All posts by Bill McNee

Bill McNee

About Bill McNee

Mr. McNee is the founder and CEO of Saugatuck Technology, an ISG business. In addition to leading the business unit, he spearheads research into evolving business models as a result of the shift to Cloud and Digital Business. Prior to Saugatuck, Mr. McNee spent 12 years with Gartner, the last five as GVP and Research Fellow responsible for guiding the firm’s overall research agenda in addition to leading its IT Management practice which focused on CIO governance and sourcing issues. Prior to this, he headed up Product Strategy for Gartner after several years as a lead analyst focused on enterprise software strategies. Prior to Gartner, he held strategic planning, financial management and marketing leadership roles at CBS, HBO, Comshare and the Institute for Social Research. Mr. McNee is a University of Michigan alumnus, and has completed graduate work in Economics at New York University.

Tackling Change – Digital Business Obstacles and Challenges

As Digital Business disruption continues to unfold through 2020, leveraging new enabling technologies will remain a key challenge to traditional enterprises – but it won’t be the biggest challenge. The even greater issues to tackle will be how to redefine business models, transform cultural / organizational tenets and re-skill staff to get the job done. These issues already pose huge barriers to entry for many entrenched businesses, according to a November 2015 C-level survey conducted by Saugatuck before our recent Cloud Business Summit. A new Strategic Perspective published for Saugatuck’s subscription research clients offers insights into the thinking – and worries – of business and IT leaders surveyed over the past two years.

Continue reading Tackling Change – Digital Business Obstacles and Challenges

21 Strategic Planning Positions Shaping Business IT

What is Happening?

Earlier this week, our research team came together in our weekly Research Meeting and held an open exchange around the most important changes and disruptions occurring in the Business IT and sourcing markets. This Research Alert summarizes some of the key takeaways from that meeting in the form of actionable Strategic Planning Positions (SPPs) to help our enterprise and provider clients alike navigate the turbulent waters of business computing through the coming years.

The good news is that we continue to be in a period of rapid technological change, which is having profound and positive impacts on business strategy and operations. At the same time however, businesses across the value chain are being disrupted, as they find their path in the new digital age. These are exciting times indeed. Continue reading 21 Strategic Planning Positions Shaping Business IT

Workday – 2015 Tech Summit Update

What is Happening?

I just returned from Sausalito, CA after attending Workday’s fifth annual Technology Summit at Cavallo Point. Similar to previous Summits, Workday assembled an all-star group of HR and Finance-focused industry analysts to share their vision of the future and to emphasize it’s most recent successes and challenges. What is clear is that Workday’s HCM business continues to flourish, while its Finance offerings now moves beyond an early-adopter phase and prepares to enter the mainstream. Its recently announced Workday Planning solution should be a key catalyst to broaden the appeal of its cloud-based Finance offerings, as it adds even more value to a cautious and often reluctant CFO target audience.

Interestingly, Workday spent most of the day focusing on the power of its differentiated architecture that it claims is “built for change” – given its object modeling foundation combined with a tireless focus on metadata and now microservices. No doubt this has helped it evolve its technology infrastructure during a period of rapid and successive innovations, while insulating its customers at the application layer. However, we wonder if this emphasis might merely be a prelude to some broader thinking about potential customer deployment options that it is considering down the road, given the modularity of its architecture. While clearly not imminent, Workday appears to be testing the waters on the viability of running alternately on Amazon, Azure, or Softlayer, assuming that all of the contingent liability issues related to the nature of its HR and Finance solutions, and the data that are utilized, can be addressed.  Continue reading Workday – 2015 Tech Summit Update

On The Road At Tagetik In Touch

Earlier this week I traveled to Lucca, Italy, to participate along with nearly a thousand other clients, partners and colleagues in Tagetik’s annual In Touch Partner Summit and Conference. This included moderating a panel of channel partner executives on Wednesday September 16th, and delivering an afternoon featured presentation entitled “Navigating the Cloud: What’s Driving Adoption?” on Thursday September 17th.

Long known as a provider of unified BI / corporate performance management software, Tagetik offers a robust suite that addresses a range of customer needs, including planning, budgeting and consolidations. I enjoyed meeting one-on-one with more than a dozen customers at the conference, and it quickly became clear that the solution set is especially relevant to upper-mid and large enterprise customers who emphasized Tagetik’s ability to address their complex, global requirements to me.

On Thursday, I also had a chance to sit down with Manuel Vellutini, Tagetik’s Co-CEO, and Dave Kasabian, the firm’s CMO, about their priorities for 2016 and beyond. Three key themes came through: Continue reading On The Road At Tagetik In Touch

IBM’s Bernie Meyerson Set to Keynote 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

We’re pleased to announce that Bernie Meyerson, VP and Chief Innovation Officer at IBM will deliver the opening keynote at Saugatuck Technnology’s upcoming 2015 Cloud Business Summit, taking place on November 4th at the Yale Club of NYC.

In a presentation entitled “Information Technology: A Tectonic Shift,” Meyerson will explore what’s next after Moore’s Law – as the advent of new forms of parallelism become a leading framework defining IT over the planning horizon.

Since the invention of the first solid-state computers, IT has relished in consistent, predictable advances in performance that were quite easy to assimilate – as the number of transistors on a circuit chip would doBernard Meyerson Picuble approximately every two years. Fortunately for the IT industry, increasing circuit density yielded increasing performance while reducing costs ranging from device manufacturing to electrical power consumption. Such performance increases were easy to exploit . . . and addictive. Unfortunately, as circuits have now approached the dimensions of only a few atoms, the end of increasing circuit density is near. In essence, Moore’s Law has been repealed. Meanwhile, technology advances such as predictive analytics, big data, and mobility (among others) have only continued to drive the need for IT capacity at an accelerating pace.

