Tag Archives: Boundary-free Enterprise

The New, Scary, Nature of Enterprise IT

The value, and roles, of internal and external IT capabilities has always been evolutionary, but it has not fundamentally changed in nature for decades – until recently. The concerns, misgivings, and challenges that we encounter among CIOs and other enterprise IT leaders and managers are rooted less in disdain for Cloud or fear of job security, and more in that they simply have not experienced such change before, and neither have IT markets in general.

For the most part, the skills, technologies, practices and policies developed in the early days of business IT translated well through the decades by being built upon in a relatively steady, often predictable, incremental fashion. The nature of business IT today is still built on, and building on, previous generations and eras.

However, today’s increments of change vary more than in previous eras, from microscopic to orders of magnitude. And these changes are increasingly quantum shifts, regardless of their size – i.e., even the smallest tweaks in what’s being developed, adopted, and adapted are changing Business and IT fundamentally. IT has a new, core nature, and it is one of unpredictable amounts of change. Continue reading The New, Scary, Nature of Enterprise IT

Uber Case Spotlights How “Boundary-free” Needs Rethinking

The recent California labor ruling defining Uber as an employer rather than as a service provider for independent contractors has implications far beyond one Cloud services provider in one U.S. state. The case shines a bright spotlight on how fundamental business assumptions and practices by all types of digital businesses can be tripped up by traditional and evolving business “boundaries” like labor definitions. A new Strategic Perspective for clients of Saugatuck technology’s CRS subscroiption research service looks at how such boundary / definition shifts have the potential for creating – or more likely, requiring – more, and likely continual, rethinking and restructuring of digital business regardless of founder / owner / investor intent and assumptions.

Uber, for example, has pointed out via press release and emails that the CA Labor ruling only applies to one driver. In Saugatuck’s view, that equates to someone saying to look only at one small crack of many in a very large dam. As Cloud-engendered business capabilities, and businesses, emerge and adapt, and as marketplaces adapt to them, new boundaries will be drawn and re-drawn; old boundaries will be re-examined, and some will be re-imposed. Business models will change, leading to disruption in strategies, revenue streams, relationships, valuation, and so on.

And speaking of change: Uber has also pointed out that the latest ruling contradicts a 2012 ruling by the same commission that a driver “performed services as an independent contractor, and not as a bona fide employee.” To Saugatuck, this also points out how much Uber’s own business model and approach(es) have changed over the past few years. Digital business creates and fosters very dynamic markets, which over time become only more so. Continue reading Uber Case Spotlights How “Boundary-free” Needs Rethinking

Scaling Beyond The Second Dimension: Re-visualizing Boundary-free Enterprise™

As a pioneer of the concept and theme of “free range” business IT and “boundary-free” business within and between enterprises, Saugatuck developed some of the earlier architectural, cost, and IT management models that have become more and more widely used.

But just as Clouds change shape, content, consistency and output over time, so must the nature ands visualization of Cloud-based business IT – especially given the accelerated adoption and expansion of more forms of Digital Business that make use of multiple systems, groups, functions, and data that previously did not intersect or interact. In short, we have to be able to accurately visualize what’s happening in order to have any chance of managing it and sustaining it as a business resource. Continue reading Scaling Beyond The Second Dimension: Re-visualizing 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 Standards Still Matter in the Boundary-free Enterprise™

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 Microsoft Strategizes on the Boundary-free Digital Business Shift

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 Energy Efficiency and Being Green in the Boundary-free Enterprise

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 The Cloud and Business Innovation (CBS2013)

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 Five Questions About the Internet of Things

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 API Economy, Not Just Another Service Bus

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.