Cloud and Digital Business: Success Is More Than Innovation

What is Happening?

Digital Business transformation is on the minds of CIOs and LOB leaders alike. As evidenced by Saugatuck Technology’s 2014 Global Survey, there are several expected and explainable differences in Cloud and Digital Business adoption and use according to company size, IT vs. LOB position, IT adoption profile, and geographic region. But overall, Cloud and Digital Business continue to build juggernaut-like momentum through all types, sizes, and locations of business and businesspeople.

We define Digital Business as follows:

A Digital Enterprise or Digital Business leverages (and ultimately is built upon), a range of digital technologies to drive revenue and create value for customers via innovative business strategies, processes and interactive experiences. At its core, Digital Business empowers buyers and sellers through data and collaboration, enabling analytics-based insights and behaviors, and the ongoing creation (and enhancement) of digital offerings.

Digital Businessis, at its core, a means to optimize how, when, and where business is done using a dynamic array of Cloud-enabled resources – with improved means of managing and monetizing those resources and the processes in which they are used. Continue reading

Executive Insights Podcast with Vinay Mehra, CFO at WGBH

As part of our ongoing Executive Insights research program, Saugatuck’s Bill McNee recently caught up with Vinay Mehra, Chief Financial Officer at WGBH. If you are not familiar with WGBH, it is a diversified media company that among other things produces roughly 70 percent of the programming on PBS, including shows such as Downton Abbey, Frontline, Antiques Roadshow, This Old House, Nova and Masterpiece, among others.

As CFO of WGBH, Vinay oversees the company’s finance organization, corporate strategy and development, acquisitions, corporate alliances, treasury, risk management activities, administrative functions and systems, and real estate. Continue reading

The Business Problem with Big Data Analytics

What is Happening?          

Recent software analyst and IT media reports, including insights from a recent SAP Americas User Group (ASUG) survey, suggest that SAP’s HANA Big Data service / platform is not yet seen by a majority of ASUG members as benefiting their business (relative to the implementation cost of implementing), or driving enough revenue growth for SAP. SAP has, very smartly, issued a careful rebuttal explaining how, where, and why customers see value in HANA – and more importantly, offering to work with any customer to help them understand and realize business benefits from the offering and its associated apps.

We believe that, through at least 2016, this type of approach is the most effective way of getting user enterprises to understand the value of any Big Data analytics capability; i.e., develop company-specific and operationally-specific business cases in order to enable and develop business value. This is because, in most companies, Big Data analytics just can’t be widely used to deliver broad-based business benefits across the full portfolio – because user enterprises have huge challenges finding and managing their own data, let alone analyzing it. Continue reading

Digital Business – Key Challenges

Several weeks ago, Saugatuck published our topline, summary data report on current and planned adoption of, use of, and planning for Cloud and Digital Business. In that report, we stated that a combination of factors suggested the following:

  1. Digital Business tends to be very limited in scope right now, and
  2. Understanding of “Digital Business” has some way to go.

We’ve just published a Strategic Perspective research note for our CRS subscription research clients that looks at more data from our 2014 Cloud/Digital Business survey to help analyze and understand the situation. Our conclusion: while there is significant room for concept development, definition, and understanding, the strategic realities of Digital Business do in fact seem well understood by most user enterprises – but strategic readiness is lacking. One clue is in the data regarding strategic obstacles to Digital Business success, as summarized in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Strategic Digital Business Obstacles, 2014 Continue reading

AsiaPac Regional Data: Continued Growth Pushing Digital Business Leadership?

What is Happening?           

Data from Saugatuck’s latest global survey on Cloud and Digital Business adoption and use indicates tremendous activity worldwide, with the most activity, and the most reported success, among firms in the Asia-Pacific (AsiaPac) region. This suggests many things to our analysts, chiefly that (1) Digital Business certainly is “real” on a global basis, and (2) firms in the AsiaPac region continue to outpace North American and European firms in terms of Cloud and Digital Business planning, adoption, use, and reported success. It appears that firms in the AsiaPac region may have a leg up on the rest of the world in future Digital Business success.

What the data shows us right now is that, on average, about one quarter of North American and European firms report having 50 percent or more of their business IT portfolio in Cloud today. Meanwhile, nearly half of AsiaPac firms in our survey report having 50 percent or more of their business IT portfolio in Cloud. Figure 1 presents that data, along with Cloud portfolio expectations regionally through 2018.

Figure 1: Where is the Most IT in Cloud Through 2018?


Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 2014 global survey; n = 208

This data jibes with the long-standing, relatively aggressive approach to AsiaPac SaaS and Cloud adoption first reported by Saugatuck in 2010, and updated in June of 2013 828MKT, Cloud IT in AsiaPac: Pedal to the Metal and Passing the West, 20Dec2010; 1230MKT, Different Growth from Different Ground: Blossoming of the Asian Cloud, 21June2013). Continue reading

Saugatuck Premium Research Update – Volume 1

Many of our regular Lens360 and weekly Research Alert readers are aware of Saugatuck’s CRS subscription research service; excerpts from our premium research appear regularly in our Lens360 blog, and slices or summations of premium Saugatuck research reports also appear in both media. All of these have garnered terrific interest, including comments and questions that help to guide our ongoing research, and we thank you for that.

