Cloud Pricing – A Race to the Bottom, or More Than Meets the Eye?

In recent weeks Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have all announced another round of reductions in pricing for various facets of their Cloud offerings. Some pundits and media have highlighted the collective announcements as a “price war”. In a recently published Strategic Perspective available to our premium subscription research clients, we look at the underlying implications of price reductions, and we offer projections of how the Cloud market is beginning to change. Continue reading

McNamara’s 11 Lessons Applied to Cloud IT

The accelerating pace of technological and business change wrought by Cloud development and advancement too often leads IT providers into situations where they lose sight of their goals, or lose their ability to concentrate on those goals and effectively manage according to an operative strategy.

Discussions about this with current and former military leaders working with IT providers led more than one of them to note the consistent similarities between the “fog” of uncertainties, change, and positioning within Cloud-speed IT markets, and the so-called “fog of war” – the confusion that tends to reign among commanders and combatants, either prior to action, during action, or after action – and often, in all three circumstances combined.

In 2003, former US Secretary of Defense and World Bank CEO Robert S. McNamara was the subject of an Academy award-winning American documentary film entitled “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.”  In the film, director Errol Morris interviews McNamara about eleven “lessons” contained in McNamara’s 1995 book, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam. The conditions, thinking, and actions described in those lessons are particularly well-suited to complex and rapidly-changing business environments, such as those enabled, driven, and shaped by Cloud IT. Continue reading

Big Data and Advanced Analytics Panel (CBS2013)

On September 25, 2013, Saugatuck held its 3rd annual Cloud Business Summit at the Westin Times Square in New York City.  As with prior Summits, our event brought together more than 100 large-enterprise CIOs, CTOs and senior business and finance leaders – to explore how they can and are realizing value from the Cloud. This year’s conference theme was “Rethinking Business Innovation.

One of the hottest topics in Cloud business today is Big Data and advanced analytics. While many current attempts and instances are still trials and PoCs, as enterprises work to figure out what these “power tools” can really do – significant progress and payback is being demonstrated in analyzing purchase decisions and in the targeting of customers, and in leveraging sensor data to help drive operating efficiencies throughout industry and the supply chain.

In this featured panel, Saugatuck Technology SVP and Head of Research Bruce Guptill is joined by Will Klancko, Sr. Risk Program Manager at GE Capital, Hodan Hassan, Managing Director at Unicef Continue reading

Digital Marketing Leads Digital Business

What is Happening?

During Marketo’s 3-day Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco this week, Saugatuck noticed several developments that attest to the rapidly-growing influence of Marketing as a locus and shaper of Cloud Business and the growing shift toward “digital business” strategies.

The event drew 6,000 attendees this year, up from 2,500 in 2013. Marketo itself introduced a slew of updates and changes, including an updated user interface, new real-time personalization capabilities for websites, and a new dashboard view that can become a portal for other applications in the Marketo partner ecosystem.

It was clear that Marketo and its partners are intent on expanding their audience beyond the core technology and startup businesses that have been their earliest adopters to include larger and more traditional types of enterprises, including Kaiser Permanente, CA Technologies, and General Electric (GE) – with GE CMO Beth Comstock keynoting on the third day of the event.

The scope of Marketo’s ecosystem is also growing rapidly to include numerous integrations, applications, analytics solutions, data analytics platforms, etc. “Marketing is a team sport” was a mantra oft-heard in presentations, and Marketo’s partner network was no exception, with many vendors offering services to help expand the capabilities of Marketo’s core service, as well as to tie Marketo data together with CRM systems such as Salesforce. Continue reading

Indian Aspirations and the Future of Outsourcing

Indian IT came into its own in the Y2K crisis, when enormous efforts were made to rewrite ancient code by outsourcing it to India’s so=called “code factories.” Since that time, the industry has significantly matured. It remains export-focused, and today includes India’s outsourcing giants such as TCS, Infosys, and Wipro; plus hundreds of innovation and coding centers operated by multinationals and taking advantage of the country’s skilled workforce and major center infrastructures.

