Tag Archives: analytics

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

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

Alteryx Inspire – The Importance of Analytic Context

Recently, Saugatuck attended the 2014 Alteryx Inspire event in San Diego as part of our ongoing Analytics, BI, and Big Data research. The event showcased not just Alteryx offerings and customers, but also did a good job of presenting and encouraging discussion around Analytics trends, partner relationships, and challenges for users of analytics – including Big Data. We came away from the event with three key insights, as follows:

1) ETL & Access to the Data. One of the primary differentiators of Alteryx is built-in ETL. Even though the application features significant Advanced Analytics capabilities (built around the R language), the Alteryx Designer focuses around an ETL-centric workflow. These capabilities make Alteryx adept at combining multiple data sources, and performing complex Joins and Transformations that would normally be prohibitively difficult for end-user business analysts. These capabilities feature centrally for the customers that we talked to as well, as most Continue reading

Keys to Digital Transformation, Cornerstones for Digital Business

What is Happening?          

Digital delivery models are impacting traditional businesses. Driven by consumer demand for convenience and new consumption models, including subscriptions and usage-based consumption, enterprises are moving to Digital Business models and offerings, and finding huge upside from predictable revenue streams and long-term, recurring-revenue customer relationships.

There’s no simple means of accomplishing this, however – there’s no “silver bullet.” Saugatuck’s research in the constantly-changing, constantly-innovating world of Digital Business continues to indicate that success requires not only significant investment in business strategy, modeling, and organization, but also a flexible, platform-based approach built on three cornerstones: data analytics, dPaaS and other Cloud development platforms, and DevOps.

A 36-page new Saugatuck Strategic Research ReportCornerstones for Digital Business: Big Data, dPaaS, and DevOps – summarizes and explains this platform-based approach, using key concepts of Digital Business, in-depth explanation of the required platform architecture, and re-examinations of foundational Saugatuck research to illustrate and guide readers through Digital Business transitions. 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

The Coming Big Data Tsunami in Finance

Industry research, including work done for clients by Saugatuck Technology, has consistently indicated a lag in adoption of Big Data and Advanced Analytics within the financial area – including Finance processes in business, and in the Financial Services industry itself. This has been attributed to natural caution regarding this data and these activities, so central to business. But the reasons for this lag go deeper, and are more complex than might be supposed. In consequence, as the Big Data revolution begins to fully engage finance, there are likely to be significant repercussions, and great opportunities for vendors.

The Financial Services industry and the enterprise Finance function are inherently linked. In some large companies, there is little difference between department operations and those of an investment firm or a small bank. New technologies and concepts are tested in both environments, creating a healthy cross-pollination of innovation. Shared issues include the need to optimize investments, special regulatory concerns, special security concerns; and a host of measures for understanding, measuring, and predicting financial results. Continue reading

Predictive Analytics: Knowing What Already Happened Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

A new Strategic Perspective published for Saugatuck Technology clients looks at how and why simply reporting on what has already happened, or monitoring various aspects of a business, is unlikely to provide adequate insights needed to make high-impact decisions and to better the competition. Enterprises are therefore combining internal operations and external data streams in new ways, which is blurring the traditional lines between these two entities, while providing new actionable information. The result: Fast-growing interest in Predictive Analytics, especially as regards using Big Data. Many businesses have and are moving to predictive and prescriptive analytics as a way to get better returns on their Big Data investments by determining causation from predictive analytics. Continue reading

Cloud in the Age of Insight – Mike Rhodin, SVP IBM Software Solutions (CBS2013 Video)

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.

In this featured presentation, Mike Rhodin, SVP IBM Software Solutions explores the longer-term impacts of cloud, and how it is not only an alternative computing model but a gateway to help companies achieve competitive advantage.  Efficiency, speed and flexibility have Continue reading

Populating the Dataverse: Headhunting for Analytics

Recent market studies, including our own 2013 Cloud adoption and use research program, indicate that Big Data and Advanced Analytics remain high on the agenda for most corporations as an important competitive ability. Yet those same studies show that companies are being held back by a lack of suitable staff to handle the new requirements. Fixing the staffing needs of analytics is the opening round in what can be foreseen as an escalating need to acquire new skills to meet the continuously changing needs of the BfE.

IT departments have now reached an inflection point in which new ways of doing things are supplanting older patterns. Organizations are changing, employment possibilities are changing, and new concepts are being explored not only in analytics, but in recruitment and training as well. There are wide ranging impacts to these changes that challenge the notion of generational differences and the valuation of recently degreed candidates. In future, everyone will need to engage in continuous learning, and re-training will be commonplace. Hiring to meet each emergent need will simply be too cost prohibitive, and new skills will have a shorter value cycle—just as innovation has a shorter value cycle in the fast moving enterprise of today. Continue reading

Research Alert: Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics – Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

What is Happening? 

There is little doubt that the technologies and capabilities of Cloud, Mobility, Social IT and Advanced Analytics (CMSA) promise great value to user enterprises. Few enterprises of any type or size are not actively pursuing each.

