Gen Y’s Effect On Business Social Technology Isn’t As Big As Some Have Said

TJ Keitt

Here’s a funny finding: The youngest members of the workforce aren’t the drivers of social technology use in business. How can this be? Haven’t we been told that the generation that made MySpace and Facebook popular would be the one that dragged stodgy, old companies kicking and screaming into a 21st century where corporate hierarchy is flattened through Web 2.0? Don’t companies need to adopt wikis and blogs in order to recruit and retain Gen Yers? Well, the early returns say the answer is, “no.”

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The Millennials, The Next Power Generation in the Workforce

Claire Schooley

Claire, in her podcast, discusses the rise of the millenial in  the workforce - and strategies for most effectively using their skills.

http://a964.g.akamaitech.net/f/964/714/1h/www.forrester.com/role_based/images/author/imported/forresterDotCom/Podcasts/BPA/ClaireSchooley_Millenials.mp3

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How Tech Vendors Should Approach Green IT

Chris Mines

Christopher Mines [Posted by Christopher Mines]

My colleague Doug Washburn and I did a Forrester Webinar yesterday for tech vendor clients & prospects. We closed with 6 takeaways for tech vendors seeking to capitalize on the mega-trend of sustainability adoption by their corporate customers:

  1. Corporate sustainability is here to stay; green IT is not a fad or a fashion.
  2. Energy efficiency is important for all IT assets, not just the data center.

  3. Enterprises implementing green IT need process change and consulting support, not just new hardware and software.

  4. Vendors must market their green solutions with a holistic vision and a tactical implementation path.
  5. Green IT has many customer stakeholders, each with a different view of its priority and benefits. VEndors must be multi-lingual in developing conversations with these stakeholders.

  6. Be clear about the cost-benefit arithmetic. Help customers build their business case with ROI numbers that are clear, simple, and complete.

Survey Your Workforce To Understand Their Technology Needs

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

Go to a baseball game and look around. Do the fans all look like you? Do they want what you want or think how you think or feel the way you feel about stuff? Nope. Baseball fans are diverse, unique, different, special. They have only one thing in common: They like baseball.

It's the same at work. Your workforce is just as diverse, unique, different, special. They have only one thing in common: They work for the same organization.

It's a simple but profound observation: Most people aren't like you. You can't apply your own thinking or feeling to them. For example, they don't necessarily like technology. They might avoid technology because it scares or mystifies them. They could stick with what they know until someone forces them to switch.

Need proof? Half of all information workers are pessimistic about technology. Only 1 in 4 uses instant messaging. 62% aren't fully satisfied with their word processor.

On the other hand, the other half of information workers are optimistic about technology. And some employees are wildly enthusiastic about technology. They bring their own smartphones to work -- and use them to work from every location. They use social network sites for work. They spends hours each day in love with their work devices and tools.

But which employees are enthusiastic and which are reluctant users of technology? After all, they aren't all in one job function or business group. The list of questions goes on:

  • How can you be sure your software licenses aren't money wasted?

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Cutting IT spend is in vogue in Asia Pacific - even for those companies getting an increased IT budget!

Tim Sheedy

I recently completed a report comparing the movements and trends in IT budgets across different countries across the Asia Pacific region. The general finding of the report was that although IT budgets are down on average, there is a chasm appearing between the "haves and have nots" for IT spend. In summary, while the average decrease in IT budget decrease is around 5%, of those companies getting an increased IT budget, their spend increased by between 15-20% on average, and for those receiving an IT budget cut, the decrease was often around 20%. The decisive factor on the direction of the IT budget was often the level of exposure to the global financial crisis. Those with a high level have seen the highest budget cuts, those with low levels of exposure (or those profiting from the crisis) are seeing increases or flat IT budgets.

But as is often the case with statistics, they do not tell the entire story. What is becoming clear is that even those companies with increased IT budgets are looking to decrease their IT spend in as many areas as possible. Much of the interest in the region in cloud computing has actually come from the public sector - one of the sectors that has been relatively sheltered from the slowdown in IT spend. Virtualisation is on the agenda for nearly all companies, as they look to make better use of the hardware that they already have.