Research clients, CRS subscribers, blog readers, and other interested parties have suggested that regular updates and reviews of recently-published work would be helpful in determining how and where Saugatuck can best assist them, as well as providing a window into the breadth and depth of our research library and activity.

Beginning here, we will provide a regular summation of some of the top Saugatuck research pieces published in the past three months or so, and offer a peek ahead at what’s in store for the next few months as well.

  • Active Saugatuck premium CRS clients can access any of the listed research articles by signing in to the website, or by clicking on any of the links below and signing in.
  • While only a small portion of our premium research is for sale a la carte, non-CRS clients can purchase select individual selections by clicking on the links and following instructions for purchase. For a full listing of select premium research available for sale a la carte, click here.
  • Anyone with any questions about our CRS offering or specific research topics, programs, or pieces can call us at +1.203.454.3900, or by emailing Chris MacGregor at


5 Questions Every CISO Should Ask About Digital Business

Lead Author: Jim Hurley, Published: 30July2014, Doc Number: 1412STR

CRS Clients: Click here to access. Non-CRS Clients: Click here to purchase.

The transformative power of Digital Business may be as simple as using web applications to automate online purchases, or as disruptive as information Continue reading

Digital Marketing Ascendant

The term “Digital Marketing” was first used in the 1990s to describe marketing practices on the Internet. It has since gone out of favor in the US, supplanted by “Internet Marketing” and “Social Media”. However, as we move into the era of Digital Business, this term is developing in importance. Digital Marketing is actually leading the charge to Digital Business. It is the generally the most evolved process in using digital components such as mobility, Cloud, and Analytics; but it is also reliant upon digital content, it’s delivery, and its management. On top of this, of course, Digital Marketing is viewed as essential, can be implemented in innumerable ways, and can have a demonstrable and immediate impact upon the business.

In the latest Saugatuck global survey, we looked at key aspects of Digital Business, and found that companies viewed Digital Marketing as extremely important but not nearly as likely to be implemented. This Achievement Gap demonstrates how rapidly this area has developed. The ability to use a growing variety of digital marketing strategies and integrate them with existing technology and practices has not caught up with the perceived need. There are talent issues, both in technology and in marketing; there are technology and infrastructure issues; and there are many pieces to the Digital Marketing puzzle which have not yet been actualized. Continue reading

Amazon Enters Mobile Payments with a Sharp Knife

By now everybody knows that Amazon has launched Local Register, a direct competitor to Square and PayPal Here at much lower rates. Instead of flooding the market with free readers that nobody uses, Amazon asks business users to pay $10 up front, which eventually will be refunded through use, as Amazon will offset the first $10 of processing fees. How much lower are the processing fees? Dramatically (See Figure 1 – How Does Amazon Compare?). 1420LENS-graphic

The rate for Local Register is a full percentage point below Square, although it is necessary to sign up by October 31, 2014 to lock in the special rate through December 31, 2015. The rate will go up to 2.5% beginning January 1, 2016. Rates apply to all major credit and debit cards. And there are no additional fees for chargebacks or refunds.

Amazon claims that Local Register is compatible with Apple devices running iOS 7.0 and above and has been fully tested on the Galaxy S3, S4, S5, and Fire tablets. It may work on other Android devices, but it has not been fully tested. Apparently, Local Register does not work with the Amazon Fire smartphone.

Mobile commerce is a fast growing segment in the Cloud. The synergy of mobility and Cloud is a natural source of innovation and the mobile commerce segment has Continue reading

The Right Stuff for the Cloud

In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck offers pragmatic guidance on evaluation, planning and execution of a Cloud adoption. Specific guidance, termed The Right Stuff, is grouped into four sections. Each section contains detailed elements that should be used as a foundation for a thorough assessment and plan to avoid potentially costly missteps. The four sections of The Right Stuff are:

  1. The Right Questions. In this group we offer a basic list of questions that IT management should ask for every project that may include adoption of a Cloud offering.
  2. The Right Workload. Here we offer some elements to consider when evaluating a specific workload for potential operation in a Cloud offering
  3. The Right Infrastructure. Here we offer some elements to consider when evaluating infrastructure alternatives for any specific workload.
  4. The Right Path. Every company, every workload, every project is unique and requires a unique plan for evaluation and implementation

Continue reading

Call for Nominations: Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards for Business Innovation

The rapid global expansion and integration of Cloud for business advantage has helped to catalyze a global shift toward Digital Business – a core theme for this year’s Cloud Business Summit, and the focus of the 2014 Beacon Awards for business excellence.

“Digital Business” is defined by Saugatuck as follows:

A digital business integrates digital technologies, assets, and capabilities with business development, management, and operations, to create and adapt offerings and experiences that generate revenue and competitive advantage.

- Saugatuck Technology Inc., 2014

2013 Beacon Award Winners

2013 Beacon Award Winners – Click Here for Details

To make this happen, significant and ongoing IT and business investment and innovation need to occur, along with significant changes in culture, organization, operations and management outside of IT, including procurement, training, security, ecosystems, and provider management. Simply adding digital technologies to existing operations does not create a digital business.

Beginning in 2014, the Beacon Awards will recognize user enterprises that have not only made measurable progress toward becoming Digital Businesses, but which also have helped to shape the future of their company, their markets, and Continue reading