Should Application Portfolio Management Start With Business Process Assessments?

Phil Murphy

Murphy_p_small  I heard an interesting comment from an executive at one of the big services firms - that application portfolio management (APM) efforts must begin by mapping business processes for the applications. I really don't agree, but thought it would make an interesting topic to discuss here. Part of the argument stems from how services firms are routinely engaged - to take action against one application or a group of applications to transform, re-engineer business processes, reengineer, refactor or otherwise modernize an application. All are useful activities and techniques, but they are not portfolio management techniques - they are modernization techniques. Modernization and APM live together on a continuum of application activity that includes in order:

  • Modernization - the actions we can take against an existing application - monitor & maintain, modernize in some way, replace (rewrite/pkg) or retire.
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Case Study #3: InfusionSoft Uses Social Media to Reduce Customer Service Costs

Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D. By Dr. Natalie Petouhoff

I had the privilege to speak to the call center director, JoAnne at InfusionSoft.com when I first started my research on the affects of social media on customer service. I had asked some of the luminaries in social CRM, like Paul Greenberg, who I should talk to. He suggested I should speak to Helpstream. Bob Warfield, the CEO of Helpstream.com connected me to JoAnne.

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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.

With Data Synapse, TIBCO Looks to Both Present and Future

John R. Rymer

TIBCO's acquisition of DataSynapse for a reported $28 million gives the company a development team and mature products with which to flesh out its TIBCO Silver cloud-computing platform and expand its financial-services revenue. The acquisition means two things to application development organizations.

1. TIBCO will use Data Synapse's technology to support a variety of
existing enterprise applications on its Silver cloud middleware.
Silver, which is in beta test, today transposes new applications built
in Java, C++, and several other languages to internal and public cloud
infrastructure providers. DataSynapse's FabricServer software will
help customers adapt a variety of existing applications to cloud
infrastructure as well. These include Java applications based on IBM
WebSphere, Oracle WebLogic, and Red Hat JBoss, Microsoft .NET Framework
3.0, IIS, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, SAP Business Objects,
IBM Cognos, Informatica, and SAS Institute, and a variety of
vertical-industry specialists.This is a substantial expansion of TIBCO Silver's value to customers.

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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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Transparency: The next step in compliance

Craig Le Clair

Craig, in his podcast, advises listeners to prepare for the next  regulatory onslaught. One way to do this, he recommends, is by converging  BPM and BI.

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

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Why Are Many Developers Living In District 9?

Mike Gualtieri

District9A common diagnosis of many troubled app dev shops is that they don't understand the business well enough. The result is developers build applications that don't quite satisify the business needs, are hard to change, have poor user experiences, are not delivered on time, or any combination of the above. Despite all the silver bullets over the years such as formal methodologies, new roles, tools, and technologies, app dev shops remain largely afflicted. According to a survey I conducted last year, application developers concur that a common characteristic of great application developers is that they have a deep understanding of the business domain. Understanding the business does not mean you read the docs. It means you know the business in your bones.

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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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Developers Want Unrestricted Downloads

John R. Rymer

Mike Gualtieri and I had a surprising argument about developer downloads with several vendors as we compiled our Forrester Wave: Complex Event Processing (CEP) Platforms, Q3 2009. Developers consistently tell us they want unrestricted platform downloads -- no time bombs, no forced contacts with the vendor's sales staff, no limited-function versions. The vendors in question disputed our insistence on valuing download policies that had no such limits.

We thought in this era of open source, everyone understood this point about developer downloads. Downloads are a great way to encourage developers to learn your product's ins, outs, values, and issues. But developers learn at their own pace, not on your schedule. Developers need your whole product because they will follow a variety of paths to knowledge, not just the paths that make sense to you. And developers don't want to listen to a sales rep's pitch on the wonders of your software.

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Case Study #1: How ACT! by Sage Software Transformed the Customer Experience By Social Media

The First Case Study in the Series About How to Deploy Customer Service Social Media!

When I published the ROI of customer service social media, everyone had asked me - who is doing social media and what are they doing. To help those who haven't started down the social media path, I put together the 5 Best Practices of customer service social media. That doc is chocked full of ideas you can use today. And to provide more details on how companies have accomplished their goals for social media, I also decided to publish a bunch of case studies! ACT! is the first of many! I hope it helps you to get a better idea of how valuable social media is and its bottom-line affects!

Who is Sage and What Did They Want to Accomplish With Social Media?

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