2008 was a tumultuous year for IT Infrastructure & Operations professionals. With an uncertain economic climate continuing to affect decisions in 2009, many companies have been forced to change the way they do business, scaling back on IT projects, staffing, and leveraging more outsourcing options. Clearly, we're not out of the financial woods yet, and IT is being counted on more than ever to bring change into the business.
Forrester knows the IT organization is no stranger to budget constraints and pressure from business to save money. It's been said that it's "always a recession in IT," and, to ensure our research is providing valuable insight on how IT is making decisions in 2009 Forrester's IT Infrastructure & Operations team wants to work with you to develop research topics that will answer your questions.
We'd like you to tell us what research could help you prioritize or launch 2009 money-saving initiatives?
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Click on the "vote now" button below and see what your peers say will be their top money-saving indicatives for 2009, while helping us write the research that matters most to you!
In video, things came to a head when Comcast mistakenly cancelled by cable television service, instead of merely canceling my "high speed" (sic) Internet service. This echoed the scene six months earlier when, after weeks of trying to get someone to install Internet service, a Comcast guy showed up on my doorstep declared, "I'm here to disconnect your Internet service."
We no longer have cable television and in Montara we're beyond the reach of broadcast television.
You must report on the right metrics to defuse the explosive combination of budget pressures and business expectations.
In April 2008, Forrester published the report “The Five Essential Metrics for Managing IT” This has become one of our most popular docs in terms of readership and reader feedback. Principal Analyst Craig Symons lays out 5 IT metrics that are extremely relevant to IT’s business stakeholders: investment alignment to business strategy, business value of IT investments, IT budget balance, service level excellence, and operational excellence.
Why are we bringing your attention to this report now? Because business execs are trimming capital and operational budgets wherever they think it will have the least impact on business, and IT is a prime target. Because of a lack of transparency in many IT shops, the tension between IT budget cuts, and business expectations for technology are fraught with risk for CIOs and other IT execs. The risk is that cuts in IT’s budget are seen by the CIO’s peers as “IT’s problem to solve” – but these same business peers will see cuts in project delivery or IT service levels as yet more proof that the CIO’s organization isn’t capable of supporting their needs. Look at what these business execs were saying in July of 2008 – and this is before the budget pressure was on.
The only way CIOs can turn this tension to their advantage lies in what metrics for IT they use in discussions with their business peers.
The 5 essential IT metrics bring these tensions out in the open, by:
Without actually citing a source, WSJ reporter Martin Peers declares that the problem is overcapacity and the solution is to let top stations in the local market merge to "reduce overcapacity":
That means shuttering weaker stations and consolidating ownership of others in individual markets to allow for greater cost-cutting. One of the biggest costs is local news operations, which can account for between 25% and 33% of net revenues. Allowing one top station to buy another top station would spread such costs across a bigger revenue base. Regulators might consider relaxing ownership limits given the industry's parlous state.
Joost has produced a free iPhone app that brings the glory that is Joost -- videos of an oily Britney Spears, classic Star Trek reruns, and interviews with barely-clad Victoria's Secret models -- to the iPhone.
I've posted about this on my blog, you can read the whole post here. My overall take is that this not really about mobile video. It's about the future of video product strategy. I wrote:
“Many devices, many services” is the future of video. It requires the use of an open platform and open protocols. Joost, which got its start as a P2P video delivery mechanism, has since opened itself to wider consumption by going straight IP. Once it speaks IP, Joost can easily be ported to any IP device, including the iPhone. Including the T-Mobile G1. And so on. It has been so successful on the iPhone so far that it’s regularly in the top 10 free applications on the iPhone App Store.
I go on to explain what happens next. This kind of open-development platform has to be put on the TV set-top box. This is in stark contrast to what happens now. But in the end, this will change the way devices are made, services are provided, and consumers experience media, all thanks to what is a real revolution in product strategy. Can't wait.
I've been asked by a lot of reporters in the past few weeks whether Sling.com -- Sling Media's online video Website in the US featuring content from Hulu, CBS and many others -- is something they should cover. I don't envy reporters who aren't specialists in media technology, they really have a hard time knowing whether a specific site, application, or device, matters. In the case of Sling.com, it was particularly confusing to the lay reporter because it almost appears like a shift in business model. As in, "Oh, no, the Slingbox isn't selling well, let's get into the online video business!" I had to reassure reporters that in fact Sling.com makes good sense for Sling. In fact, it's part of a secret plan.