Tag Archives: Boundary-free Enterprise

Standards Still Matter in the Boundary-free Enterprise™

Technology developers need standards to connect and interoperate. Open standards are still relevant because their use improves efficiencies and lowers costs. Thus they are necessary in not only the API economy, but in the global economy. Today’s Internet simply does not function without them; neither does tomorrow’s Internet of Things. The idea of connecting everything with a plug or battery is untenable without open global standards. Open global standards processes also give end users around the world voices and influence in what gets proposed and eventually implemented. Yet some standards efforts have resulted in poor outcomes, being overly entwined with vendor-specific implementations. All stakeholders in the technology arena should participate in standards development to help ensure positive outcomes.

A new Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck Technology CRS subscription research clients examines how and why certain open standards matter for the emergent Boundary-free Enterprise™ business model and for the Internet of Things – and also, which efforts and organizations are the most influential in this area, why enterprises and vendors participate in standards-making processes, and the importance of including standards requirements in procurement practices. Continue reading

Microsoft Strategizes on the Boundary-free Digital Business Shift

What is Happening?

Microsoft has generated significant news presence in recent weeks. In Saugatuck’s view, the most significant was CEO Satya Nadella’s sit-down interview at this week’s Code Conference, where he promoted a vision of Microsoft’s future as “building platforms and software for productivity.” We see his remarks, and Microsoft’s actions, as indicating a powerful shift toward enabling boundary-free enterprises and Digital Business, and indicating a massive, envelopment business strategy extension.

In the context of how the company expects to compete, Nadella stated that we’re entering an era in which Microsoft’s software and services need to be available on “all devices,” adding that “Microsoft has to build apps and platforms that are not really about a specific device, but for people.”

Bottom line: Microsoft is trying to enable itself, its users, and its channels to extend and expand what everyone’s business is and does. Saugatuck sees this as a continuing re-direction toward the Boundary-free Enterprise™ reality, which could not only result in Microsoft retaining its current influence but build its revenue sources and streams beyond the already massive presence. IT markets, be aware: The Windows footprint is expanding – everywhere. Continue reading

Energy Efficiency and Being Green in the Boundary-free Enterprise

Global technology use consumes significant and growing amounts of energy. However, the elements of energy usage and costs in most enterprises are complex. Enterprises that move to the cloud can likely expect savings in their energy usage and costs. Meanwhile, the providers of cloud services are rapidly increasing their energy footprints with more servers, networking equipment, and data centers. The energy equation used to be simpler, with limited sources. But now companies are building and managing their own sources, and the types of sources have expanded to include not only traditional coal-based electricity but also wind and solar.

But it’s not just about costs – enterprises are considering sustainability and public relations associated with their energy usage practices. Green shaming through research and media reports is exposing the practices of some of the best-known brands in consumer and enterprise cloud services. Yet the vendors are not without fault in playing the hype game, with their own publicity about their energy usage claims. Both vendors and end user enterprises should move the discussion from publicity to how to make real improvements. Continue reading

The Cloud and Business Innovation (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.

In this opening Keynote presentation, Saugatuck’s founder and CEO Bill McNee kicks off the conference with some opening remarks focusing on some key trends framing business computing today. As the longer-term impact of the Cloud becomes clearer, the role and mission of IT is quickly evolving. Progressive CIOs are realizing that the Cloud is often not only about saving money and internal process improvement, but provides an opportunity for IT to become infused into the product itself, and central to the customer experience – especially with Continue reading

Five Questions About the Internet of Things

What is Happening?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is stepping up to be a next-generation driving force in IT. Coupled with the emergence of the API economy, companies are instrumenting more devices, objects, and physical assets than ever with sensors, and with Internet connections, and linking them into business-critical systems.

At the same time, the consumer space is also inundated with new sensor-driven, and data-driven, technologies. Fitness trackers like FitBit and Nike+ Fuelband, to home thermostat and smoke/CO alarms like Nest, car trackers from Automatic, to home lighting systems like Phillips Hue. Many of these applications leverage the APIs of social networks and also the sensors in smartphones, to build holistic views of your life with interactivity and control as the payoff. This data is also becoming increasingly reliable. Recent iterations of location-tracking features from Foursquare are driven by these masses of data and combine predictive data analysis with sensors to provide even more accurate results, as the recent Wired article discussed. Continue reading

The API Economy, Not Just Another Service Bus

What is Happening?           

