more, wherever they crop up in a sprawling and confused IT estate.

The easy solution might be, at first glance, to assert control. To select a single provider, and to enforce that selection. To prowl the corridors of the business, plucking public cloud credentials and SaaS admin accounts from the unwilling fingers of employees. 

But the braver CIO is the CIO who embraces their multicloud reality, who works to understand how and why committed and engaged employees felt it necessary to seek out their own solutions, and who learns lessons from the failures of the recent past.

And it's this CIO who is the champion of my latest report, published today: A Clear Multicloud Strategy Delivers Business Value.

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Mobile Becomes A Key Success Imperative For CIOs

Dan Bieler

Forrester survey data highlights the urgency for the CIO to complete the mobile mind shift. In the age of the customer, great mobile solutions are the basis for catering to clients, empowering employees, and optimizing supplier and partner relationships. Yet, the mobile mind shift has its roots in the consumer environment. Most of us have gone “mobile native” over the last few years, having grown accustomed to using apps on our smartphones and tablets at home. This has changed the way we think, look for information, communicate with others, and conduct transactions.

Mobile is now a vital part of the CIO’s business technology agenda to help enhance customer experience, employee productivity, and new revenue channels. Every CIO will need to provide his organization with mobile solutions that support these business requirements. The lack of a comprehensive mobile approach with dedicated interdisciplinary teams for mobile and digital initiatives will translate into lower revenues and many business failures in the years ahead. The most visionary and forward-looking CIOs, meanwhile, are using mobile to build the steppingstones for their digital transformation:

  • Businesses that are most mature in mobile also have the fastest revenue growth rates. Forrester survey data highlights that the most “mobile-mature” organizations also have higher revenue growth rates than the mobile laggards. Mobility is thus an important revenue driver.
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Telstra Shows Promise For European CIOs As A Network Solutions Provider In Asia

Dan Bieler

At a recent event in Sydney, Telstra, Australia’s incumbent network solutions provider, provided new insights into its strategic activities under its new CEO Andrew Penn. Overall, Telstra’s strategy remains in line with that communicated last year; we suggested then that for European CIOs and technology managers, Telstra represents an attractive network solutions provider for their organizations’ activities in Asia. But Telstra has evolved since then. Discussions with Telstra executives have provided us with new information and have led us to several new observations:

  • Telstra’s digital strategy is beginning to take shape but remains fragmented. Like many other telcos, Telstra has created a digital division to develop digital retail offerings for SMBs and consumers. In its current shape, this approach carries some risks, as Telstra’s Global Enterprise Services and Software divisions are also pursuing separate digital activities. As a result, duplicate and potentially contradictory digital offerings could emerge. Although Telstra claims that it is coordinating these activities, the current set-up underlines the fact that Telstra doesn’t yet have a digitized strategy; it is instead pursuing several digital strategies. This could cause confusion for customers, inefficiencies for Telstra, and flawed end-to-end customer journey mapping, thus undermining the value that Telstra can deliver to CIOs as a business enabler.
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