Smart Computing Will Create Growth Opportunities -- and Challenges -- for IT Vendors

Andrew Bartels

Since 2004, I have been arguing in my research that the tech market would enter a new cycle of innovation and growth starting in 2008. This thesis was based on my review of the US tech market since the 1950s, which showed a pattern of eight-to-ten year cycles of strong growth in tech purchases, followed by eight years of modest growth. This pattern had repeated three times, first with the introduction of mainframe computers in the late 1950s and 1960s, then with the arrival of personal computers in the 1970s and 1980s, and then with ERP software, client-server systems, and the Internet in the period from 1992 to 2000. Based on this pattern, I predicted that the tech market (at least in the US) would grow at about the same rate as the overall economy from 2004 to 2007 as business "digested" that third wave of technology, then decline in 2007 or 2008 due to a recession in that period ("IT Spending Outlook: 2004 To 2008 And Beyond -- Waiting For The Next Big Thing": http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,35063,00.html; "Expect A Tech Slowdown Before The Next Boom -- Forrester's Long-Term IT Spending Forecast For The US, 2005-2010": http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,37816,00.html). While not all aspects of these predictions have come true, overall I believe they were a generally accurate forecast of what happened in the tech market from 2004 to 2008.

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Harness The Power Of Workforce Personas

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler  by Ted Schadler

Do you truly understand your workforce and what they need from technology? Hint, it's a loaded question. You might think so, but you'd probably be wrong. They're not like you. Not at all.

We weren't sure, either, which is why we surveyed 2,001 US information workers -- people that use computers in their jobs to find out what technology they use and what they need to be successful in their jobs.

We discovered something that consumer market researchers have known for generations: Not everybody needs or wants the same stuff. So we drew on our decade of experience with quantitative analysis and created a segmentation that highlights the differences between employees based on their need for location flexibility (mobility) and their application use:

  • Location flexibility, a.k.a., mobility -- drives differences in the need for smartphones, wireless networks, collaboration tools, and telecommuting support.
  • Application use drives differences in social computing, consumerization of IT, and tolerance for virtual desktops.
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Q&A: Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know

Sharyn Leaver

On Tuesday of this week I hosted a webinar along with Ted Schadler and John Rymer — "Harnessing Key IT Trends — Three Tech Movements CIOs Should Know." As promised, below are the answers to attendee questions that we weren’t able to cover during the webinar.

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Disease, drug wars and data centers

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Just thinking about Mexico and the cards it was dealt getting blamed for swine flu. I was recently in Europe, and was surprised to hear friends refer to H1N1 as the “grippe mexicaine” or “Mexican flu”. There is even a dedicated website by the same name — grippemexicainehttp://www.lagrippemexicaine.com/. You don’t hear that in the US. We may demonize the swines but not our neighbors, the Mexicans. But, even the Mexican press attributes the outbreak to local pigs, hence the theory this particular flu had its origins in Mexico.  That theory or the flu itself is blamed in part for the severity of their economic downturn – along with the global financial crisis (and in particular its dependence on the US) and domestic drug wars.

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New Technology Trends Shift IT Skill Requirements

Marc Cecere

Are you implementing or considering technologies, such as Social Computing and Cloud-based platforms?  Is IT positioned to exploit these technologies?

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Do You Have A Handle On Game-Changing IT Trends?

Sharyn Leaver

Maybe it’s because it’s planning season. Maybe it’s because they’re just tired of focusing on cost-cutting and incremental improvements. Or maybe the IT to Business Technology (BT) shift – where the boundary between IT and the business is blurred as businesses become ever more technology dependent and technologically savvy – is becoming a reality and pushing CIOs to stay even further ahead of their business counterparts.

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In Search of Catalyzing Events

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bélissent [Posted by Jennifer Bélissent]

Certain events serve as wake-up calls. In the case of some, the anticipation of these events is enough to spark action or change behavior – maybe even spur technology investment. As technology marketers, we need to recognize the opportunity that these events provide. Obviously, we also need to be ready to exploit them.

Which events could be catalyzing events from a technology purchasing decision? It could be as simple as the approach of a new millennium: Y2K fears spurred major investment. New regulation is an easy one to identify: IT buyers scrambled to upgrade security and implement data archiving and discovery software after the passage of the EU Data Protection Act and subsequent country-level legislation, as was also the case following passage of HIPAA, SOX, Basel II and others. The events of 9/11 certainly spurred concerns about cyber and other types of security. More recently, following last week’s blackouts in Brazil, leaders issued new commitments to energy reform. Natural disaster, crime waves and other negative events also catalyze technology investments.

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Are IT departments in Asia Pacific still focused on IT process improvement?

Tim Sheedy

Recent research undertaken by Forrester across Asia Pacific has indicated that while there is clearly a strong drive to improve the efficiency of IT systems, this will not often be through the implementation of process improvement systems, such as ITIL or CMM.

 
Major IT Management Themes In Asia Pacific
Forrester BDS data
Source: Enterprise Global Technology Adoption Survey, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, And Africa, Q1 2009
 

 

So why has interest in these processes suddenly plummeted in Asia Pacific? While I have no strong evidence of the answer to the question, the many discussions I have had with IT leaders across the region leads me to believe that a number of factors have lead organizations to delay or put a stop to their ITIL process improvements and their broader ITSM initiatives. 

 

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Are IT Benchmarks Useful?

Marc Cecere

by Marc Cecere

Recently, Forrester surveyed a number of CIOs to collect benchmark data on staffing ratios and spending. This is a new initiative within Forrester and one that is not yet complete. We did this for three reasons:

 

  1. Benchmark questions (called inquiries at Forrester) on staffing have become relatively common. Examples are “Can you tell us the average share of IT Staff as a % of total staff by organization size” and “Would you have specific spending figures for IT infrastructure?”. 
  2. This kind of data in conjunction with other data and analysis can identify problem areas. 
  3. Staffing benchmark data along with spending and other data are objective measures of IT organizations. 

Though our initial sample size is small a preliminary view of the data shows that:

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The CIO And Social Media: Social Evangelist?

Nigel Fenwick

Following on from my last post - "The CIO And Social Media: Social Police?" – you might have guessed I’m a big proponent of Social Computing to drive organizational transformation and increase profits.

The thing is, I wonder how many CIOs see themselves as social evangelists.  You’re a CIO...

  • Are you on Twitter?
  • Do you have a full profile on LinkedIn?
  • How about Facebook?
  • Do you understand how your marketing organization is leveraging social media?
  • Do you have a role as social advocate in the organization?

I believe one important role of the CIO is to help peers in the business to better understand just how transformational social media can be to helping increase growth and/or drive productivity to improve the bottom line.

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