And according to the latest research from Saugatuck, enterprise executives expect significant competitive value from each as well. In our Q1 global Cloud IT survey this year, we asked participants to “please indicate how important each of the following technologies are to your company’s competitiveness over the next 24 months.” Figure 1 aggregates the percentages of survey responses ranking each as “Very Important” or “Extremely Important” – rankings that have, over the years, been reliable indicators of imminent investment.

Figure 1: Ranking CMSA Competitive Value

Cloud Mobile Social and Analytics for Business Value

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 1Q2013 global web survey; n = 218

CMSA is truly a simultaneously evolving set of services and capabilities, helping to change enterprise IT from a monolithic entity into sets of loosely-coupled, complementary services.

But as much value as each of these provides (or is expected to provide), even greater value is seen from combining them with each other, and with business management applications software and processes in key enterprise systems. Figure 2 summarizes our survey data regarding how business and IT leaders see combinations of Mobile, Social and Advanced Analytics with enterprise business systems as adding the greatest business value to the enterprise. The higher the percentage, the more survey participants see business value.

Figure 2: The Integrated Value of CMSA with Enterprise Business Systems

The Value of Mobile, Social, and Analytics on Business Apps

Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc., 1Q2013 global web survey; n = 218

Clearly, Cloud-based Mobile, Social, and Advanced Analytics are seen as relatively less beneficial to business when used individually (in most cases) than when used in combination with each other, and as part of enterprise business systems. In short, while Mobility, Social IT and Advanced Analytics each have intrinsic value, that value is typically multiplied with coordinated use.

Why is it Happening? 

With past IT architectures, single or serial evolutionary trends tended to define the evolution, and IT became more and more focused on (obsessed with?) tightly-integrated technologies and systems. This grew through the almost manic progression of 1990s-era distributed and client-server architectures, which brought increased scrutiny on IT costs, resulting in edicts to standardize and integrate, which in turn led to a renewed emphasis on tightly-coupled architectures and technologies.

What makes the combination of CMSA different is that buyers, users, and increasingly some IT leaders are starting to see the potential value and utility of systems, technologies, and business operations that are only loosely-coupled and not tightly integrated. Integration is readily available and reasonably affordable in the form of Cloud-delivered services that alleviate many requirements for tightly-coupled technologies and systems. Cloud Integration services also expand the choice for building out certain capabilities beyond the traditional vendors of complicated, pre-built solutions and heavy customization, toward building a functional alternative from a variety of better suited products from different vendors without the tight coupling at their core.

The high value of Analytics, both alone and when combined with other capabilities and systems, is easy to understand, as the ability to better analyze and then utilize business data has long been a goal of IT and business leaders. In short Analytics almost intrinsically adds value everywhere. Mobility enables greater reach and utility of most business systems; and Social IT enables improved collaboration, which in turn adds value by improving group and resource communication and coordination. And with Cloud, they can often be added, used, and removed as needed –an additional value from the inherent flexibility of loosely-coupled, Cloud-based services.

Finally, more CMSA offerings are being architected with multiple, often open, standards-based interfaces that enable them to work with a wider array of business systems and data. They are enabling Mobile, Social and Analytics capabilities that recently cost significant amounts of additional money when included with traditional software (and didn’t always work as well as needed or expected). Buyers have wanted some combinations of these capabilities for years; making them available cheaply via Cloud has accelerated and expanded their adoption and use.

Market Impact 

By YE 2017, the inclusion of Cloud-based Mobile, Social and Analytics capabilities will be considered de rigueur and required by the majority of IT buyers and users. SaaS and BPaaS provider understand this, and are scrambling to engineer, integrate or embed an increasing range of such capabilities with their offerings.

Most will utilize capabilities from such providers as Dell Boomi, IBM CastIron, Informatica, MuleSoft, Pentaho, etc. These and other Cloud-based integration-as-a-service platform providers (“iPaaS”) are already, rapidly, pursuing BPaaS, SaaS, and other PaaS providers to embed a wide range of integration capabilities into business process services and solutions. So we believe that the loosely-coupled advantages of CMSA will only continue to grow. There will be no shortage of established and upstart providers serving enterprises and Cloud-based business solution providers alike.

Large-scale business management solution providers (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, SAP) will be pressured to add more data and workflow integration capabilities and APIs to their core Cloud platforms; their traditional preferences for in-house “standards” will decrease as more buyers and users come to accept, then expect, the loosely-coupled IT and business reality of the Boundary-free Enterprise™.

This loosely-coupled future also helps to bring clarity and certainty to the roles of traditional SIs and enterprise IT departments. The proliferation of services and providers will mean increased roles, and increased need for skills, as enterprise users force the growth of a variety of hybridized IT and business environments, utilizing a changing array of Cloud-based offerings that need to work with other Cloud-based and on-premises systems. There will be new, different, and more skills required, and roles will continue to adapt, but there will be no shortage of need for skilled and experienced IT professionals in a world replete with ever-changing, dynamically-utilized IT.

More detailed analysis of this and much more data from Saugatuck’s 2013 Cloud IT survey will be published for Saugatuck CRS clients beginning the last week of June, including a series of research analyses and data reports.