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IT To BT Transition: Threats And Opportunities For CIOs

George Lawrie

Forrester has published extensive research about the transition from IT to BT, but two recent announcements demonstrate the threats and opportunities for CIOs:

As IT becomes the sole means of standardizing and executing functions as diverse as logistics and customer service, CIOs should keep in mind that:

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What Does Gen Y In The Workforce Really Mean?

TJ Keitt

Recently, I was on a call where a senior executive wondered whether or not kids entering the workforce in the next 5 years can write complete sentences now that everyone texts. For me, this is another example in an old story: fear (and some loathing) of Gen Y’s entrance into the workplace.  And frankly, as a 20-something, I think a lot of it is unfounded.

At no time is this fear more clear than when the conversation turns to approaches and technologies related to collaboration and Web 2.0 – areas that I cover for vendor strategy professionals. At this point I think I’ve heard it all. “Gen Y is bringing in unsecure consumer technology!” “We have to adopt wikis and social networks to recruit college graduates!” “Email is dead because the kids don’t use it!” Being a good sport about this, I’ve tried to shrug it off as the typical complaining one generation does about its kids. But the longer I cover this space, the more I believe this isn’t going away for two reasons:

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Q&A: Business Technology Maturity Assessment

Bobby Cameron

by Bobby Cameron

Bobby-Cameron On Tuesday of this week I hosted a webinar - "Assessing And Developing Your IT's Leadership Practices Today And Into The Business Technology Era." As promised, below are the answers to questions about business technology (BT) maturity assessment that we weren’t able to cover. If these still leave issues unaddressed, please ask follow-up questions — either by leaving a comment or setting up an inquiry.

Question: The output of the maturity assessment would be transformation plans. A hot spot we are finding is making sure all transformation plans move in the same direction. Any best practices to ensure everyone pulls in the same direction?

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It's time for IT departments in Asia Pacific to get Lean

Tim Sheedy

I just read on Twitter that apparently it is too late to get Lean or Agile. I do question why the two have been bundled together (one is a development methodology, one is a management principle), but either way, I disagree with this statement - at least part of it. Moving to an agile development process is not a decision that should be taken lightly - it involves significantly re-engineering many processes, including much of the program and project management - and this is not a trivial issue! So the statement around Agile I agree with!

However, getting Lean should be on the agenda for all CIOs - in fact, I would argue that Lean is more important now than it has ever been due to the current changing needs of customers. Lean management principles are fundamentally about focusing on delivering the best outcome for the customer with minimum waste. And with major changes going on with the way people consume IT, focusing on the changing requirements for IT customers and delivering them efficiently is extremely important.

Lean typically uses many small changes to achieve this outcome. And it is this point which makes Lean particularly relevant for the current economic environment - you can remove waste (read: save money) through many small improvements - and as a general rule, small changes don't need serious change management capabilities."Lean thinking" should be at the core of all that we do in the IT department - and running some Kaizen blitzes to make small improvements and remove waste should be on the agenda.

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CIOs: Put Business Technology Leadership Maturity In Your 2010 Strategic Plan

Bobby Cameron

by Bobby Cameron

Bobby-Cameron Business Technology (BT) is the largest single technology-management transition you will face over the next 5-10 years, as BT redefines IT’s operating model in your firm. BT is pervasive technology use, increasingly managed outside of IT's direct control. How does BT show itself? Employees, customers, and partners are bringing Web 2.0 and social computing technologies into business processes; business leaders are directly contracting for online solutions and business process outsourcing; and users are configuring their own business solutions, using ERP applications from vendors like SAP or IT-provided platforms built from technologies like business process modeling (BPM). Whether the business user is aware of the technology angle or not, IT’s traditional project-based plan-build-run approach to technology management can’t keep up with BT’s user-driven technology adoption.

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