Xamarin Acquisition Amplifies Microsoft's Comprehensive Mobile Development Strategy

Jeffrey Hammond

Today Microsoft announced that it is acquiring Xamarin. Terms were not disclosed. Our lead mobile app dev analyst Mike Facemire was on a plane somewhere near Buffalo at the time of the announcement, so I've posted the team's combined thoughts here. Our take: This move makes Microsoft a must-consider option throughout the stack when it comes to mobile development. For those not familiar with Xamarin, here’s what Microsoft is getting:

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The 2016 Enterprise Architecture Awards: Speed And Responsiveness — And EA

Alex Cullen

Businesses of all types are experiencing the ramifications of an accelerating pace of change. Everything, from economies as a whole to the competitive landscape to consumers’ tastes, is more dynamic. As a consequence, business leaders are demanding that their businesses move faster. ‘Moving faster” may encompass continually updated mobile capabilities, digitized products, and more agility in how firms work with customers and suppliers.

This is what enterprise architecture is supposed to help with, right?

The answer is “yes – in theory,” but for reality to match theory requires an EA program attuned to increasing business speed and improving business responsiveness, not cutting costs and constraining change. I’ve talked to a lot of enterprise, business, and information architect leaders, and my take is that while all EA programs should be attuned this way, only a few are today. Forrester and InfoWorld would like to highlight the stories of these EA programs.

I am pleased to invite you to submit your EA program story to the Forrester/InfoWorld 2016 Enterprise Architecture Awards.

What are we looking for this year? Simply said, we’d like to hear how you helped your business move faster and respond better to shifts in its ecosystem. You could have done this a variety of ways:

  • You moved your business onto a new technology platform, specifically to enhance business agility.
  • You led the way to bringing more customer and market insights into strategic processes of your organization.
  • You guided the development and execution of a digital business strategy.
  • You helped your firm’s embrace of Agile methods and scaled these methods to the enterprise.
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The Digital Transformation Playbook

Nigel Fenwick

As regular followers of my blog know, I’ve been covering digital business transformation since 2012 - before “digital” became the be-all and end-all term of technology marketers. (Have you noticed how every tech vendor is now an expert in digital business?). At the end of 2012 I penned a post predicting 2013 would be the year of digital business. And since then I’ve focused much of my research on the interconnections between digital business, customer experience, marketing and technology.

I’m happy to announce that we’ve now published a playbook on digital business transformation for the C-Suite - specifically for CIOs, but useful for all executives, including CMOs. The first few reports in the playbook are already live on our website, with the remainder coming on stream in the next few months. This playbook complements the earlier e-business digital playbook we published a couple of years ago.

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Virtual reality video is doomed, unless...

Nick Barber
Virtual reality and 360 videos continue to gain momentum, but one obstacle that could stop them in their tracks is the lack of an analytics standard.
 
Virtual reality or 360 video (synonymous for this post) deliver immersive experiences. If you have never consumed VR video, imagine standing inside a globe with content flowing all around you. 
 

 

Video analytics can be robust, but 360 introduces new challenges. Instead of a “lean back” experience, viewers of VR video take an active role in deciding where to focus. This means that success can’t be defined by views alone. Application Development & Delivery professionals will either need to develop their own analytics scheme or partner with a third party firm. 
 
In order to understand 360 analytics, we first need to understand the format. 360 video is captured by multiple cameras and stitched into a common resolution like 1920 by 1080 pixels. The flattened (or equirectangular) video allows you to see everything at once. In order to create an immersive VR experience, that flattened video is then wrapped around a sphere using special metadata. Viewers can focus on a sliver of the video at a single time. 
 
If your team is looking to deploy VR video, Application Development and Delivery professionals need to figure out how to define success. A few options might include:
 
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Announcing John Bruno: A Sales Pitch

John Bruno

Welcome to my Forrester blog. My career has been a blend of business strategy and technology, whether it was preparing people and processes for new technology eras as a consultant or diving deep into the technology while working in business operations and application development for a CRM vendor. What may surprise many of you reading this is although my blog is new, I am not new to Forrester; I’ve been with Forrester for close to two years working with Application Development & Delivery leaders as an Advisor with Forrester’s Leadership Boards. In that role, I worked directly with 50+ enterprise-level leaders from across all verticals to help define their customer-obsessed strategies and identify the best and next practices to give them a competitive edge. It was this connection with clients around solving critical business problems and using technology to gain an edge that attracted me to research and more specifically, diving back into the world of CRM.

 

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CRM Success Requires Focus On People, Not Only Technology

Kate Leggett

There’s a very large graveyard of failed CRM projects. There’s more CRM initiatives that have spiraled out of control to become multimillion-dollar investments that negatively affected large numbers of customer-facing employees and didnt deliver any real results.  The cost of poor CRM adoption is twofold: underutilized investment and unmet business objectives.

