The Next Wave of Consumerization of Business IT is Now

What is Happening?           

The first wave of consumerization of IT, which includes Social, Mobile, and the UI elements popularized in Cloud applications have now made their way thoroughly into the enterprise. Less and less business software is developed in-house and the majority of new software now has mobile components. Social IT now permeates most enterprises, and streams, feeds, and quick collaboration now make up a major part of many business applications, from Finance and HR, to Customer Support and CRM. Of course, new SaaS applications are not totally ubiquitous yet. And many companies are still operating on legacy applications, or traditional infrastructure.

But the pace of innovation does not lag, and so the next wave of consumerization is already ramping up. And in many cases, companies that have traditionally been laggards in technology adoption – often because new technology was not a competitive advantage – feel differently this time around. Industries like manufacturing, retail, logistics and supply chain are investigating and producing new, digitally enabled products based on the next generation of consumerization, which includes IoT, Drones, Virtual Reality, Autonomous Vehicles, and Indoor and Outdoor geospatial data. These trends, coupled with advances in rapid prototyping – 3D scanning, printing, and machining – are enabling companies that had little to gain from the revolution in knowledge worker technologies to produce world class products and services that can change their business. (1623RA, Cloud-driven “Leapfrogging” Alters Linear Nature of Business IT Change, 21 Aug 2015)

Why is it Happening?

Consumer-driven activities have primarily benefited from the application of lab-engendered IT breakthroughs to products and services. Companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook have introduced major new products, as well as made major acquisitions, to drive that continued innovation, and it has paid off. These innovations have had a bubble-up effect on enterprise IT, and this trend seems unlikely to change or slow any time soon.

As enterprise IT falls under ever-increasing cost pressure, and continues to face upheaval as it realigns with changing business needs (1573RA, New Report Identifies Problems and Fixes in CFO-CIO Synchronization, 07May2015), business innovation will continue to be driven by consumer behavior with, and adaptation of, IT, where the market for new services and devices is characterized by both rapid iteration and failure, as well avoidance of ossification. While there are often large costs to changing business applications or technology stacks in the enterprise, consumers can easily change devices and platforms with little or no cost. In this kind of environment, IT vendors and users both benefit from consumerization leading enterprise IT. Continue reading The Next Wave of Consumerization of Business IT is Now

Risky Business: Incorporating Analytics in the Engine of Risk

As Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) continues to advance as a concept, linking financial, operational, and GRC risk management across the enterprise, new opportunities are emerging from the application of Big Data. Business is about risk; and management of an enterprise is about risk management. Risk and opportunity are inextricably strictly linked, per the famous and somewhat mistaken Chinese character which has been a business management meme since the 60s.

Application of Big Data and Advanced Analytics to risk management can create enormous potential for a change in how firms are run. While current application of analytics to this area tends to remain relatively small and limited to niche areas such as fraud detection, immediate market changes, regulation and bug forecasts, and the like, the capabilities are growing exponentially. Application of Advanced Analytics directly to business processes can create a mechanism of advanced performance in which individual processes are modified in accordance with an immediate analysis of risk. Such modification and would enable an intelligent form of agility, permitting companies to respond to events where they might occur within markets, supply chains, business conditions, and other areas. This will have different effects in different industries, initially impacting financial services and other professional services that can be immediately tailored to meet changing conditions. Yet we can see the potential for integration with manufacturing, software development and the like. Continue reading Risky Business: Incorporating Analytics in the Engine of Risk

CenturyLink: Setting Sights on Tomorrow’s Cloud

As Cloud adoption continues to broaden (across enterprises) and deepen (within enterprises), enterprises are not only gaining keener understanding of Cloud offerings – they are preparing for, and moving to, more types of hybridized IT environments that leverage Cloud-based infrastructure in more ways (1613STR, Beyond Agile, Beyond Hybrid – The Malleable Infrastructure, 24July2015). Enterprise IT organizations especially are maturing with regard to Cloud, from an initial focus on infrastructure cost reduction to a more sophisticated – and more broad – emphasis on establishing an IT infrastructure that will support and enable the transformation of their company to digital business capabilities and profitability (1553SSR, 2015 Infrastructure Survey: Next-Gen IT – Cloud on the March 01Apr2015).

We believe that all Cloud infrastructure and managed services providers understand this shift, but some are better at bringing it to market than others. One that is making substantial progress toward enabling and delivering more hybridized and digital-business-friendly enterprise IT infrastructure is CenturyLink, which updated Saugatuck in a private briefing on August 18. CenturyLink laid out a well-articulated strategy for continuing its evolution from a traditional hosting provider to being a provider of Cloud-first, hybridized, enterprise-grade IT and business offerings, ranging from infrastructure to professional services. They’ve demonstrated this through a fairly straightforward combination of organic and acquisition-based growth, including data center expansions in six markets – Boston, London, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington D.C. – in the first half of 2015, along with the following recent acquisitions:

  • April, 2015 – acquired Orchestrate, a provider of managed database services for rapid application development;
  • December, 2014 – acquired Cognilytics, a provider of predictive analytics and big data solutions; and
  • December, 2014 – acquired DataGardens, a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) provider.

