Perhaps geographic information systems (GIS), usually a specialized backroom capability, are emerging from the dark shadows of enterprise basements. The past year, saw notable changes and advancements in geospatial data and services relevant to Digital Business. These changes included integration of GIS with enterprise financial, sales, marketing, and collaboration systems and integrating enterprise development environments with location intelligence solutions to support Cloud location services.
Large-scale emergencies or disasters require sudden and dynamic resource allocation to meet the demands of geospatial professionals, related domain sciences, and the large amount of compute-capacity necessary to perform analytics on what can be terabytes of spatial data. Server-based solutions cannot typically fulfill the new access requirements. Continue reading
1. How would you define a Digital Business?
- A Digital Business or Enterprise is built upon digital technologies to create value for customers via innovative business strategies and interactive experiences that leverage an easy-to-use-and-access platform on demand.
- Internally, Digital Business empowers knowledge workers through data and collaboration, 1) enabling analytics-based insights and behaviors and 2) the ongoing enhancement of digital offerings.
- The foundation of Digital Business is the Boundary-free Enterprise, which is made possible by an array of time- and location-independent computing capabilities – Cloud, Mobile, Social and Data Analytics plus Sensors and APIs — with Integration as the glue to enable synergy and leverage business value.
- Digital Business should not be thought of in isolation, but rather as an ecosystem of the enterprise from 1) suppliers to buyers, embracing 2) business partners and technology partners and empowering 3) employees to serve their 4) customers and address their markets more effectively.
2. Why does having a digital business strategy matter for staying competitive?
- There is always a faster gun, a sweeter smile, a more convenient offer. Continuous enhancement of digital offerings is essential.
3. What are the main drivers requiring businesses to adapt by developing digital strategies?
- Better, faster, cheaper is just table stakes. We are talking about more innovative, more effective solutions that engage and retain customers. For two disruptive examples from the travel industry, consider Uber and airbnb. Uber, for example is a location-aware and pre-paid. The nearest car finds you, and the fare and tip are already paid automatically. An airport trip I took in Tampa was cheaper than the bus. airbnb is personal and intimate, but discreet and a bit of an adventure. Not too much, of course, because there are reviews, but it’s definitely not a manufactured hotel/motel experience.
Traditionally, mobility was a means of personal interaction and accessing business systems, data, and operations. Mobile technology means more than just personal enablement. Now, mobility is also a means of gathering/producing business, which in turn generates and requires an increasingly wide and deep volume and variety of data. For example, businesses can improve their customer engagement by using mobile devices to collect more feedback around the customer experience. Some mobile applications use location to expand and improve marketing efforts to customers. There is a global surge in mobile payments both via card scanners and mobile money.
It’s not just mobile phones and tablets; wearables and sensors on movable items such as vehicles and retail goods contribute to the mix of devices generating and consuming data and bandwidth. Accompanying the resulting deluge of data is uncertainty. Uncertainty abounds concerning data volumes, network capacity, security, privacy, and other processing requirements. Cloud implementations can help address this uncertainty by handling the fluctuating data and communications demands while ensuring availability and reliability. Continue reading
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
“Cloud Robotics” as a term is only a few years old, but the idea has been around for some time. If complex sensory tasks can be performed at a distance, then robots will need to have less bulky processing units on board. With expanding connectivity and higher bandwidths, some of the latency issues in this type of arrangement are being removed, and many vendors are looking at this area with renewed interest.
Robotics are essential to modern industry, and will play an ever-increasing role in daily life. Many, such as vehicles, will require some degree of autonomy. They will also require an ever increasing amount of processing and storage. The Cloud makes it possible to virtualize robot components and provide sensory and other solutions that can take advantage of the enormous facilities of Cloud IT. Robotic components can be virtualized and provided for interaction and download as a Robot-as-a-Service parts. Using the Cloud, moreover, provides access to all of the data and programming available on the Internet, and the ability to directly share learning between robots. It also makes it possible to coordinate robot teams for work on complex processes. Continue reading
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
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 Report – Cornerstones 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
What is Happening?
This week Zebra Technologies, a $1B maker of RFID devices, sensors, barcode scanners, and other asset identification and protection devices and systems, announced plans to acquire the Enterprise business (including the Symbol business unit) of Motorola Solutions to, as stated on the Zebra website:
“…combine the complementary offerings of two industry leaders in asset tracking solutions to create a market leader in enterprise asset intelligence for the Connected Age. Motorola Solutions’ mobile platform captures real-time data about physical assets, people, and transactions across the enterprise. Zebra’s enabling technologies provide visibility into business operations for deeper insights and smarter decision-making. The companies’ shared commitment to innovation will help customers harness powerful technology trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), location and motion sensing and mobile enterprise cloud computing.”
On the surface, this appears to be yet another conceptual IoT play, helping to illustrate the scope of “things” that can be, will be, and are being interconnected to enable more business data, insight, and improvement. The total acquisition price is put at $3.5B – to date, one of the larger investments or acquisitions in the name of the “internet of things.” Zebra is borrowing more than $3B to make it happen, and only putting up about $200M on its own – expecting significantly increased revenue to pay off the deal in as little as three years. Continue reading
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
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