RSA Conference 2015 – What We Hope And What We Expect To Hear

Chris McClean

Forrester’s Security and Risk team will have a lot of analysts out once again for this year’s RSA Conference. After all these years (12 for me!) we have to balance our excitement to see old friends and colleagues with our cynicism that says it will be a week of empty buzzwords just slightly updated from those we heard last year.

We expect this to be mostly a fashion show – or what my old friend and colleague Rachel used to call the security industry’s debutante ball. We will hear far too many definitions for words like threat intelligence, platform, and integration; and we won’t hear the phrases case study examples, customer trust, or customer value nearly often enough.

But rather than dwell on our skepticism, here are a few things we’re excited about going into next week:

  • The Innovation Sandbox is always a highlight. Most of our team will come by to see the finalists on Monday, and you should look for our upcoming blog posts, tweets, and a report or two examining some of the vendors that have competed in this annual contest.
  • The expo dress code will be a whole lot classier. I’m personally glad to see RSA’s leadership with the new vendor dress code guidelines this year. (And kudos to our former colleague Chenxi Wang for her role in this change.) Hopefully that means everyone’s more focused on the substance of vendor messaging.
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Oracle Aims To Put “The Customer” At The Core Of The Oracle CX Cloud

Kate Leggett
This is a guest post by Fraser Tibbetts, Researcher on the AD&D team covering sales force automation software.
Oracle’s first ever Modern CX Conference in Las Vegas last week, with roughly 3,000 attendees, focused on Oracle’s vision for the CX Cloud suite of products. Instead of the usual focus on technology, executives focused on products that recognize how the customer has more power than ever. This aligns with Forrester's age of the customer research. It is encouraging to hear that same message from Oracle’s CEO, Mark Hurd, and from the Oracle product team leads.
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Contact Center And Customer Service Metrics Must Support Broader Company KPIs

Ian Jacobs

OK, it is certainly a cliché and clearly suffers from an incomplete view of the world, but many contact center executives would still nod their heads in agreement with the statement, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Contact centers generate a huge volume of data, and everyone from agents on the floor to CEOs in their corner offices would benefit from being presented with actionable analytics based on that data. However, turning that data consistently into actionable knowledge that is useful to improving performance remains challenging. The key questions for contact center professionals around this data are: 

  • What do you measure?
  • How do you present the data from those measurements?
  • What do you do with those measurements?
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Brand Resilience: Risk Pros' Key Role In Protecting Company Reputation

Nick Hayes

Risk professionals aren’t prepared for the age of the customer. Empowered consumers and changing market dynamics are upending longstanding business models and lines of operation, but risk professionals largely stand pat, and continue to neglect risks related to their organizations’ most critical asset – company reputation. Yesterday we published a report on "Brand Resilience" that will hopefully help you change that legacy risk mentality.


Corporate Reputation Is Increasingly Valuable…  

Companies today rely on their reputation to generate greater portions of their revenue, attract new customers, and retain existing ones. This is why we see:

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Three Tips To Craft A Better Digital Vision

Nigel Fenwick
In the age of the customer, your company must exploit digital assets in order to deliver world-class customer experiences and compete effectively. But moving the business from its traditional roots toward digital mastery requires the executive team to paint a compelling digital business vision.
Based on my latest research published in March — How To Craft A Better Digital Vision — here are three suggestions to help your firm develop a compelling digital vision:
1. Illustrate what customers will value in the future. The way your customers derive value from your products and services today will not be the same in the future. Your business will need to use digital technology to create new sources of value. Instead of simply designing a physical product or service to be used by a customer to satisfy a need, your firm must reimagine your products and services as digital services enhanced by physical products and people. Customer perceptions of value will be shaped by the digital experiences you create to help them achieve their desires. Your digital vision must help employees understand this shift.
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The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Midsize Organizations, Q1 2015

Kate Leggett

The CRM market for enterprise organizations has consolidated in the last five years. Similarly, there's been a lot of movement with CRM vendors that target mid-sized organizations. Here are a couple of examples of note: Microsoft, acquired Marketing Pilot in 2012 to round out its marketing capabilities, and Parature in 2014 to fill in customer service gaps. Aptean was formed as  a new company in 2012 by merging CDC Software and Consona. Infor acquired SalesLogix from Swiftpage in 2014, which had acquired it from the Sage Group in 2013. SAP released a brand new product in 2012 – Cloud for Customer – aimed at the high end of the midmarket and the enterprise.

At the same time that all these market movements are happening, we are seeing  new point solution vendors pop up at an unprecedented rate and are delivering modern interfaces and mobile-first strategies that address specific business problems such as sales performance management, lead to revenue management, and digital customer experience.

So, with the breadth of CRM capabilities available from vendor solutions, how do you choose what CRM best suits your needs? In the Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Midsize Organizations, Q1 2015, we pinpoint the strengths of 10 leading vendors that offer solutions suitable for midsized teams. Here are some of our key findings:

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Is your modern delivery "Agile all the way through" ? Take our survey...

Diego Lo Giudice

Software delivery leaders are under tremendous pressure to deliver faster and better software. As digital is having a ripple effect, the scope of improving software delivery processes and practices is just becoming pervasive in all industries and in many enterprises.

Agile development has been around for well over 10 years, DevOps is picking up where Agile left [I see it differently, the DevOps push is just giving more momentum to "Agile all the way through" journeys and bringing more agility to the last mile of the delivery processes too], and many organizations are still in the middle of an Agile transformation journey. So it's a good time to do another industry health check on Agile and therefore run our bi-annual Forrester Agile adoption survey for 2015. 

Who should take the survey? Anyone who is currently on an Agile adoption journey, from beginners to advanced practicioners, from those going from small scale Agile adoption to large scale Agile adoption, who can share with us their company, division or team experience. More specifically

  • Software Product Vendors, System integrators and Consultants
  • End user companies in any vertical sector: automative, engineering, energy, finance, government, retail, media, etc.
  • Located in any geography (we are adding this new demographic data point this year)
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Modern Software Platforms Are In Hypergrowth

Michael Yamnitsky

As companies get serious about digital transformation, we see investments shifting toward extensible software platforms used to build and manage a differentiated customer experience. My colleague John McCarthy has an excellent slide describing what's happening:

Before, tech management spent most of its time and budget managing a set of monolithic enterprise applications and databases. With an addressable market of a finite number of networked PCs, spending on the front end was largely an afterthought.

Today, applications must scale to millions, if not billions of connected devices while retaining a rich and seamless user experience. Infrastructure, in turn, must flex to meet these new specs. Since complete overhauls of the back end are a nonstarter for large enterprises with 30-plus years of investments in mainframes and legacy server systems, new investments gear toward the intermediary software platforms that connect digital touchpoints with enterprise applications and transaction systems. 

At Forrester, we’ve been working to quantify some of the most viable software categories that exemplify this shift. A shortlist below:

·      API management solutions: US CAGR 2015-2020: 22%.

·      Public cloud platformsGlobal CAGR 2015-2020: 30%. (Note: We have a forecast update in the works that segments the market into subcategories.)

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Saying CX Is A Priority Is Easy. Following Through On It Is Tough.

Kyle McNabb

Any executive can say they place great priority on customer experience (CX). In fact, 74% of executives state their top 2015 priority is improving CX. And if you’re a Forrester client, you know - thanks to our ongoing research - that doing so will drive greater customer acquisition and loyalty.

But saying CX is a priority is easy, making it actionable speaks volumes. Frankly, if your firm isn’t taking action to relentlessly pursue CX improvement, to become customer obsessed, you’re making a mistake.

Those actions give CIOs and their teams an incredible opportunity. Technology empowers your customers, members, clients, and buyers today. And your business leaders need you to expand beyond using technology to support or transform internal operations - what we call the IT agenda. Today, business leaders need your help to compete for customer loyalty. Today, business leaders need you and your teams to help them apply technology, systems,and process to win, serve, and retain customers- the business technology (BT) agenda.

Executing on the BT agenda gives you and your team the opportunity to make the biggest, most visible contribution to your firm I can think of - top line growth. Keep three things in mind as you strive to take advantage of this opportunity:

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Myth Or Reality: The Chief Data Officer

Heidi Shey

S&R pros, is there a Chief Data Officer (CDO) in your organization? Do you work with them? Previously, John and I wrote about the CDO role and how we believe that CDOs will help to drive security policy in the future because they can 1) directly tie business value to data assets, 2) have a deep understanding of data identity and purpose, and 3) possess a great incentive to protect the company’s data (it’s a strategic business asset after all!). Colleagues like Gene have also written about the CDO and the importance of the CDO in data management.

The emergence of this role now brings about more questions than answers, and we’d like to provide more in-depth analysis and clarity around this topic. What is a CDO, and what do they do exactly? Is this a temporary role, or a critical C-level position that is here to stay? Why should we even care about this CDO role? These and other questions are ones that a team of analysts from Forrester are exploring in upcoming joint research, and we’d love to hear from you if you are a CDO, currently work with one, or don’t feel there is a need for a CDO because there are other roles in your organization are responsible for data strategy. Some of the key themes we are looking into include:

  • The responsibilities of the CDO role
  • Where CDOs reside in firms’ organizational structure
  • How CDOs help their firms win, retain, and serve their customers
  • Common benefits and challenges faced by CDOs
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