We recently ran a survey in partnership with  CustomerThink to understand the risks and pitfalls that CRM professions need to navigate to achieve a successful CRM technology project. We surveyed 414 individuals who had been involved in a CRM technology project as a business professional in sales, marketing, customer service, or technology management within the past 36 months. Not surprisingly, we found that successful CRM technology projects are not only about choosing the right software. They demand a balanced, multifaceted approach that addresses four critical fundamentals: 

  • People issues. Nearly two-fifths (38%) of respondents stated that their problems were the result of people issues such as slow user adoption, inadequate attention paid to change management and training, and difficulties in aligning the organizational culture with new ways of working.
  • CRM Process. One-third (33%) of respondents faced problems because of poor or insufficient definition of business requirements, inadequate business process designs, and the need to customize solutions to fit unique organizational requirements.
  • CRM Strategy. One-third (33%) of respondents had challenges related to CRM strategy, such as a lack of clearly defined objectives, a lack of organizational readiness, and insufficient solution governancepractices.
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After The Unicorn Carnage, Does Digital Disruption Take A Holiday?

Ted Schadler

We are seeing significant devaluation for startups and maturing unicorns (startups that soared above $1B in valuation). Valuation deflation was not just inevitable; the correction was overdue.

Evidently, not everybody needs a shiny new GoPro. Not every brand is ready to advertise on Snapchat. Not every regulator is ready to give Uber or Zenify a free ride. Not every company is ready to move its file system to Box.

Consumers and businesses do not have insatiable appetites for everything. That slice of reality was left out of entrepreneurs’ pitch decks and investors’ funding decisions. In a classic herd mentality driven by the fear of missing out, venture capitalists, private equity investors, even mature money managers funded 152 digital startups at valuations more than $1 billion (according to CB Insights as of February 16, 2016). That’s up from 39 unicorns in November 2013. Do the math: There are almost four times as many billion-dollar startups today than two years ago.

The desire to replicate the results of the best companies drove these giddy investments. But when investors start valuing startups based on the best imaginable metrics -- Facebook-quality price-earnings ratios, smartphone-level adoption of every new gadget, or Salesforce or Amazon levels of SaaS valuations -- the valuations en masse soar beyond credibility.

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Apple Did The Right Thing To Defend Customer Privacy, But It Will Make Security And Risk Management More Difficult For You

Chris McClean

Apple's refusal to follow a court order to support the FBI's San Bernardino shooter investigation was the right move for the company and for its customers, as my colleagues and I cover in Fatemeh Khatibloo's blog post here, and in our full, detailed report, here. As we discuss, there are many constituents with a large stake in the outcome of this case, but I will focus on security and risk management decision makers in this post.

There are four key implications to consider:

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Forrester Quick Take: SAP Acquires Roambi, Opens New Chapter In Mobile BI

Martha Bennett

Major conferences are often the occasion for key vendor announcements, and SAP didn’t disappoint. At the 2016 SAP Insider event on BI/Hana in Las Vegas, SAP announced the acquisition of independent mobile BI specialist Roambi’s solution portfolio and key assets. With this acquisition, SAP underlines its commitment not only to mobile and cloud but also to getting the right data into the hands of the right people at the right time. With this acquisition, SAP underlines its commitment not only to mobile and cloud but also to getting the right data into the hands of the right people at the right time. The Roambi acquisition adds the following to SAP’s mobile BI portfolio:

  • An attractive set of prebuilt visualizations for fast creation of mobile dashboards.
  • A cloud-based back end that can connect to a variety of data and BI sources.
  • The capability to create data-rich, interactive, eBook-like publications.

There are both tactical and strategic aspects to SAP’s acquisition of Roambi, which:

  • Adds attractive capabilities to SAP’s mobile BI portfolio, even for customers who may already be using BusinessObjects Mobile.
  • Provides an instant cloud option for mobile BI to customers running on-premises BI environments, but who can’t, or don’t want to, support a mobile BI solution.
  • Can be leveraged as an important building block for the mobile capabilities of SAP Cloud for Analytics.
  • Brings more than software to the SAP stable. In one fell swoop, SAP gains a team of professionals who’ve been living and breathing mobile BI for a long time.
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Do Not Confuse Data Governance With Data Management

Henry Peyret

Last week, I participated in a roundtable during a conference in Paris organized by the French branch of DAMA, the data management international organization. During the question/answer part of the conference, it became clear that most of the audience was confusing data management with data governance (DG). This is a challenge my Forrester colleague Michele Goetz identified early in the DG tooling space. Because data quality and master data management embed governance features, many view them as data governance tooling. But the reality is that they remain data management tooling — their goal is to improve data quality by executing rules. This tooling confusion is only a consequence of how much the word governance is misused and misunderstood, and that leads to struggling data governance efforts.

So what is “governance”? Governance is the collaboration, organization, and metrics facilitating a decision path between at least two conflicting objectives. Governance is finding the acceptable balance between the interests of two parties. For example, IT governance is needed when you would like to support all possible business projects but you have limited budget, skills, or resources available. Governance is needed when objectives are different for different stakeholders, and the outcome of governance is that they do not get the same priority. If everyone has the same objective, then this is data management.

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