Forrester Blogs For Business Technology Professionals
This is a roll-up of all Forrester blogs written for Business Technology Professionals. Role-specific blogs are listed below. Visit Forrester.com to learn how we make Business Technology Professionals successful every day.
Most people know Intel as a provider of microprocessor for large manufacturers like Apple, Dell and HP. A large portion of their business is driven by the elaborate network of customers - resellers, partners, etc.. from around the globe. To remain innovative Intel must enroll, engage, and entertain the most brilliant minds to continue to push the boundaries of technology. They realized the ability to collect and harness the power of that collective wisdom would be best served by social media.
The Old Way Of Doing Business. In the past they had used traditional focus groups, where engineers, scientists and business people would gather from around the globe and spend a week or so together, creating new possibilities. What they found was that ,in addition to the expense of flying people from all over the globe, while the conversations were great -- they were more difficult to keep ongoing conversations as the same level of creativity and intensity. Once back at home, the everyday work/home life catches up with everyone. And they clearly saw the need and desire of the collective wisdom to be in more continuous conversations.
Intel decided to use social media as a platform to look at key business factors and sustain these conversations on a continuing basis. Intel engaged key customers in open discussion about how to improve their customer experience. First they found a need for customer's to be able to contact Intel quickly and securely to discuss product or process issues or ideas. And second, Intel found that the customers wanted the ability to engage with each other without involvement from Intel. Of course, privacy and security were of the utmost importance!
Intel began by evaluating the customer experiences, its methods of being in communication with its customers and its ability to target and engage customers and maximize effective, relevant, just-in-time communications.
Cloud computing, on-demand solutions, subscription fees… software licensing is undergoing significant changes. Enforced by the current economic crises with tight IT budgets, companies don’t have the money to pay upfront licenses and are reluctant to take financial risks over many years when purchasing software. A key factor of the current growth of cloud computing is its financial benefits: no capital expenditures, no upfront financial risk, no depreciation and nothing on the balance sheet! But pay-by-use licensing models are not necessarily limited to cloud deployment models and can be applied to more traditional implementations as well.
Traditional software licensing with upfront payments has served vendors well over the last 40 years. However, over time vendors had to face significant disadvantages as well. The pressure to successfully close quarter by quarter and the fiscal year has led to a common practice by customers to push decisions until year end for a special deal. Discounts up to 80% became not uncommon in the software business. Another problem is the revenue volatility in difficult economic times. In 2009 many software companies had to face a decline in new license revenues of 10 to 25%. Without the constant stream of maintenance revenues many software companies would be facing severe financial problems today.
This caught my eye recently in a CIO-focused publication. Titled “Ten Ways To Re-energize Your IT Workforce”, it is advice from a workforce motivation expert: “Jon Gordon, a consultant for the NFL and numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, and the author of ‘The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change.’ He offers ten recommendations for reenergizing and engaging employees in the face of economic turmoil.”
Even with year 2009's challenging economic environment, learning has not taken the drastic hit some pundits feared. In fact, in the past year I have heard more executives talk about the importance of keeping employees well-skilled and knowledgeable than ever before. Knowledgeable employees equate to greater business success. I've also seen CLOs and VPs for HR and Learning focus on making sure that learning experiences are in line with company's short and long term goals.
That call may surprise you. You might have put storage or Gigabit ethernet or the Internet itself at the top of the list. But when I think about what's different in the life of your average information worker as the decade comes to a close, it's the instant-on access to just about everything that the adoption of consumer broadband has fueled.
From our Consumer Technographics(r) survey of over 50,000 consumers every year for the last 12 years, between 2000 and 2009, consumer broadband soared from 2% to 63% of US households. For context, home PC adoption grew from 51% to 77%.
But why is consumer broadband the workforce technology of the decade? Three main reasons:
1. Telecommuting has become a way of life for xx million information workers. We have been watching -- and forecasting -- the growth of telecommuting. The impact is immediate and obvious: more hours to work; more location flexibility in hiring and retaining; and more work-life control. Telecommuting in the US is dependent on cheap broadband to the home. Telecommuters will rise to include 43% of the US information workforce by 2016.
2. Broadband-enabled markets have triggered massive IT innovation. Google; Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and LinkedIn; WebEx, ZoHo, and Smartsheets.com; Amazon EC2, Google App Engine; and Windows Azure; open source and Web 2.0. All of these and thousands of other technologies and companies are built on the back of broadband to the home. The network innovation over the last 10 years makes the Internet 1.0 era look like a pre-season warmup game.
2010 is going to be an interesting year with economic concerns impacting the security business. I suspect that businesses will need to regroup and think about their security spend again next year. Companies will probably remain gun-shy and hold budgets close to their vests. This could set up a shootout between increasing security threats and the desire to continue to control costs. Who will win? Your thoughts?
Happy Holidays y'all and here's wishing you a Secure New Year!
We often hear about how important enterprise mobility is to businesses. For years ICT events companies have been holding events about "enterprise mobility" and "the future of wireless" etc - and they have filled halls with attendees and sponsors/exhibitors.
But really - is mobility really that important to businesses? Weren't the people with "mobile" in their title the first to go when the global financial crisis hit? And point me to more than a handful of businesses whose business relies on their mobility capabilities.
Almost every day I hear people suggest that social media is at best only valuable as a marketing tool. There are people who believe that social media has no reach beyond a few "geeks" sitting at their computers all day. What these naysayers focus on is the technology and not the people connections. I believe it is the people connections that drive social media and it is the value of these connections that will continue to change the way we work and communicate.
With your help, I'm looking to measure the potential social media to connect people worldwide, even those senior executives and naysayers who are not already using social media. Here's how:
Three Simple Steps
We've built a very short survey on social media's value in business – nothing new here – but here's the twist: We're using social media as the vehicle, and social media evangelists (you) as the fuel, to get the survey into the hands of as many people as possible who are not yet using social media.
Here are three easy and quick steps to becoming a social media evangelist for this research:
In September this year (2009) I was invited to New York City by IBM to preview their soon to be released CIO study. Very soon after my return home I wrote up an insightful, relevant, and actionable blog post on what I learned at the event. Of course you are going to have to take my word on this, as for some reason I can't find it... It has disappeared into the ether (perhaps I didn't hit the "Save" button at the bottom of the page?). So, despite that fact that the study was released three months ago, I am going to redo my analysis of the study - although now that some local (Australian & Indian - sorry rest of Asia Pacific!) results have been released there is some more relevant information available.