Tag Archives: CIO

New Report Identifies Problems and Fixes in CFO-CIO Synchronization

What is Happening?

The premise of Finance-IT “alignment” vs. “synchronization,” noted in last week’s Research Alert, is now the subject of a new 15-page Strategic Research Report entitled “Improving Finance-IT Alignment, Synchronicity, and Cloud Success” (1572SSR), released earlier today. The report analyzes Saugatuck survey data and CFO / CIO deep-dive interviews to examine key differences and similarities between IT and Finance leaders, identifying where leadership differs, and why, when it comes to Finance management, systems, and Cloud, and providing insights and guidance regarding how to address and resolve differences in order to improve the competitive abilities.

The bottom line: CFOs and CIOs, and other Finance and IT group leaders, tend to be very well aligned when it comes to Cloud opportunity, direction, and strategy. Where they differ, and where those differences cause the most friction and loss of opportunity, is in processes, methods, and timing. