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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Driving Systems of Records to the Cloud, your focus for 2016!

Robert Stroud

Success in the Cloud is now a fact

You have all heard the success stories of Uber and Airbnb as they leverage technology to disrupt existing business norms in the taxi and hotel businesses. Digital business successes such as these are pressuring traditional enterprises to focus on differentiation in business models, customer intimacy and velocity as they look to not only preserve market share, but – more importantly – to grow it!  This is what Forrester calls the business technology (BT) agenda – technology investments that help your business win, serve, and retain customers.

Additionally, as an I&O professional you cannot ignore the investments, and success, with public cloud. For instance, public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services drive and deliver systems of innovation to create velocity both in new business ventures and traditional enterprises, especially in fueling mobility and web services.  The investments to date are supporting the ability of the Public Cloud to support and drive innovation. Additionally, these solutions now raise the possibility of the cloud’s suitability for the next phase, transition of systems of record.  This is one of the predictions in our Forrester “Predictions 2016: The Cloud Accelerates” which articulates 11 key developments for Cloud and what I&O professionals should do about them.

 

The “low hanging fruit” is gone – now it’s time to reach higher

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Deliver Business Value With Modern Metrics And Analytics

Diego Lo Giudice

Modern application delivery leaders realize that their primary goal is to deliver value to the business and its customers faster. Most of the modern successful change frameworks, like Agile (in its various instantiations), Lean, and Lean Startup, which inspire developers and development shops, put metrics and measurement at the center of improvement and feedback loops. The objective of controlling and governing projects to meet vaguely estimated efforts but precisely defined budgets as well as unrealistic deadlines is no longer on the agenda of leading BT organizations.

The new objective of BT organizations is to connect more linearly the work that app dev teams do and the results they produce to deliver business outcomes. In this context, application development and delivery (AD&D) leaders need a new set of metrics that help them monitor and improve the value they deliver, based on feedback from business partners and customers.

So what do these new metrics look like and what can you do with them? In the modern application delivery metrics playbook report “Build The Right Things Better And Faster With Modern Application Delivery Metrics,” I describe:

  • Preproduction metrics. Leading organizations capture preproduction data on activities and milestones through productivity metrics, but they place a growing emphasis on the predictability of the continuous delivery pipeline, quality, and value.
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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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HPE Transforms Infrastructure Management with Synergy Composable Infrastructure Announcement

Richard Fichera

Background

I’ve written and commented in the past about the inevitability of a new class of infrastructure called “composable”, i.e. integrated server, storage and network infrastructure that allowed its users to “compose”, that is to say configure, a physical server out of a collection of pooled server nodes, storage devices and shared network connections.[i]

The early exemplars of this class were pioneering efforts from Egenera and  blade systems from Cisco, HP, IBM and others, which allowed some level of abstraction (a necessary precursor to composablity) of server UIDs including network addresses and storage bindings, and introduced the notion of templates for server configuration. More recently the Dell FX and the Cisco UCS M-Series servers introduced the notion of composing of servers from pools of resources within the bounds of a single chassis.[ii] While innovative, they were early efforts, and lacked a number of software and hardware features that were required for deployment against a wide spectrum of enterprise workloads.

What’s New?

This morning, HPE put a major marker down in the realm of composable infrastructure with the announcement of Synergy, its new composable infrastructure system. HPE Synergy represents a major step-function in capabilities for core enterprise infrastructure as it delivers cloud-like semantics to core physical infrastructure. Among its key capabilities:

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Will the answer to public cloud be Google?

Robert Stroud

 

Amazon Web Services is rapidly growing

Since I joined Forrester 2 months ago, we have seen multiple announcements from public cloud providers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) numbers are now available. As reported by The Motley Fool, “at the RE:Invent  conference a company representative disclosed “AWS is now on pace for a run rate of $7.3 billion -- up 81% year over year”. Current market leader AWS, followed by Microsoft Azure and IBM, have confirmed that cloud for many enterprises is not only an option; it is the default for new initiatives for many enterprises. A “cloud first” policy is now commonplace in many enterprises.

 

Public Cloud adoption is the norm

The adoption of public cloud for production workloads continues to grow. Plenty of evidence exists to support this trend, including Forrester’s Business Technographics® data. A poll of attendees on day 2 at the recent ISACA EuroCACS conference in Copenhagen identified that almost 36% of respondents are using public cloud for production workloads.

 

ISACA EuroCACS Polling Question

Are you using public cloud for production workload?

Respondents

%

Yes

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Daily Fantasy Sports Sites’ Emerging Identity Management & Verification Challenges

Merritt Maxim

Recent business and sports headlines in the US have been dominated by state and federal government efforts to assess whether daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, should be treated and regulated like gambling. The New York State Attorney General recently issued cease-and-desist letters against DraftKings and FanDuel to stop accepting bets in the state, stating that DFS operations are illegal gambling.  

Last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced a plan to allow DFS providers to operate in Massachusetts under certain provisions, such as:

·         Prohibiting anyone under 21 participating in DFS.

·         Prohibiting professional athletes and other employees of pro teams from participating in DFS.

·         Prohibiting employees of DFS providers from participating in games

·         Requiring DFS providers to identify ‘‘highly experienced’’ players on all contest platforms and offer ‘‘beginner’’ games that would be off limits to the more experienced players.

These provisions present a range of identity management and identity verification challenges and questions, such as:

·         How will sites verify the ages of online participants?

·         How will systems detect DFS employees?

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Knowledge Management Delivers Real Results For Customer Service

Kate Leggett

Why the continued focus on knowledge management? It’s because customers increasingly leverage web self-service as a first point of contact with a company. In 2014, web self-service was the most commonly used communication channel for customer service, exceeding phone use.  And good web self-service relies on a solid foundation on knowledge management. Companies are also investing  in knowledge management solutions to add order and easy access to content for customer service agents.

Knowledge delivered to the customer or the customer-facing employee at the right time in the customer engagement process is critical to a successful interaction. When done correctly, knowledge delivers real, quantifiable results like:

Reducing customer service costs: For example,  Dignity Health, a California medical group  relies on a knowledge base to help them maintain a 73% call resolution rate and has resulted in a $580,000 annual savings. 

Increasing customer satisfaction: For example, Zuora, a US-based subscription billing provider, uses web self-service to deliver knowledge relevant to the stage in the customer journey — including sales and onboarding — to drive product adoption and decrease churn. Zuora structures knowledge to encourage customers to learn how to use the product, instead of simply providing a fix. Increased customer engagement moved Zuora's NPS by 20 points, increased site traffic by nearly 100% year-over-year, with 55% of traffic driven by their self-service site.

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CA Technologies Dials Up Its Efforts In The “Better Software, Faster” Game

Diego Lo Giudice

I am just back from the CA World 2015 in Las Vegas, where everything was cool: from the weather, with unexpected but welcomed temperatures in the low 50s; to the event theme, with a strong focus on Agile, DevOps, APIs, and security; to Fall Out Boys and Sheryl Crow’s concerts. 

As digital pervades all industries, and software becomes the brand, CA Technologies, which has traditionally had a stronger focus in the IT operations or “Ops” world, is making huge efforts to conquer the hearts and minds of the developers of large-scale development shops, or the “Dev”world. No doubt CA has been building a stronger DevOps in the last few years. Its goal is to partner in a larger industry ecosystem and be better positioned to serve the many organizations that are struggling to scale Agile and consistently build better applications faster. To make a stronger play in the Agile and Dev side of DevOps, CA made two brilliant acquisitions in 2015 which CEO Mike Gregoire highlighted in opening session of CA World: Rally Software, a leader in Agile project management at Scale, and Grid-Tools, a leader in Agile test data management and test optimization and automation.

With its revamped Dev strategy, CA aims to enter the Olympus of those large software and enterprise companies that have moved thousands of internal developers, testers, operations pros, and even managers to Agile and DevOps. With this transformation, CA will position itself to better serve current and future clients’ new needs to develop more software at speed. While CA started this transition much later than its competitors like IBM, Microsoft, HP, and other large software players (and even traditional end user enterprises), we recognize it’s still in time!

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What’s New With I&O: November 2015

Eveline Oehrlich

This season, our research challenges you to push your understanding of the I&O role outside of the traditional responsibilities. We examined opportunities for cross-team collaboration, adopting knowledge from distinctive sources, and areas that require a fresh outlook.

 

Good I&O practices don’t just mean back-room productivity – your employees need to be satisfied with what you do in order to be deemed successful. However, if you’re not meeting their basic needs for effectiveness, ease, and pleasant interaction, chances are they’ll turn to self-service rather than to you. Elinor Klavens offers up five strategies in her “Five Key Initiatives To Wow Your Workforce With Your Service Desk” report that will help you craft a service desk that is both effective for your employees and fosters your good reputation.

 

Have you ever thought of expanding your DevOps practices to include your security team? If not, you’re long overdue for doing so. DevOps can only improve and deliver so much without getting input from security professionals. If you want to include effective and necessary security practices and fend off known problems, you won’t be able to do it alone. Enter Rugged DevOps. Amy DeMartine describes what rugged DevOps is and what the main principles are so that I&O pros can work cohesively with security professionals to achieve faster releases with stronger application security in her report, “The Seven Habits Of Rugged DevOps.”

 

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