Being the repository of the majority of company business data, Finance is becoming one of two de facto “data centers” for most companies in the 21st century (the other “data center” being Marketing). The use of Cloud-based systems by and for Finance will have – is having – the effect of making more business data available to more entities and will therefore engender more business change, and therefore cost, than has previously been expected or experienced. As they become more complex and costly, and as they affect more aspects of companies, Cloud-based solutions and services increasingly require solid business cases to support their acquisition. A new Strategic Perspective for subscribers of Saugatuck Technology’s Continuous Research Service offers six key questions that successful CFOs ask and answer as they begin to build bullet-proof Cloud acquisition business cases. Continue reading Cloud Finance Answers Begin with Six Questions
With the continuing shift toward boundary-free business, and the attendant shift toward creating and including more digital business, how are the roles, the influence, and the value of the CFO to the enterprise changing? A new Strategic Perspective from Saugatuck Technology examines how the scope of CFO involvement, influence, and value is not only changing, but expanding radically, and relatively quickly, into new areas – typically without adequate management resources. Continue reading How Digital Business Shifts and Expands Finance Management Priorities
Last month, we revisited and fleshed out the Saugatuck Boundary-free Enterprise™ business model by examining the four critical types of “boundaries” that formerly limited business (and IT) abilities, and which are being erased, realigned, or otherwise shifted: Technological, Functional, Organizational, and Cultural.
As we began saying almost a decade ago, “Cloud changes everything,” and its biggest change is in how, when, where, and why enterprises do business. Because we are increasingly likely to rely on new and different types of technologies and providers to do business, our relationships with IT providers will need to be re-examined and rebuilt. This will only expand and accelerate as more types and sizes of firms add, or migrate to, more types of Digital Business. Continue reading Digital Business, Boundary-free Enterprises, and IT Change
One of the most entertaining and enlightening discussion sessions (among many) at this year’s Cloud Business Summit concerned the increasing role, involvement, and influence on enterprise marketing organizations and operations on enterprise Cloud business strategy, Cloud services acquisition, and overall IT spending and management.
Bottom line: Marketing, along with Finance and the IT organization, is one of the most powerful influences on the direction, cost, and use of IT – especially Cloud-based IT, given the reach and power of Cloud-based interaction, data gathering, processing, and analytics.
I bring this up because Oracle, one of the most careful and steady of traditional IT Master Brands, has just agreed to acquire Cloud-based marketing software and services provider Responsys Inc. for about $1.5 billion. The acquisition will not only Continue reading Oracle Rides the Marketing Services Wave
What is Happening?
The most talked-about topic in business IT today is “Cloud.” However, the most-talked about topic in business IT today should be “Innovation.” Every conversation regarding Cloud, and regarding its associated sister technologies of Mobility, Social IT, Advanced Analytics, Big Data and Integration, should center on what’s being done with them and by them to change and improve how business is done.
At Saugatuck, we are well known for our research, analysis, insight and guidance regarding Cloud, but it forms only one (very visible) part of our work. As our ongoing readers will know well, our ongoing focus for many years has been on the changing business of IT, from the user/buyer business side to the provider/vendor business side, and everything in between. For us, Cloud is an important area of knowledge and expertise when it comes to enterprise IT and business, but the real focus should be on the accelerating pace of business improvement and innovation on both sides of business IT.
What is Happening?
The latest Saugatuck research report indicates that, while rates of Cloud adoption may be slowing in some markets, the volume continues to increase in all markets. But what we’re seeing now, and have seen in recent years, pales when compared to the growth that is about to hit IT markets over the coming 24 months.
What drove the early phases of Cloud interest and adoption was a combination of affordability, ease of implementation, ease of use, and rapid time to business benefits. We could acquire a usage license, get the app or instance up and running, and start using it to enable, execute, or manage business very quickly compared to traditional alternatives.
Over the past few years, these adoption drivers have Continue reading Research Alert: 2013 Cloud Data Report: Business is Booming – More Than You Thought
What is Happening?
If it’s May, Saugatuck must be participating in SAP’s annual Sapphire user and partner event. And if we’re talking about SAP, we must be talking about what they said they would do, and what they have actually done.
Here’s what we said last May about SAP, Cloud, and the company’s business model:
In a few years, we could be looking back on Sapphire 2012 as a watershed moment, as the dominion of legacy business management software moves to the Cloud. If SAP is serious about Cloud, and we believe it truly is, then they can/should/will legitimize Cloud for business management software. I joked with several analysts, media members and SAP executives at the event that “OK, we can stop calling it ‘Cloud’ and start calling it ‘business IT’.” Continue reading SAPPHIRE 2013: SAP is HANA, HANA is SAP, and the Enterprise Software Future is Not the Past
During the week of 29 April through 3 May IBM hosted its annual Impact 2013 (subtitled “Business. In Motion”) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Befitting the location, Impact is a huge business conference (with 8,500 attendees this year) and has a definite Las Vegas flavor (the keynote opened with a car driven on stage and dubbed a “rolling data center”).
IBM’s market positioning and messaging continues to be a bellwether for large-enterprise IT trends overall. This year’s Impact emphasis on the combination of Cloud, Mobility, Social, and Analytics – plus the importance of native integrative capabilities – underscores the emergence and reality of the loosely-coupled, “elemental” IT and business architectures that are increasingly prevalent, that enable a variety of Boundary-free Enterprise™ configurations, and which are reshaping providers’ go-to-market positioning.
Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1216MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.
What is Happening?
What makes Cloud IT and Business work to competitive advantage is innovation – innovation in how and where these technologies and services are used to enable new and better ways of doing business, and to enable entirely new businesses.
Innovation, however, can be very difficult to define, and even more difficult to take advantage of, especially in an IT and Business environment that is constantly changing at an accelerating pace. The ability to identify, isolate, and then address specific technological and business improvement opportunities and needs becomes more challenging when the sheer pace and volume of change makes it difficult to see and understand what is happening and what is possible (1044MKT, Defining “Cloud Speed” and its Impact on IT and Business, 23Mar2012; and 892RA, Switched-on: Cloud IT is Now About Business Velocity, 25May2011). Indeed, to paraphrase more than one participant at Saugatuck’s 2012 Cloud Business Summit, “What we think we know about Cloud is probably what was true 6 or 12 months ago. That’s already old.” Continue reading Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards: IT and Business Innovation in a State of Change
In January of this year, Saugatuck informally interviewed 30 customer (developers + IT leaders) and business partner attendees (mostly ISVs) at IBM’s Connect 2013 event regarding their knowledge and perception of three increasingly widely-used, important, and ill-defined terms/concepts: “Social Business,” “Innovation,” and “Transformation.”
In analyzing the 30 interviews conducted in January, we noted eight business interaction/activity-oriented terms that we saw as a spectrum of recurring themes within our discussions regarding “Social Business.” We present the spectrum and define those activity types in Figure 1. Continue reading So, you sell “Social Business?” What does that mean?