Steve Jobs: The Accidental Architect Of Consumerization

Okay, so maybe it was Steve Jobs's plan all along. To make tools so profoundly useful and totemic that everybody wants one. But surely in the dark days of the 1990s and early 2000s, nobody could have seen that Steve Jobs and Apple would overtake the enterprise. But it happened.

First was iPod. After an enthusiastic start restricted to a few million Macintosh aficionados, Apple ported iTunes to Windows and suddenly 100 million people were using iPods. And a new gadget was weighting down the pockets of business travelers and everyday employees. And then it wasn't so heavy after all as Apple volume-priced the flash memory market and shank the gadget to nano size.

Consumerization whispered, "I'm coming." IT wasn't too worried, but it did scramble to keep iTunes off of corporate desktops. [It didn't matter. People have computers at home.]

Next was iPhone. In the winter of 2008 before there was even an App Store, the guy behind the pizza counter at The Upper Crust in Lexington was swiping at his iPhone revealing page after page of colorful icons. When I asked him what that little swipey motion was all about, he replied, "Oh, these are apps. Games and instant messaging and movies and stuff. I get 'em off the Internet. There are hundreds of them." And I (and Apple) knew that the world had changed. Steve Jobs and team launched the App Store so tens of thousands of developers could build hundreds of thousands of applications. And make billions of dollars selling their work.

Consumerization knocked on the door saying, "I'm here and I want to get email on my iPhone." IT said no way and kept buying BlackBerrys.

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Winners of the 2011 Forrester Groundswell Awards (Management Division)

We're announcing the first set of winners of the Forrester Groundswell Awards -- the management division winners, with applications aimed at employees. These awards are being announced today at the Forrester Content & Collaboration Forum in Boston. Congratulations to the winners and finalists -- with 205 entries this year, being selected for one of these awards is a real accomplishment.

Collaboration System (Management)

Finalists

An Agenda For Social Sales by IBM
Alcoa Fastening Systems by Alcoa

Winner: Collaboration (Management)

Deloitte Australia Yammer Network by Yammer

The Australian affiliate of Deloitte, the global services company, deployed Yammer in 2008 with no plans for mass adoption. But usage rapidly exploded, spreading to 5,000 of the company's staff and 12 national offices. Yammer users have lower staff turnover (2% vs. company average 15-20%) and Deloitte says Yammer has reduced costs, broken down silos, and accelerated innovation. It also builds culture, improves connections for mobile workers, and makes it easier to leverage knowledge and expertise.



 

Employee Mobile Application (Management)

Winner: Mobile (Management)

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RIM's Tablet Night Terrors

Picture this. There's a hot new market adjacent to one you've dominated for years. You have the design team, engineering staff, retail distribution, and corporate buyer relations to build and sell that adjacent product. (Okay, so you don't have all the software skills or platforms you need, but you can buy those, right?)

Wouldn't you go for it? I mean, bet the business on it? Sure you would.

Now picture this. You ship a v0.7 tablet and call it done. You ship 500,000 units to corporate resellers and consumer retailers. And you talk about the tablet ecosystem that you have and are building. Then, just one quarter later, you ship 200,000 units to your channel. (Remember that Apple sold, not shipped, sold, 9.25 million iPads in the same period.)

Wouldn't that give you night terrors?

Here's what RIM needs to do to wake up and face reality:

  1. Scale back expectations and promises and revert to its natural market: highly secure, regulated, and locked down industries. Defense comes to mind. This will reset expectations and get the media bull's-eye off your back.
  2. Pull out all the stops to get QNX secured, BES-controlled, and deployed on a new generation of touchscreen phones. This will plug your product holes.
  3. Get the Android compatibility down cold. Don't replicate that ecosystem of content and apps. Embrace it. This will let you appeal to the consumer inside every employee.
  4. Make BES the center of your commercial universe. Deliver more connectors to SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, the cloud, and beyond that Apple or Google. This will attract corporate developers and buyers.

With those steps in motion, the night terrors will subside and a more rational, though smaller, company will emerge into the light of 2012.

Mobilize Your Content & Collaboration Applications

A quick reality check: our content & collaboration systems have been with us since we first put PCs on desktops. Today, these systems are pervasive in our workflow, our work lives, and our work cultures. Need proof? Here are some data from our recent survey of 4,985 US information workers:

  • 91% of information workers use email. Email's still the most ubiquitous and important collaboration tool, but hardly the only one that people use.
  • 58% of information workers uses their employee intranet portal. This vital resource is in the flow of daily work, particularly among Sales people and in the enterprise.
  • 40% of information workers spend an hour or more per day creating documents. We spend huge amounts of time capturing knowledge and process in documents.
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Steve Jobs Is A Market Systems Master

I'll let others wax on wax off about Mr. Jobs' courage, taste, focus, vision. I'll merely point out that under Steve Jobs, Apple has been a brilliant systems thinker. The story starts with a whooping and winds up with market systems brilliance. Let me explain.

The vendor with the best market system wins. It's why Microsoft whooped Apple in the PC market. While Apple under Steve Jobs focused on its Macintosh closed system of hardware, software, and applications, Microsoft built an open market system on Windows: any hardware, any application, many ways to make money.

Mr. Jobs and Apple mastered the lesson: it's the market system that matters. A successful market system includes all the players, all the pieces, the end-to-end solution, the business model, the flow of money, the attractors, blockers, hardware, software, content, and services all wrapped into what we in 2006 called a single digital experience (what we now call a "total product experience").