Continue reading CenturyLink: Setting Sights on Tomorrow’s Cloud

Saugatuck Research: Private Clouds Will Grow Fastest

In 1Q2015 Saugatuck executed a global Web-based Cloud Infrastructure Survey and compile the responses from 327 IT executives spanning major geographies and business sizes. The survey results are summarized in the 73 page Strategic Report 2015 Infrastructure Survey: Next-gen IT – Cloud on the March, 1553SSR, published on 01Apr2015. Subsequent, in-depth analyses of the survey responses continue to yield additional insights. A just published Strategic Perspective focuses on the respondents’ projection that – contrary to popular views – over the next two years, the use of Private Cloud will increase faster than the use of Public Cloud for existing and future application workloads. Specifically, respondents projected the usage of Private versus Public Cloud to shift from a 27% to 73% ratio in 2015 to a 40% to 60% ratio in 2017.

As a result of ongoing conversations with enterprise IT executives and with representatives from Cloud providers, Saugatuck has identified that the reasons for Private Cloud preferences are far from simplistic. Rather, some of the inhibitors to selecting Public Cloud may be insurmountable in the near term…or longer. Saugatuck has identified the following four categories of challenges that are inhibiting the usage of Public Cloud: Continue reading Saugatuck Research: Private Clouds Will Grow Fastest

Cloud-driven “Leapfrogging” Alters Linear Nature of Business IT Change

What is Happening?           

Over the last several years, many companies have been transitioning various processes, workloads, and applications to the Cloud. During that time, many have also been systematically modernizing their applications using newer generations of technologies. In large part due to the speed, cost, and utility of Cloud-based IaaS, PaaS and SaaS capabilities, more and more are deciding that, rather than modernize, they will instead migrate to one or more Cloud-based alternatives.

With this as a backdrop, though, it has been easy to overlook another important change in today’s IT environment: the accelerating decline, and potential demise, of the linear progression of business IT change. In an increasing number of cases, it is simply easier, and more enabling for the business, to leapfrog multiple stages of IT change to an entirely new state of competitive capabilities, without losing the necessary functionality, interconnectivity, or data.

Why is it Happening?

It used to be that organizations were locked into certain technology stacks, which progressed version by version ad infinitum. The result of this, was that innovation was stifled in the face of the continuous progression of incremental change.

There is nothing wrong with incremental improvement, but it is also true that with limited resources in IT departments, and shrinking IT budgets, which have only recently started to recover, the opportunity cost in time and organizational focus was heavily diverted away from innovation. Traditionally, this led to an unofficial 80/20 rule, where 80 percent (or more) of the IT budget was spent in day-to-day operations, maintaining and managing continuous, incremental change, while 20 percent (or less) was spent on new activities, innovations etc.

The evolution of the resource-on-demand model in the Cloud has been the driver of this shift. The widespread, instantaneous access to resources has made experimentation at scale and speed possible, even in budget-constrained environments. The Cloud in turn kicked off increasing waves of development in automation, and new programming frameworks and languages that were designed to make development and deployment at scale easier. Continue reading Cloud-driven “Leapfrogging” Alters Linear Nature of Business IT Change

Using Business Data More Effectively: Incorporate Location

Businesses do not effectively use enough of their data. Period. But, as is explained in a Strategic Perspective published for Saugatuck Technology CRS subscription research clients, their lack of use of location data can truly stymie business development and growth

Executives think they have inadequate information for decision making despite unprecedented data streams. There are many reasons why, including the underuse of location data and location intelligence. The uses of location data and geospatial technologies are growing across business sectors. Yet a general ignorance still prevails. This lack of understanding negatively and significantly affects policies, laws, and even business outcomes.

An analysis of survey results of released this week from Oracle/WSJ. Custom Studios shows 98 percent of executives in large enterprises believe that their company is losing revenue as a result of not effectively managing and leveraging information. Leading expected future data sources are social media, market data, customer information, and sales/marketing. All of these sources include or rely on location for relevance.

We think a major reason companies do not get expected value from their data is limited use of location data and location analysis methodologies, tools, and services. Some blame the situation on the geospatial industry that evolved in partial isolation from other enterprise applications. Others suggest there’s simply a lack of education in the geographic sciences. Continue reading Using Business Data More Effectively: Incorporate Location

Saugatuck – The Next Chapter

What is Happening?          

Typically, Saugatuck uses our weekly Research Alert as a means of informing our 20,000+ readers of significant and impactful developments in the business of IT. Some of these developments are widely-seen and obviously important; others may be less widely known, but still just as impactful on enterprise IT users, buyers, and providers.

