A One-Year I&O Transformation

Milan Hanson

Back when I worked in I&O we weren’t very popular. Not personally, mind you, but as a team. Why? Because we seldom satisfied user requests quickly, and sometimes not at all.  We were the defenders of stability, resistant to change.  Just maintaining the technology every day - “keeping the lights on” - took a lot of manual effort.  We chased down a lot of defects, and then we struggled to get fixes created and put into production. Sometimes the fix created a worse problem. It wasn’t a lot of fun, the pressure was grueling, and one by one we moved on to other jobs.

So today when I tell clients about transforming I&O from an under-appreciated cost center to a respected strategic advisor, I understand their skepticism. What does it take? For starters:

  • You have to change the monitoring and analytics technology.
  • You have to change the attitudes of the people within I&O.
  • You have to change the perception of I&O across the organization.

Those are not small changes, and cultural changes move especially slowly. Or do they?

The I&O team at Dixons Carphone, a UK technology retailer, transformed in a year. Yes, one year. With a motto of “say yes more,” Dixons Carphone I&O went all-in on customer focus and agile operations:

  • Rather than using a lengthy RFP process, monitoring technology proven effective in one business unit was extended across the organization.
  • Rather than focusing on technology health, the focus was shifted to customer experience.
  • Rather than focusing solely on the needs of consumer customers, attention was also given to the needs of internal users, line-of-business managers, and executives.
Read more

Is Business Intelligence (BI) Market Finally Maturing? Forrester Three Big BI Market Predictions

Boris Evelson

No. The buy side market is nowhere near maturity and will continue to be a greenfield opportunity to many BI vendors. Our research still shows that homegrown shadow IT BI applications based on spreadsheets and desktop databases dominate the enterprises. And only somewhere between 20% and 50% of enterprise structured data is being curated and available to enterprise BI tools and applications.

The sell side of the market is a different story. Forrester’s three recent research reports are pointing to a highly mature, commoditized and crowded market. That crowded landscape has to change. Forrester is making three predictions which should guide BI vendor and BI buyer strategies in the next three to five years.

Read more

Uber....Pepsi....The Ringling Brothers Circus..... Our Values based analysis...

Henry Peyret

Three very different brands with an unfortunate commonality: Each has recently incurred the wrath of a growing segment that Forrester calls the values-based consumer.

Read more

Google Next 2017 Review: Google Cloud Is A Serious Contender In the Public Cloud Space

Nigel Fenwick

With Dan Bieler and Glenn O'Donnell

In the last few years, Google has made concerted efforts to target the enterprise cloud computing space. At Next 2017, more than 11,000 customers, partners, developers, and analysts joined Google in San Francisco to learn more about Google Cloud’s latest enterprise updates. We compiled this post following a review of the event with all the Forrester analysts who attended. Here’s our quick assessment from a CIO and CTO perspective:

Google Cloud’s enterprise pitch as a public cloud vendor has potential for tech leaders. Google Cloud primarily competes with AWS, Azure, and IBM in the cloud platform segment. Our impression is that Google offers superior technology compared with many other vendors in the enterprise space – but not all. Google has a good IaaS story, but its PaaS capabilities lag behind AWS. Google is not about to dethrone AWS or Azure right now, but it has a good chance to become a powerful competitor to them as it expands globally.

Read more

Google Next 2017 Review: Google Cloud Is A Serious Contender In the Public Cloud Space

Dan Bieler

With Nigel Fenwick and Glenn O'Donnell

In the past few years, Google has made concerted efforts to target the enterprise cloud computing space. At Next 2017, more than 11,000 customers, partners, developers, and analysts joined Google in San Francisco to learn more about Google Cloud’s latest enterprise updates. We compiled this post following a review of the event with all the Forrester analysts who attended. Here’s our quick assessment from a CIO and CTO perspective:

  • Google Cloud’s enterprise pitch as a public cloud vendor has potential for tech leaders. Google primarily competes with AWS, Azure, and IBM in the cloud platform segment. Our impression is that Google offers superior technology compared with many other vendors in the enterprise space – but not all. Google has a good IaaS story, but its PaaS capabilities lag behind AWS. Google is not about to dethrone AWS or Azure right now, but it has a good chance to become a powerful competitor to them as it expands globally.
Read more

Power Your Digital Ecosystems With Business Platforms

Dan Bieler

Platforms” are fast becoming all the rage in the B2B context. Several traditional businesses like GE or Siemens are claiming to either offer or become a platform operation. A big driver for platforms in the B2B context has been the success of consumer-focused platform businesses like Amazon, Uber, or Airbnb.

Although the reality of B2B platforms looks more mundane than the hype, platforms in the B2B context offer real benefits to ecosystem participants. In the B2B context, the emergence of business platforms, like SupplyOn or GE’s Predix, primarily delivers new opportunities for enhanced customer engagement and operational efficiencies and agility.