The consequence is that designers of IT application and infrastructure architectures will have to turn in a new, more challenging direction. As Meyerson will share, one likely scenario is Continue reading IBM’s Bernie Meyerson Set to Keynote 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

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!

Set Your Digital Business Agenda at the 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

We’re pleased to announce the date for the 2015 Cloud Business Summit, which will be held on Wednesday, November 4, at The Yale Club of New York City. This CxO event brings together marketing, finance, innovation and IT executives for a content- and concept-packed day that will help you set the Digital Business agenda for your enterprise in 2016.

Now in its fifth year, the Cloud Business Summit will feature presentations, panels and fireside chats with the most Cloud- and Digital-experienced senior business and finance executives, marketing strategists and technology leaders and evangelists. These world-class experts will reveal how enterprises can, and are, realizing the most from the Cloud in all of its forms.

This one-of-a-kind event offers peer networking, one-on-one chats with top vendor evangelists and executive leadership and a conference track designed to stretch your mind and bring Cloud technologies and Digital Business strategies down to earth. This year we have our most practical and actionable agenda ever – a reflection of the mainstreaming of Cloud technologies, and the emergence of Digital Business as a top-tier boardroom priority.

Please join us!

REGISTER NOW

What You’ll Learn at the 2015 Cloud Business Summit

Our agenda is taking shape and new speakers are being added each week as Continue reading Set Your Digital Business Agenda at the 2015 Cloud Business Summit NYC

Adaptive Insights and the CPM Value Shift

In preparation for this week’s Adaptive Live event, Saugatuck’s Bill McNee and Bruce Guptill were briefed by company execs on Adaptive Insights’ business plans, go-to-market strategy, and latest developments.

Our net takeaway: The advent of the Boundary-free Enterprise™ is changing what we think of as CPM and BI, and even FP&A, which in turn is changing the role, value, involvement, and strategies of the typical Finance organization, which itself changes the roles, business, and go-to-market approaches of providers like Adaptive Insights (1475MKT, Revisiting the Critical Changes of “Boundary-free” Business, 21Nov2014).

Adaptive Insights is a privately-held Cloud business solutions company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, founded in 2003 as Adaptive Planning. As a SaaS provider of business intelligence and corporate performance management solutions, Adaptive historically targeted smaller and mid-sized enterprises, and – as have other early-gen Cloud / SaaS providers – has more recently shifted its focus more strongly toward mid-sized and larger enterprises.

The company has also shifted from a traditional BI / CPM / FP&A add-on / ”sidecar” focus (see 51-page research report Cloud Financials – The Third Wave Emerges, 1492SSR, 17Dec2014. Non-clients can purchase download and purchase the report here) to more of an integrative Finance management suite / platform approach, which includes and extends the company’s presence – and the influence and involvement of the typical Finance organization – into other key enterprise groups including Sales and HR. Look for a range of formal announcements made earlier Continue reading Adaptive Insights and the CPM Value Shift

CFO / CIO Alignment – Critical for Cloud Financials Success

Saugatuck Technology expects the Cloud migration of core financials to take several years through at least 2020. However, this process can be eased somewhat by consciously targeting the CFO and CIO with appropriate information messaging designed to ease fears and provide solutions to meet the important challenges arising from the Cloud migration. Unless there is good alignment between CFOs and CIO on meeting the challenges of Cloud migration, core financials in the Cloud may be delayed unnecessarily.

The migration of core financials to the Cloud, while under consideration currently in most organizations and underway at more than a few early adopters, still faces challenges that matter to both CFOs and CIOs. It is clear that to move core financials to the Cloud is a truly significant undertaking that would require the close partnership of the CFO and CIO to accomplish.

Given the way in which core financials are, on the one hand, mission critical from an informational and a regulatory viewpoint and, on the other, closely intertwined with other enterprise systems, alignment of the CFO and CIO with respect to a projected Cloud migration would be essential. But how well aligned are CFOs and CIO in regard to moving Core Financials to the Cloud?

How CFO and CIO See Key Cloud Inhibitors

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Source: Saugatuck Technology, CFO/CIO Study (Dec 2014), n = 317 Continue reading CFO / CIO Alignment – Critical for Cloud Financials Success

UPDATED: FinancialForce.com – Prospering in the Salesforce Ecosystem

As part of our ongoing “Finance in the Cloud” Series, Saugatuck recently conferenced with executives from FinancialForce.com to learn more about the FinancialForce Cloud ERP / Finance solutions, their market reception, future plans for enhancement and how FinancialForce views “Finance in the Cloud.”

NOTE: This Lens360 blog post was originally published on December 16, 2014. See March 26, 2015 Business Update in the Postscript section below.

Launched in 2009 as a joint venture between UNIT4, a Dutch enterprise software company, and salesforce.com, FinancialForce was founded to enable real-time financial management built on salesforce.com’s technology platform, Force.com. The following year FinancialForce added Professional Services Automation, based on a solution acquired from Appirio. Eighteen months ago, FinancialForce made two more key acquisitions, Less Software (supply chain management) and Vana Workforce (human capital management). In early 2014, it announced its FinancialForce ERP – further repositioning itself as a unified back-office suite provider.

It has been quite a journey for FinancialForce. According to Continue reading UPDATED: FinancialForce.com – Prospering in the Salesforce Ecosystem