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.
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.
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:
Corporate sustainability is here to stay; green IT is not a fad or a fashion.
Energy efficiency is important for all IT assets, not just the data center.
Enterprises implementing green IT need process change and consulting support, not just new hardware and software.
Vendors must market their green solutions with a holistic vision and a tactical implementation path.
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.
Be clear about the cost-benefit arithmetic. Help customers build their business case with ROI numbers that are clear, simple, and complete.
acquisition of DataSynapse for a reported $28 million gives the company a development team
and mature products with which to expand its financial-services revenue and
flesh out its TIBCO Silver cloud computing
platform. The acquisition means two things to application development
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.
VMware, usually known for virtualization software, has come out of left field with a shrewd move purchasing app dev. company SpringSource, which is likely to be paired up with part of their VCloud and VSphere offerings as part of their ongoing construction of a new kind of operating system. A move like this suggests VMware is hoping to increase visibility and earn additional OS-relevance.
Hear more about VMware's new acquisition in the podcast featuring myself and fellow Forrester Analysts Mike Gualtieri and Jeffrey Hammond — download at the link below.
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?
A 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.