In that spirit, we are using this week’s Research Alert to inform you (or for some, to confirm) that Saugatuck Technology has become a business unit of Information Services Group (ISG) of Stamford, CT (NASDAQ: III). Based in Stamford CT, the company has more than 900 employees and operates in 21 countries.

As a business unit of ISG, Saugatuck Technology will retain our established, independent, and unbiased research, analysis, and consulting direction and voice regarding Cloud, Digital Business, and other innovations that disrupt markets and business operations by enabling better ways of doing business, new ways of doing business, and entirely new businesses, for enterprises and IT providers alike. Most importantly, Saugatuck will retain all existing client relationships – and now, be even better able to provide more value in more ways to those clients. Continue reading Saugatuck – The Next Chapter

The Self-Aided Analytics Solution

There has long been a problem in making analytics solutions available and accessible to the user. This has created innumerable trends toward simplification, and left many users with inadequate solutions. Large numbers of businesses and enterprise departments still rely upon spreadsheets to fill a significant portion of their Business Intelligence and data analytics requirements. However, the advent of Big Data and the advantages of Advanced Analytics are making simple solutions less possible and are raising the bar for analytics across all types and sizes of business.

Unfortunately, Advanced Analytics requires expertise that is not always available. While processing capabilities are becoming available on a SaaS basis from the cloud, experts are still required to formulate questions and produce understandable results. But what if we could apply Analytics to the querying process itself, and to the production of usable results?

New programs are beginning to do just that, with IBM’s Watson Analytics leading the way in providing a Natural Language Processing front-end for its Cognos analytics solution, and using analytics to provide immediately accessible visualizations to the user. All major analytics vendors are now moving in the direction of Natural Language Processing for queries, and a number of vendors are also moving into easy visualizations, as defined by market leader Tableau, that permit a naïve user to more fully grasp the implications of available data. Continue reading The Self-Aided Analytics Solution

Making Threat Intelligence, Intelligent

The old joke about military intelligence is that the term is an oxymoron. This came into being not because people serving in the military were unintelligent, but from the experience of many who served in the military witnessed orders that appeared unintelligent, but which had to be followed. The fact that many military orders start with policy initiated by politicians may put the phrase into a different context had it been politician intelligence.

In fact, military intelligence is a discipline with a very long history that collects a lot of data and information, analyzes the data and provides guidance to commanders who need to make decisions. This places it close to the reality of where the average enterprise finds itself today: at war with smart cyber-attackers who are hired by competitors and criminal gangs, or battling well-equipped and superbly-trained State actors with very different motives, and from an onset of hacktivists and terrorists.

Current cyber threat intelligence services are in their infancy and childhood. Some of the Cloud-based services are delivering raw data masquerading under the rubric intelligence, while others are delivering data that has been evaluated and analyzed by human intelligence analysts. Continue reading Making Threat Intelligence, Intelligent

A New Era Begins for Saugatuck and Our Clients

Today marks the beginning of the next, exciting chapter in the long-running story of Saugatuck Technology. Since we began in 2003, we’ve worked tirelessly to build ourselves into one of the most trusted and reliable sources of research, analysis, and guidance on emergent and disruptive business IT. Our clients include the largest and most influential IT vendors and services providers and some of the most disruptive, game-changing Cloud and Digital Business providers, along with Global 2000 enterprises in financial services, media, and other markets who need to understand and be able to take advantage of this disruption.

As of today, we will be in an even better position to advise, guide, and assist our clients as we become part of Information Services Group (ISG), a leading, publicly-traded technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company. You can read the official announcement made by ISG earlier today here, as well as find out more in an ISG blog here.

ISG’s acquisition of Saugatuck secures robust, credible, and trusted research, analysis, and guidance that expands both firms’ abilities to develop and deliver fact-based insights, expert opinion, and leading-edge guidance on emerging and innovative uses of business IT and services, along with associated opportunities and market changes. And the resources brought to the table by ISG will certainly add value to Saugatuck and, more importantly, to our clients and partners.

As with any such transaction, there will be some transitions to work through, but nothing will disrupt our work with and for our clients. Our research programs continue as they were; our client-specific work continues without interruption; and our Nov. 4th annual Cloud Business Summit at the Yale Club in New York City carries on as the premier, C-level peer event for discussion and education regarding Cloud IT and Digital Business opportunity and transformation. Even our name continues – we now become Saugatuck Technology, an ISG business.

Please feel free to call me or email me directly with any questions at all about this new, exciting chapter in the Saugatuck story. And stay tuned to our Lens360 blog for more information on our transformation and transition, especially as we develop and launch more ways to develop and deliver value.

Thanks for your business, your insight, and your assistance through the first Saugatuck era; we look forward to working with you all through the next era and beyond!