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.
It has been an interesting year – who would have thought that the federal government would have done such a thing – provided a Federal IT Dashboard of allocation of federal IT dollars to investments for all of us out there in citizen-land to read? Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, announced it and the keyword of the effort that made the headlines is "radical transparency." It’s very clever in its design and visuals – "mashup ready." It would be especially appealing if the shell of the software would be made available to anyone who wants it – since some real (taxpayer) money went into this project.
Adapting marketing messages to specific audiences is a topic I’ve written on here and in a few of my Forrester reports. Getting the messages right requires an understanding of the drivers and motivations of buyers. And, going into new geographical markets means that you’ll need local knowledge; you can’t assume that you know what will resonate in a particular market. Recently I came across an example that illustrates the point in The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund.
This achievement wasn't unexpected -- in August, 2007, we predictedthat Acer would become a formidable industry titan: "Acer's announcement that it will acquire Gateway is a clever plan, as Acer simultaneously improves its brand recognition, channel reach, and opportunity for gains in margin. Like IBM Deep Blue, Acer strategists calculated several moves ahead in the global PC chess game. If the execution is solid, this deal will create a powerful third-place PC competitor that will challenge HP and Dell by 2009, and it portends the rise of non-Japanese Asian PC superpowers."
Acer has proven shrewd in product strategy over the past few years. (Indeed, we declared that "even war strategist Sun-Tzu" couldn't have done better!). Acer's work with Ferarri was a masterstroke in branding (from an unexpected company, at the time). Acer's excellence in netbooks has ridden the wave of the market at the right time. More fundamentally, Acer's cost structure benefits from its proximity to Asian-based factories and original design manufacturers (ODMs). Dell, once the king of cost structure, isn't in as privileged a position. And Acer's access to retail channel (including Gateway's) and experience in SKU management in retail is currently superior to Dell's. (Dell re-entered retail after a long hiatus).
I love going to our Services & Sourcing Forum. As always, our event in Chicago was a great experience. In many ways it’s the highlight of my year as Research Director of the Sourcing & Vendor Management team. The forum takes almost a full year to pull together: picking topics, finding speakers, preparing content…all in the hopes we can help our clients learn something that will help them do their jobs better.
And in return for all that work, the SVM team always learns something too. The attendees, generally senior sourcing execs from big companies, are so willing to share their experiences with us and with each other that I always leave the forum feeling productive and smart and humble. Smart because I leave knowing we provided great content but humble because I always realize at the forum how much I still don’t know (or know well enough).
What did I learn this year? Here are some key nuggets (in no particular order or pattern):
This blog post is a response to an article by Alex Williams on ReadWriteWeb. Thanks for the shout out, Alex, and for bringing more attention to the contentious issue of cloud computing definitions. While Forrester research reports are created exclusively for our clients, our definition is freely available:
A standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via Internet technologies in a pay-per-use, self-service way.
Last week, Forrester’s CIO Group held its North American Fall Member Meeting in Chicago. In addition to enjoying some Chicago-style deep dish pizza and dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago, approximately 70 members gathered from across the globe to discuss top-of-mind issues. Sessions included presentations from Forrester analysts, case studies presented by members, and a workshop on IT strategic planning.
Forrester's Consumer Forum Theater Presentations highlight Forrester’s extensive data capabilities. Data is critical to the Consumer Product Strategy teams, and we work closely with our colleagues on the data team to produce our research. Forrester analysts will share highlights from our global benchmark survey data, as well as our forecast data, examining technology-driven trends in consumer behavior. These demonstrations will be hosted in the International Ballroom at The Fairmont Chicago.
You should check out Forrester analyst Lisa Bradner's post todayover at our Marketing Leadership Blog. Her concept of adaptive brand marketing helps companies re-think their approach to brand management in a world where brand messages are no longer a one-way push, but in fact are shaped by consumers as they interact with and react to brands.
CPS pros should take away the point that marketers and consumer product teams (which might have marketers of their own, or not) need to coordinate their efforts in lockstep to make sure the brand and the organization are prepared for instant feedback from consumers. Because, right now, most organizations are ill-equipped to handle this new world of "always-on" marketing.