Business platforms empower ecosystem participants to successfully cater to emerging multistakeholder environments through real-time, near cost-free, and omnidirectional information exchange. Business platforms empower ecosystems by facilitating the information exchange between products, partners, customers, and vendors. Business platforms support:

  • The infrastructure that connect ecosystem participants. Business platforms help organizations transform from local and linear ways of doing business toward virtual and exponential operations.
  • A single source of truth for ecosystem participants. Business platforms become a single source of truth for ecosystems by providing all ecosystem participants with access to the same data.
  • Business model and process transformation across industries. Platforms support agile reconfiguration of business models and processes through information exchange inside and between ecosystems.
Read more

PLM TechRadar Report: Democratized PLM Offerings Expand Functionality and User Base

Nate Fleming

As the product development process and product usage creates higher volumes of data, PLM is a necessary tool to consolidate disparate sources of product information. From this repository, engineering can use product usage data to inform next generation products, operations can improve product development processes, and business stakeholders can focus on linking products to holistic customer experiences. These opportunities reveal the benefit of opening PLM up to stakeholders beyond the product development organization, thus bringing the customer closer to product ideation and development. 

A catalyzing functionality in this democratization of PLM are role-based applications which open once-complicated PLM software solutions to new users across the organization.  These applications improve usability, solution adoption, time-to-market, and collaboration by incorporating more cross-functional input to the product development process.  PLM vendors, large and small, are rolling out role-based application modules for customers, and end user buyers say they are beginning to get requests from their internal constituents for this type of functionality. 

Read more

Trust Must Be The Foundation Of Your B2B Digital Ecosystem

Dan Bieler

Far from being a soft issue, trust underpins the management of your digital business and digital ecosystems. Trust is one of the most vital elements of any business relationship. But the shift away from linear value chains focused on internal relationships toward more open networks of relationships in the context of digital ecosystems has made trust a critical driver of new revenue opportunities and more efficient operations. As the foundation of your B2B digital ecosystem, trust has a significant impact on your bottom line as:

  • Multistakeholder relationships are gradually replacing interpersonal relationships. Enterprise customers expect their presales and aftersales engagements with vendors to be coherent and consistent. CIOs must support trust-building technology across the value chain.
  • Digital transformation that doesn’t put trust at the center will fail. Digital alters business dynamics. Trust is the oxygen of business activity. Without trust, all enterprise stakeholder relationships are suboptimal.
  • Trust scores will emerge to certify the trustworthiness of business and workers. To overcome the challenges of false identities and data tampering, data custodians will emerge to authenticate identities and ensure data quality.
Read more

Technology Management - 5 to 7 years from now

Marc Cecere
 
There have been many “this will end IT as we know it” events. The PC, client/server, the web, and outsourcing have all changed tech organizations, but not fundamentally. This time things are different. Five to seven years from now, these organizations will resemble current ones, just as the first cell phones resemble the iPhone.
 
The empowerment of customers and business users, external services, new methodologies, automation, and cognitive technologies will dramatically change the size, shape, and mandate of this organization. These forces will automate functions, increase role specialization, and shift focus from internal capabilities to external services.
 
So, what will these organizations look like?
 
 
 
  • They  will be smaller and more specialized as packages apps and cloud reduce the need for coding, engineering and other hand-on technical skills.
  • They will be faster because of cloud, agile methodologies and changing client expectations.
  • Business and technology differences will blur as users become more sophisticated, tools more intuitive and Agile becomes the default methodology. 
  • Structurally we’ll see experimentation with broker/integrator/orchestrator, continuous business services, internal consulting and other models. 

Amazon Connect - The Elephant In The Room In The Customer Service Space

Kate Leggett

Amazon just launched a preliminary cloud contact center offering, built on AWS. It offers an IVR, natural language understanding via Lex, queueing and routing and telephony infrastructure. It supports basic self-service interactions, and phone interactions. The best videos to explain what Amazon Connect does is at: Getting Started With Amazon Connect  and Introducing Amazon Connect

Even though this is a first step in the commercial contact center world, this offering is really cool. Why? Because Amazon knows how to build and run contact centers. They built their own infrastructure to  power "millions of customer conversations". Amazon Connect has the potential for democratizing customer service technologies - making them simpler, smarter and prepackaged, to allow companies of all sizes to offer good service. 

Today, a customer service organization needs 3 technology categories to support their operations: queuing and routing technologies (to route incidents to the right agent), a  CRM or customer service agent desktop (to capture customer and case details), and workforce optimization technologies (to manage agent staffing, productivity, quality and forecasting).

This technology ecosystem is cumbersome, unintegrated, and vendors offer pieces of this ecosystem. Sure, there’s been movement to consolidate these categories over the last several years. But, still nobody offers the end-to-end solution that customers demand.

Read more