Security’s Key Practices

Security is a “hot topic.” The news coverage for security is unrelenting with Edward Snowden, JP Morgan Chase, Russian state agents, Chinese army militias, NSA, Target, Home Depot, Chip and Pin, OpenSSL, and Regin among some of the many stories capturing headlines and the imagination of people around the world.

News coverage continues to veer from one extreme to another, from utilities being invaded by state-sponsored hackers, to simplistic software coding mistakes not uncovered for years, to websites targeting mobile phones, and to stealthy cyberwar-craft malware lying at the ready for its owners to call. Continue reading

The Bear at the Door–Intacct’s Advantage

What is Happening?

Intacct Advantage conference took place last week at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando on the Universal property. Intacct Advantage 2014 drew a record number of attendees, perhaps a reflection of Intacct’s continued product innovation and rapid growth. Over the past two years, Intacct has doubled subscription revenues.

This year’s Advantage keynote speakers included several top Intacct executives, including CEO Robert Reid, CTO Aaron Harris, VP of Product Management Dan Miller, VP of Sales Kathy Lord, and VP of Client Services Derek Taylor. Aussie futurist Mike Walsh, author of The Dictionary Of Dangerous Ideas, offered insights and observations on business transformation and the key components of building a high-growth business. Continue reading

Boundary-free Enterprises and the Big Storm of 2015

With Clouds come storms, and big storms tend to blow things around.  Back in 2012, we began building our “Boundary-free Enterprise™” business concept to illustrate the concept of how much Cloud and its related technologies will “blow away” many, if not most, of our traditional business and technological boundaries.

A new Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck Technology’s subscription research clients looks at the four types of boundaries most likely to be buffeted by these storms, as follows:  Continue reading

Business Networking at the SAP SME Summit

SAP’s annual SME Summit was held in New York last week, and thanks to streaming live video, a wealth of social media interaction, and some great connections here and there, Saugatuck was able to “attend” vicariously and gather some key insights from the event.

First let’s set the expectations regarding the types of companies involved. SAP uses the term “SME” to mean “smaller and mid-sized enterprises,” with the emphasis clearly on “enterprises.” These are not what most think of as the traditional SMBs. Instead, they’re characterized as having at least 1,000 employees and often greater than $1B in annual revenues, depending on industry.

Their relatively large size (and complexity of business) is why they’re targeted by SAP, who’s selling them Business ByDesign and BusinessOne at a pretty good clip – especially BusinessOneSAP claims 45,000 customers for BusinessOne, with about 900 of them running on top of SAP’s HANA platform. And all new ByD and BusinessOne customers will run on HANA as well, helping to fulfill SAP’s goal of HANA as the platform for all its business management apps.

Speaking of HANA, there was of course quite a bit of discussion regarding SAP’s flagship platform / DB. And almost all of it included the words “will,” “plan to,” or Continue reading

TCO14 – Coders Compete to Make You Competitive

What is Happening?

On Monday, November 17, Saugatuck attended Appirio’s 2014 TopCoder Open conference at Pier 48 in San Francisco. It was clear from the venue alone that it was going to be different from most conferences. Notably lacking were a lot of polished keynotes, with only a few customer examples via panels. Instead, Appirio, best known for its primary role as a Salesforce and Workday SI, opted to avoid a keynote at the beginning of the event – and instead, Dave Messinger, Chief Community Officer at Appirio, took the role of MC. TopCoder may be an Appirio property, but it appears that they understand how to let Crowd take center stage.

The event kicked off with Cathy Lewis, the CMO at 3D Systems – the company that pioneered 3D printing 32 years ago. Cathy highlighted the progress coming from 3D printing, and how it would democratize production, as well as shorten supply chains. She then explained how 3D printing wasn’t enough – it lets you take digital products and produce physical ones – but there was another piece of the puzzle: haptic technology to allow physical interaction with the digital world. That was a perfect place for the Crowd to develop new and innovative ways of solving problems using an existing technology platform. 3D Systems would supply the hardware, but was counting on the Crowd to create some innovative software use cases.

Following on that discussion was a presentation from Anthony Stevens, Solutions Architect for the IBM Watson Ecosystem who discussed the rise of Cognitive Computing. He highlighted how IBM has specifically enabled access to their Watson engine through its Bluemix PaaS, in order to help make it accessible to developers. Implicit in this was the fact that IBM doesn’t have all the answers in how Cognitive Computing will solve every problem. Giving the Crowd access to Watson would be the first step. Continue reading

APIs in the Wild

The rapidly developing API Economy is made up of many parts that are infrequently examined. APIs provide access to software services on a network, and they have existed since the early days of computing. Now they are garnering new attention as Mobility and Cloud make them more important and more accessible. Releasing APIs has become an important marketing strategy for many companies, and their usage is encouraging integration of innumerable services through mashups on the Web. Yet we seldom look at specifics of what is being released. As APIs become more important, they signal directions that development is likely to take, and herald new opportunities from bringing together previously unavailable services. They also demonstrate the increasing importance of Mobility in driving software development. Continue reading

Public Cloud Benefits vs. Exposures

Public Cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google, promote their offerings as the best choices for most IT situations. Given the broad and sometimes contradictory messages ranging across the spectrum of Cloud offerings from Private to Public to Hybrid, it is not surprising that selection can be challenging. In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck offers guidance to any Enterprise IT organization considering a Public Cloud offering.