Indian IT is now facing the demands of a new era, in which the traditional outsourcing model is under threat and technology is providing a range of new challenges and opportunities. Indian companies have adopted a number of strategies to cope with these changes, and are emerging from years of high growth with plenty of cash for acquisitions to broaden services. The Indian firms have also been establishing presences overseas for marketing, skills sourcing, and political reasons. They have also been working to build local markets in an expanding economy with a population that is likely to exceed that of China in just a few years. Continue reading

How Hardware Vendors Monetize Like Software

Saugatuck recently caught up with SafeNet, a 30-year old company with 3 lines of business: authentication, encryption, and software monetization. SafeNet’s Sentinel Cloud and other software monetization solutions currently enable Cloud, on-premises, hybrid and embedded solution vendors to manage over 100 million license keys.coins

Ironically, SafeNet’s biggest challenge in its monetization business is increasing market awareness. Why? Historically, SafeNet has been a security solutions provider to government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, flying below the radar for exactly those reasons. For example, SafeNet protects nearly $1 trillion in interbank transfers daily.

Recently, SafeNet has been helping hardware vendors monetize Continue reading

Microsoft Build, Free Windows, and Strategy

What is Happening?

So far, focus at Microsoft’s Build developer event on the audio-driven Cortana PDA has garnered tremendous publicity. Saugatuck believes that Cortana right now provides a sexy sideshow distracting from what Saugatuck considers to be a public acknowledgement by Microsoft concerning its core strategic positioning.

cortana

Source: Microsoft

In Saugatuck’s opinion, the Microsoft news this week with the greatest impact on Microsoft and IT markets was announcement of free Windows licensing on smaller mobile devices.This announcement puts clear and massive Microsoft internal and ecosystem emphasis on Cloud; it positions Cloud as keystone in Microsoft’s strategic business. That’s an excellent move, and at in business terms, it is much more sexy than the Cortana PDA. The move helps to push developers and users away from traditional computing devices, and reduces (and over time removes) the company’s opportunity for massive, volume-driven revenue growth in smaller, more numerous devices.

We think that this is an interesting step, an important step, but one that indicates that Microsoft is really still pursuing its traditional business model – just under a “Cloud-first” halo. Continue reading

Okay, so you do DevOps, but what about…?

The key to a successful transformation to Digital Business will be how well the organizational culture can absorb its new priorities and reflect them in the work that drives the enterprise. This shift in attitude includes a bias for action, a willingness to continuously adapt and change, and a commitment to excellence on behalf of the customer. Digital Businesses are based largely on recurring revenue, and profitability in a Digital Business depends on high rates of customer retention.

The continuous deployment to the Cloud of innovative, high quality, and responsive DevOps_Lifecyclesoftware is at the heart of the customer relationship. In today’s market, the consumer experience has thoroughly permeated the customer’s expectations for Digital Business offerings. Customers will expect services that are as easy to use as buying on Amazon, as empowering and intuitive as an Apple or Android mobile device, and as dependable as a Toyota SUV. And, as in those business segments, the table stakes keep changing as customers demand more and more from their providers. Continue reading

Three Reasons to Leave Your Cloud Provider

In a relationship with a Cloud provider – just as in a personal relationship – the relative importance of functions and services delivered by the provider can vary dramatically from customer to customer or even from user to user within the same customer. In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck proposes that the most efficient and effective methodology for a customer to evaluate a relationship with a Cloud provider is to focus on whether (and, how well) the Cloud provider is fulfilling expectations in the following three areas: Continue reading

Security is Transformed by Cloud, Big Data and Intelligence

The crowd says Cloud is less secure and holds more risk than enterprise networks. But try to convince the principals at Target of this, and you’ll be told that nothing is secure anymore, unless you turn it off. Unlike the conventional wisdom of the crowd, Saugatuck sees the Cloud as the path through which the entire field of information security is going to become transformed into more control and less risk.

The age of big data security analytics is in its childhood, but this child is growing fast and strong and will soon carry the entire industry on its shoulders as it transforms current practices and technologies. The primary constraint to its growth is the necessary skills to interpret and use the new generation of big data security analytic tools. This key restraint will be overcome by Cloud-enabled application services and the massive pools of information these analytic applications will ingest from around the world. Continue reading