An early 2009 Forrester interview with the CIO of a retail firm produced a great quote: “Our business execs have two views of IT: a big budget blob or their BlackBerry.” Now, maybe those retail business execs think of IT as a strategic budget blob, but it’s more likely that’s a shop with alignment issues. If that CIO’s business execs don’t see technology as enabling anything more than mobile email, then they really don’t get the power of technology and they’re not going to see the value in the IT department.
But alignment issues are not limited to shops where business execs don’t see value in technology. The whole IT-to-BT transition is about how the business is enthusiastically embracing technology – they’re just not bothering to go through the IT department to find it, deploy it, or use it. Today’s alignment problem is more about the gap between the business’s valuation of technology’s potential and their valuation of the IT department’s ability to deliver on that potential.
Recently, I was on a call where a senior executive wondered whether or not kids entering the workforce in the next 5 years can write complete sentences now that everyone texts. For me, this is another example in an old story: fear (and some loathing) of Gen Y’s entrance into the workplace. And frankly, as a 20-something, I think a lot of it is unfounded.
At no time is this fear more clear than when the conversation turns to approaches and technologies related to collaboration and Web 2.0 – areas that I cover for vendor strategy professionals. At this point I think I’ve heard it all. “Gen Y is bringing in unsecure consumer technology!” “We have to adopt wikis and social networks to recruit college graduates!” “Email is dead because the kids don’t use it!” Being a good sport about this, I’ve tried to shrug it off as the typical complaining one generation does about its kids. But the longer I cover this space, the more I believe this isn’t going away for two reasons:
The founding Fathers of the United States understood all too well the importance of complex events when on July 4th, 1776 they wrote:
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to...etcetera, etcetera, and etcetera".
Similarly, many of today's business and IT leaders understand the importance of reacting to business events as they occur in real-time and how that can dramatically change the performance and agility of their business.
Event processing, often called "complex event processing" (CEP) is a hot new enterprise middleware category. CEP answers the question: "What is happening right now in our business"? Sometimes the answer is as simple as ordering more products when the inventory dips below safety stock, but often it involves recognizing patterns of business events that foretell critical business situations that require immediate action.
CEP platforms analyze streams of data as they flow from live sources such as transaction flows, click streams, market data feeds, and myriad other sources of data swirling around inside a business environment. The platforms then prompt either downstream applications or people to react to the information by resetting processing priorities, changing online sales strategies, buying and selling stocks, or performing some other action.
Bringing velocity and low price to data center construction is certainly a new concept and one that could have revolutionary implications. This area of design and construction has been very specialized, with each project being unique and the magnitude of a single order in the $50 million range. DRT, a REIT focused purely on the data center market, has made a name for itself by building and operating data centers for corporate clients.
The IT mega vendor acquires the predictive analytics specialist SPSS
On July 28th IBM announced the plan to acquire SPSS, a leading provider of predictive analytics solutions. The acquisition, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close later this year and will position IBM as a leading vendor of Business Intelligence in the market.
Is regulatory oversight more or less invasive than oral surgery? Sure, both are necessary sometimes. But however you feel about the current level of corporate scrutiny, it’s clearly increasing, and that means the jobs of corporate governance, risk management, and compliance professionals are going to get even tougher.
The last month has seen some dramatic news related to corporate disclosure, most notably a bill approved by the House Financial Services committee that would require public companies to explain executive and employee compensation packages, and to write rules that would prohibit any compensation that could have a substantial, negative effect on financial markets. Lawmakers expect that this bill, if approved, will be rolled up with other legislation.
Whoever says that Business Intelligence (BI) market is commoditizing is smoking something funny. From where we sit, it remains active, vibrant and full of opportunities both on the buyer and the seller side. On the buyer side the market is far from mature with multiple architecture, implementation, governance and organizational challenges. On the seller side we track over 20 “next generation” BI features that vendors are just beginning to address.
Process mashups combine presentation data and processes into a single application for business users. Process mashups are meant to empower the business by making use of the data that is already available within the business. In this podcast Clay speaks about how companies are using process mashups and the emerging trends within the space.
Storage-as-a-Service is relatively new. Today the main value proposition is as a cloud target for on-premise deployments of backup and archiving software. If you have a need to retain data for extended periods of time (1 year plus in most cases) tape is still the more cost effective option given it's low capital acquisition cost and removability. If you have long term data retention needs and you want to eliminate tape, that's where a cloud storage target comes in. Electronically vault that data to a storage-as-service provider who can store that data at cents per GB. You just can't beat the economies of scale these providers are able to achieve.
If you're a small business and you don't have the staff to implement and manage a backup solution or if you're an enterprise and you're looking for a PC backup or a remote office backup solution, I think it's worthwhile to compare the three year total cost of ownership of an on-premise solution versus backup-as-a-service.
Question: The output of the maturity assessment would be transformation plans. A hot spot we are finding is making sure all transformation plans move in the same direction. Any best practices to ensure everyone pulls in the same direction?