Saugatuck characterizes Public Cloud benefits in the following areas: Continue reading

Dell Marketplace Opens for Business Beta-style

Dell hosted its Dell World 2014 conference in early November at the Austin Convention Center. And while in previous years Dell rolled out the high-tech star power – Elon Musk and Steve Ballmer delivered past keynotes – this year’s model was all business. Michael Dell hosted and made multiple appearances, and the opening panel featured McKinsey Global Institute’s Michael Chiu, Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly and Palantir Technologies’ President Shyam Sankar.

One reason why things are different this year is the leveraged buyout.

A little over a year ago, Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners completed a nearly $25 billion buyout of Dell shareholders and took Dell private. The stated reason for going private was to enable Dell, formerly publicly traded for 25 years, to accomplish its shift beyond personal computers to the diversification, synergy and higher profit margins provided by software, services and other networking tools – without the scrutiny or interference of Wall Street.

The underlying themes haven’t changed though. Dell still trumpets the mantra of Transform, Connect, Inform, Protect and still links its products and services directly to that powerful messaging.

One of the most impactful announcements at Dell World 2014 was made by Nnamdi Orakwue, vice president, Software Strategy, Operations and Cloud: Dell Marketplace has opened its public beta phase. Orakwue hopes that Continue reading

Trip Report: Key Highlights from 2014 Cloud Business Summit

What is Happening?          

Earlier this week, Saugatuck hosted its fourth annual Cloud Business Summit, an intimate gathering of 100+ large-enterprise CIOs/CTOs, CMOs, and CFOs at the Yale Club of New York City. As with previous Summits, the event explored how these leaders are realizing the most from the Cloud today. However, the key focus this year was the significant impact that Cloud is having in shaping core business strategy, as we evolve into the era of Digital Business.

Throughout the day, it was very clear that the “Cloud Experiment” is over for all but the most laggard IT shops. Up and down the Cloud technology stack and across the new master architecture (that includes mobile, social, and advanced analytics) we are moving toward mainstream adoption. Even the Finance organization is coming around, as our soon to be released CFO / CIO research will demonstrate. Given this, a key issue for business and IT leaders is how best to exploit the new frontier to build profitable and sustainable Digital Enterprises, which has now become a top-tier CXO agenda item.

Why is it Happening?

Saugatuck founder and CEO Bill McNee kicked off this year’s Summit by unveiling the results of its just completed CXO survey on Digital Business engagement, success, and key challenges. The research, conducted with 102 SVP+ IT, Finance, and Marketing leaders in McNee’s LinkedIn network – illustrates just how rapidly the shift to Digital Business is occurring.

While Saugatuck will soon be publishing more in-depth results of the research, find below some key highlights. It should be noted that the research is biased toward very large North American enterprises, as 50% of the respondents work for companies with greater than 10K employees. The insights are also reflective of very senior business and IT leaders, with nearly 60% maintaining a C-level title, with another 20% SVP+.

  • A quarter (26%) of the enterprise leaders stated that their firms were already “Fully Engaged” or “Established” in Digital business, with 74% either having “No Digital Footprint” (4%), in an “Experimental / Learning” mode (32%), or “Committed / In Process” (38%) today, although not yet generating meaningful revenue.
  • However, by 2018, more than half of these execs believe their firms will be fully “Established” Digital Businesses (57%), with another 33% fully “Engaged” – with Digital Business central to business organization, management and brand, including engagement with customers, partners, and suppliers.

Continue reading

Saugatuck Technology Announces 2014 Beacon Business IT Award Winners

On Wednesday, November 12th, Saugatuck Technology announced the 2014 winners of Saugatuck’s annual Beacon Awards for business and IT innovation. The winners were presented with their awards during Saugatuck’s annual Cloud Business Summit, held that day at The Yale Club of New York City.

This year, Saugatuck recognizes three pioneering enterprises whose innovative applications of Cloud and related IT not only improved their business, but also created new abilities to build, and compete in, Digital Business arenas. Those firms are as follows:

  • Johnson & Johnson, for its “sandbox”-driven, “skunkworks”-style comprehensive development and business improvement operations that enabled new opportunities, new business, reduced costs, and an improved ability to innovate in everything from product development to sales to customer support.
  •, which has utilized Cloud and related technologies to improve and expand global service availability and improve regulatory compliance, including ITAR and SOC 2 compliance, while reducing operating costs by as much as 30 percent, and cutting down internal resources dedicated to compliance and security by half.
  • Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, for its innovative use of hybridized, two-tier business management software to enable measurable, global standardization and improvement of business management, from interfaces, apps, and data, to reporting, localized compliance, resource management, and customer support, from headquarters down through the smallest, resource-constrained remote offices.

Continue reading