I get many requests from Forrester clients to describe job requirements for a head of BI team, department, solutions center, etc. While Forrester does not have a formal description of such requirements, if I map such requirements to all BI best practices that I write about, here’s what I come up with:
Champion and rally the organization around BI. Educate senior non-IT executives on the value of BI: without measurement, there’s no management. Be able to argue that business, not IT, should own BI.
Build and support BI business cases (BI ROI)
Understand Key Performance Measures and Indicators that drive company measurement, reporting and analytics across functions like
Compliance and Risk Management
Understand how these metrics and measures align and track against overall business strategies, goals and objectives.
Be proficient in all aspects of BI and Information Management processes, technologies and architectures such as
BI delivery mechanisms: portals, thin/thick clients, email/mobile phone alerts, etc
Followers of my posts on this blog have seen a consistent theme: what does the influx of young workers mean for the present and future business world? Yesterday afternoon my colleagues Clarie Schooley and Heidi Shey joined me in hosting 82 Forrester clients for an open and frank discussion on this topic. The conversation, which included participants across the age spectrum, was spirited and landed on a few broad concepts:
When you spend time taking a sober look at a market's maturity - like we did with our recently published BPM Tech Radar report - some technologies make you yawn, but then other technologies give you goose bumps. The primary purpose of the BPM Tech Radar was to map the maturity of the 15 most critical technologies that make up the BPM landscape. This included tried and true technologies such as workflow, process modeling, document imaging, and business rules; in addition to bleeding and leading edge technologies such as process data management and process mashups.
Amazon's announcement on August 26th of its Eclipse toolkit added another Eclipse-cloud option for Java developers. Here is a table comparing these four: Amazon AWS Eclipse Toolkit, Google Plug-In for Eclipse, Stax Platform for Amazon EC2, and the planned next major release of SpringSource Cloud Foundry. (Cloud Foundry today provides a Web interface, but will embrace Eclipse.)
Employees are people, too.They just don't look like you. At least most of them don't. To understand what your workforce needs from technology and from you, you have to walk a mile in their shoes.
That's hard to do -- not to mention darn uncomfortable at times! But it is possible to get to know your workforce by grouping them by who they are and what they need from you. There are three techniques that consumer market researchers have developed over the last 40 years to do just that:
Surveys to analyze and segment the workforce. This is step one and something that we'll drill into more detail on over the next few blog posts. Asking good questions, making sure everybody's represented, doing analysis that helps you answer your key questions, this is where the best analysis begins. You'll come up with segments like "technology enthusiasts" and "road warriors."
Focus groups to bring the segments to life. Once the segments are identified, you can invite 5 or 6 people to come in and talk about what they do and what they need from technology. This gives you the "why" and the "how" to go along with the "what" that the survey and segmentation provide. With focus groups, a road warrior starts to look like a real person.
Attention enterprises —Pop Quiz: If your favorite hosting provider launches a cloud service that supports VMware vSphere and is part of the VMware vCloud initative, are they providing you with the rich vCloud functionality VMware is touting at VMworld this week?
I just finished a Webinar on Medical Information Management sponsored by Kofax, a process automation firm whose core expertise is paper capture and elimination. It is available on their site www.kofax.com. We are entering an interesting period here, and may experience a tech bubble in medical or at least a somewhat less desperate Y2K experience. Clearly there is energy and investment around medical information management that increases each month, and that has not been seen in a quite a while. Concepts like “results-based medicine” that will open up a new market for analytics in medicine — see my colleague Boris Evelson’s open letter for Information Week.
Xen.org, the open source community behind the leading IaaS cloud computing hypervisor finally made a bold move today by stepping up to the plate of delivering a complete open source virtual infrastructure for cloud platforms. Prior to this release, Xen.org had been content to manage and maintain the core Xen hypervisor and let its partners all build solutions around it. The problem with this approach was that while the hypervisor itself was compatible between these solutions the infrastructure and how you managed it were not.
Here’s a funny finding: The youngest members of the workforce aren’t the drivers of social technology use in business. How can this be? Haven’t we been told that the generation that made MySpace and Facebook popular would be the one that dragged stodgy, old companies kicking and screaming into a 21st century where corporate hierarchy is flattened through Web 2.0? Don’t companies need to adopt wikis and blogs in order to recruit and retain Gen Yers? Well, the early returns say the answer is, “no.”