Software Sales Proposal - Burn After Reading?

Duncan Jones

Software vendors like to claim that their sales proposals are highly confidential, For Your Eyes Only or even, if you prefer the Coen brothers to Bond, Burn After Reading. I help dozens of clients every year with software negotiations, but I cant do that unless they share with me the vendor’s proposal, including price details and contract terms. Many clients are reluctant to do this, worried that doing this might break confidentiality clauses in their agreement.

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Regulation won't drive Green IT adoption

Chris Mines

Were your hopes for growing adoption of green IT dashed by the non-agreement at COP 15 in Copenhagen? Are you dismayed by the weak prospects for cap-and-trade legislation in the US during 2010? Forrester's latest Green IT survey results give us some reason for optimism -- it turns out that regulatory compliance is a weak motivation for companies' pursuit of more sustainable computing operations.

When we asked IT practitioners at 600 enterprises around the world about their top motivations for pursuing green IT operations, regulatory compliance was the 7th-most frequently cited reason, with just 16% of respondents. What's at the top? Cost and cost. Reducing energy expenses (66%) and reducing other IT operating expenses (42%) have been the strongest drivers for green IT since we began our survey work on this topic in 2007. See the full survey results in our latest Green IT Market Overview report, here.

So fear not, even in the absence of significant regulatory or policy moves this year, good old-fashioned business motivators like profitability and customer demand will continue to push companies to adopt more sustainable processes and practices -- in their IT organization and beyond.

Announcing Forrester's Next Book, "Empowered"

Ted Schadler

[Updated 7-27-2010: We've finished the book, picked the final name, and said a lot about in other places (like here and here).]

Josh Bernoff and I have begun work on Forrester's next book to be published by Harvard Business Press on September 14th in the Fall:

Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, Transform Your Business

Groundswell Heroes: Harnessing The Power Shift In Your Workplace And Marketplace


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Challenges For Process Professionals Leading Process Initiatives In 2010

Clay Richardson

In this podcast, Clay Richardson walks through five key challenges that process professionals need to address to be successful with business process management in 2010. Topics include lean principles and lean thinking, effectively connecting process initiatives with value drivers, the importance of data, and process-based management.


Thoughts on EMC’s acquisition of Archer

Chris McClean

What a good way to kick off what should be another exciting year in GRC. Just less than a year ago, Archer Technologies brought consolidation to the IT GRC market with its acquisition of rival Brabeion. The vendor food chain continued today as EMC announced an agreement to acquire Archer into its RSA product division.

Details such as product integration and go-to-market strategy will trickle out slowly of course, but so far, this is a significant deal for a couple of reasons:

  • Archer fills a substantial void in EMC’s product offering, which included many elements of GRC, but no central platform to pull it all together.
  • EMC will introduce the Archer products to a much larger set of potential customers...most notably as a platform to manage security and compliance, but also to customers with requirements for related areas like vendor management or business continuity.
  • It brings another IT heavy-weight fully into the GRC space, with substantial engineering resources to work on product development (but only if Archer continues to be seen as a top priority within RSA).

As we watch this acquisition come together, as well as other upcoming announcements that will make the GRC space even more competitive, here are a few questions to consider:

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Case Study #5: How Intel Uses Social Media to Transform The Way They Do Business

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.

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What’s The Price Of Software Tomorrow?

Holger Kisker

Traditional Software Licensing Comes To An End 

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.

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Motivating Your IT Workforce – Is There Anything New Under The Sun?

Sharyn Leaver

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.”

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Key Learning Trends for 2010: Are You Onboard?

Claire Schooley

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.

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Consumer Broadband Is The Workforce Technology Of The Decade

Ted Schadler

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; 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.

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