With the launch of the iPod in 2001, Apple's market systems mastery shone through. Others had built great MP3 players. Only Apple built a great music market system.

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Mobilize Your Collaboration Strategy

Here's the 411 on that:

1. We published a new report called, you guess it, "Mobilize Your Collaboration Strategy." It describes eight collaboration apps that employees need, crave, want, and are getting (with or without your support) on the mobile devices.

2. We also make the argument that client/server is the wrong architecture to deliver mobile collaboration apps to a workforce already expert in iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry and trained by Angry Birds and Google Maps. The right architecture is the mobile app Internet -- read more about that here. See our complete analysis and a forecast of the size of the mobile apps & services market in a Forrester report here.

3. Our Content & Collaboration IT clients have found this report and presentation a good way to introduce mobile strategy and the mobile app Internet to their teams. (We've delivered it a half a dozen times in the past few weeks.)

4. The media has found this interesting enough to write about it. (ReadWriteWeb, CIO UK, and GigaOM included.)

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"The Future Of Mobile Is User Context": What It Means For Content & Collaboration Professionals

My colleague Julie Ask has just published an important report, "The Future Of Mobile Is User Context," introducing how companies will use the new intelligence and capabilities of smartphones to deliver better customer experiences in their own context. I quote here from her report:

"In the future, improving the convenience of mobile services will be achieved via improving the use of context in delivering mobile experiences. Consumer product strategists must anticipate what their customers want when they fire up their phones and launch an application or mobile website. Intuit’s SnapTax, for example, must leverage a customer’s home state to file the appropriate tax forms.

"To help consumer product strategists get ahead of this evolving expectation, Forrester has defined a vocabulary to help consumer product strategists discuss, plan, and execute on the opportunity to deliver services, messages, and transactions with full knowledge of the customer’s current situation. Forrester calls this the customer’s 'mobile context' and defines it as:

"The sum total of what your customer has told you and is experiencing at the moment of engagement.

"A customer’s mobile context consists of his:

  • "Situation: the current location, altitude, environmental conditions, and speed the customer is experiencing.

  • "Preferences: the history and personal decisions the customer has shared with you or with his or her social networks.

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How Consumerization Drives Innovation

Forrester has been analyzing the impact of consumerization of IT on business since this seminal 2008 report. And we've collected data to measure the phenomemon since 2009. Did you know that 35% of information workers use personal technology for work? And we published a Harvard Business Review Press book, Empowered, on why companies must empower their employees: it's so they can serve the needs of empowered customers.

And now we can directly link consumerization with business outcomes that IT and every other part of a business cares about: innovation, advocacy, and leadership. We've done this with a Q1 2011 survey of 5,102 information workers in North America and Europe, our Workforce Forrsights data.

The report, "How Consumerization Drives Innovation," is chock full of data available to Forrester customers. This post is an excerpt to introduce the outcomes and impact to everybody. We'll use three charts to make the point.

  • First is the consumerization data. Just how many information workers in North America and Europe do something with technology outside of IT control -- either bring their own smartphone or tablet for work, use unsanctioned Web sites for work, or download applications to a work computer? It's one in three!
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Announcing The Annual Forrester Groundswell Awards For Employee Collaboration, Innovation, And Mobile

This post is to announce and describe the 2011 Groundswell Awards, specifically the internal "management" category: innovation, collaboration (including social), and mobile. As my Empowered coauthor, Josh Bernoff, writes:

"We had this idea in 2007 that we could surface the best, most interesting, most effective social applications with an awards program. At the time, I never realized just what a fascinating variety of programs we'd encounter. So we kept doing it."

"The purpose of this post is two-fold -- to officially announce and open up the site for entries to the 2011 awards, and to celebrate some of the most amazing entries of the last five years."

Read Josh's recap of the award's five-year history here.

Starting last year, we expanded the field to include three internal “management” scenarios in line with our book Empowered. The awards this year are for:

  • Employee Mobile Application:Help employees solve customer and business problems using smartphones and tablets.
  • Employee Collaboration/Social Application:Help employees connect and work together.
  • Innovation System:Surface and develop new ideas.

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What Microsoft's Skype Deal Means: A Post For Content & Collaboration Professionals

I'm not going to comment on the $8.5B purchase price, though I'm sure Marc Andreesen's investment company is happy with their return. And I'm not going to comment on the impact on Xbox, Hotmail, and Live.com. And I don't think this has anything to do with Windows Mobile.

But I am going to comment on the impact of the deal on the enterprise, and specifically on content and collaboration professionals responsible for workforce productivity and collaboration. When you strip it down to its essence -- Skype operating as a separate business unit reporting to Steve Ballmer -- here's what you need to know about the Skype deal:

First, Microsoft gets an important consumerization brand. Skype is a powerful consumer brand with a reported 600+ million subscribers. But it's also a "consumerization brand," meaning that it's a valuable brand for people who use Skype to get their jobs done. Consumerization of IT is just people using familiar consumer tools to get work done. It's a force of technology-based innovation as we wrote about in our book, Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, Transform Your Business. Google and Apple and Skype have dominant consumerization brands. Microsoft does not. Until now. And as a bonus, Google doesn't get to buy Skype. And more importantly, neither does Cisco.

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