The API economy is not conceptually new in most of its facets. The core idea that libraries of services could be called to create applications has been both proposed and adopted through SOA and ESBs for more than a decade, and prior to that in mainframe programming with the use of Programming Libraries. There, are however, some marked differences in the surrounding technology climate that have made the API economy different from previous iterations, and in many ways much more potent, which include availability over the Internet, the true enablement of multi-vendor suites, and their ubiquity in the rise of Cloud, Mobile, Social, and Analytics.

Why is it Happening?

The API Economy does not just refer to the services that are available, but also that they are easily accessibly across networked systems, usually over the Internet and through cloud applications. The implications here are that Continue reading

The Boundary-free Enterprise™ Evolves via Explosive Growth and Synergy

What is Happening?

As Saugatuck has been reporting for some time now, there is an historic change underway, building on the foundations of the Cloud transition. 2012 was perhaps the most dramatic year in ISV-to-Cloud and pureplay-Cloud startup activity, and the catalyst for this was the growth of Mobile, Social and Analytics platforms driving the evolution of the Boundary-free EnterpriseTM.

Why is it Happening?

We have witnessed, and continue to witness, the shift from On-premises data processing to the Cloud and Hybrid-Cloud platforms that drive SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. We know Enterprise buyers have clearly indicated their preferences for deploying these Cloud and Hybrid solutions, and there appears to be a convergence of Cloud and Hybrid Cloud into a single buying and deployment preference (See Figure 1 – Cloud, Hybrid and On-premises Deployments: Note Cloud and Hybrid Convergence).

Figure 1: Cloud, Hybrid and On-Premises Deployments 2012-1016


Source: Saugatuck Technology, 2012 Cloud Survey N=228

Coincident with the decline in On-premises deployments and the rise in the Converged Cloud is a dramatic rise in the Mobile, Social and Analytics platforms that enable the Boundary-free EnterpriseTM.

Recent surveys with Enterprise buyers combined with survey and interview-based research transitioning ISVs and Cloud pure-play startups emphasize the significant investments that are being made in Mobile, Social and Analytics platform over the past year. We are in the process of deploying our Spring 2013 Cloud survey that will help us to capture even more data concerning these aspects of the Boundary-free EnterpriseTM.  However, there can be no doubt that Mobile, Social and Analytics platforms – and their intersection points – offer almost limitless opportunities for innovative Cloud business solutions to ISVs, Cloud Pure Plays and Enterprises alike.

Saugatuck research has revealed that the greatest commercial opportunity at present and through year-end 2015 will be in Mobile and Analytics solutions. Social Business continues to rely on the free-advertising model for most of its revenues, and while consumer use is considerable, the monetization of Social Business platforms is still widely uncertain. While some industry segments are significantly leveraging all three of these platforms (e.g., Media / Entertainment), along with Cloud, a more common trend is a laser-like focus on Mobile and Analytic investments (e.g., Financial Services, Health Care, Pharma).

Nevertheless, these three key underpinnings of the Boundary-free Enterprise will grow explosively through the next two years, with the size of the market for these offerings doubling over the period, while proportionally remaining consistent (See Figure 2: Mobile, Social, Analytics Platforms: Two-fold Growth, Proportions Unchanged).

Figure 2: Mobile, Social, Analytics Platforms: Two-fold Growth, Proportions Unchanged


Source: Saugatuck Technology, 2013

Perhaps the greatest interest from investors and innovative startups alike is at the intersections of these three platforms, i.e., Social Analytics, Mobile Social, and Mobile Analytics. For example, Social Analytics continues to attract investment as advertising, sales and marketing inputs in real time and are a highly valuable form of information that can lead directly to revenue. Razorfish founder Jeffrey Dachis’ new startup Dachis Group has recently raised $7.5 million in series C financing, led by Austin Ventures, bringing the company’s venture funding to $58.5 million.

