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Posted by John McCarthy on June 27, 2012
Two weeks ago at the CSC analyst conference, Forrester sat down with new CEO and President Mike Lawrie. He was refreshingly frank about what the issues were and his road ahead. Based on his due diligence before taking the job, Mike concluded that the firm had the right strategy; it just could not execute. The overlying issue was the GE-style operating model that had every service line as its own P&L and was not focused on delivering an integrated solution to the client. Executive compensation and goals were misaligned and uncoordinated. The other factor that exacerbated these organization and alignment issues was a management model that would not make tough decisions and fostered the one-off solution culture.
Mike says that he has agreed with the board that it will take three plus years to turn the company around and fully establish itself as a leader. He sees it as a three-phase evolution. First, he needs to get the company fit – lowering operating costs by a billion dollars/year and improving margins and the bottom line. With the financial house in order, he will then focus on growing the business by focusing on key opportunities like next-generation cloud-based infrastructure services and vertical software solutions. And the third phase of the reinvention will focus on leveraging leadership within those key segments.
Toward these goals, Mike is bringing in new leadership to fill roles in key areas like CFO, infrastructure outsourcing, and Federal systems. He will also be following Accenture’s lead by creating a separate software group with the true product discipline to actively compete in the vertical applications space and update its current packages. He will also simplify the offerings and build the size and capabilities of the sales organization.
Forrester’s take: Mike is clearly a breath of fresh air at CSC, and his extroverted sales personality will go a long way to improving morale. But to really make it long term, the firm needs to raise its application IQ. And while the focus on vertical packages and creating a dedicated software organization is a good start, CSC needs to be more aggressive in two additional areas: 1) around mobile apps and systems of engagement and 2) building a robust ecosystem of ISVs that leverage its cloud platforms. Most of the infrastructure-as-a-service will not be sold directly, but as supporting platform, software, and business-process-as-a-service solutions.
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