The Mobile Social realm is richly populated with niche offerings, and today Facebook announced Home, a new family of social apps Mark Zuckerberg announced that is  “designed around people” for use on an Android device. Finally, Mobile Analytics is a very hot category that is about to explode. Mixpanel, a startup backed by Andreesen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Y Combinator, is an analytics platform for mobile devices and the Cloud web, analyzing over six billion actions monthly with a full range of participation options from free to enterprise.

Market Impact

The Boundary-free EnterpriseTM is evolving rapidly. Enterprises, ISVs and Cloud startups have accelerated their commitments to the Cloud, and we can now see a clear convergence between the pure-play Cloud and the Hybrid Cloud.  By 2017 the Converged Cloud, enabled by computing platforms for Mobile, Social and Analytics, will bring forth a new wave of innovative startups and redesigned ISV solutions at the intersection points of Social Analytics, Mobile Social, and Mobile Analytics that will transform traditional business solutions. This transformation will redefine corporate boundaries, relationships between buyers and suppliers, the employer-employee relationship, the network of customer associations, and the analysis and sharing of information, globally and around the clock, and will redefine the nature of work.

IT and Business Resilience: When Sandy Came to Town

One good thing to come from “Frankenstorm” Sandy has been that lessons of resilience and business continuity highlighted the growing importance of IT, the strength of the BfE, and the flexibility that can be found in the Cloud for businesses of all types and sizes.

Resilience brings together risk management and agility, and it is ideally suited to the developing BFE. The linkages between risk analysis, planning, and agile response are strengthened by agile management, and local empowerment—both of which draw additional strength from mobility and social media. This is an approach that works, as has been demonstrated from Katrina, through the New Zealand and Japanese quakes, and on up to Sandy.

Resilience is about rapid response to changing conditions, whether that change is positive or negative, immediate or long term. As the response time for events becomes smaller and smaller, it is essential that enterprises adopt a culture that is capable of rapid change, processes that support it and inform the directions that must be taken, and technologies that make adaptive change possible.

The threat environment continues to grow more perilous, and information technology has become embedded in every business activity. The technologies that have evolved to manage the various strands of risk, compliance, and management are being brought together to create unified solutions. Failure to understand this will result in serious disadvantage.

Companies that are unable to keep up with the business environment and cannot react to advantages and threats in real time will fall by the wayside. There are changes afoot that require important changes in orientation, and Hurricane Sandy is little more than a bow shot. As the current changes in data center infrastructure and management progress, the future is likely to be very different, indeed.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1144STR) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

Making Mobile Work, Virtually

A new Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck Technology premium research subscribers takes a close and careful look at what it really means to have and manage a virtual workforce in the era of the Boundary-free Enterprise™. Our net take: 30 years after telecommuting began to be feasible, the adoption and adaptation of Mobile IT (including remote IT) is bringing virtual workforces not only to mainstream status, but to being expected within any and all knowledge work categories (1117MKT, What’s It Mean to be “Mobile?” Six Degrees of Mobile Separation Within the BFE, 30Aug2012). And as mobility gradually morphs into virtuality, it is clear that the tipping point for rapid expansion of virtual work is coming soon.

The consequences of a large increase in virtual work are potentially revolutionary, as it requires sweeping change in management, work organization, and business location. It favors the technologies of mobility, reinforces the value of Cloud IT, and demands greater agility in working arrangements. Vendors will be called upon to meet the needs of an increasingly dispersed workforce, and companies will need to develop new ways to organize, manage, motivate and secure their workers, intellectual property and reputation.

For IT, the challenges are to ensure commonality of access to project materials, support for collaboration, security of data, and adequate channels for communication. These elements can be provided by having an adequate Cloud-based infrastructure in place with the same applications and data available to all, and with collaboration platforms in place to support both specific projects and general team building.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1133STR) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password.

Software-Defined Networking: Another Key Step Toward the Boundary-free Enterprise

What is Happening?

On 23 July, 2012, VMware announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nicira, Inc., a pioneer in software-defined networking (SDN) and a leader in network virtualization for open source initiatives. Saugatuck views this acquisition as “legitimizing” and accelerating the nacent trend toward abstracting the definition of network connections above the level of traditional network switches and routers. Continue reading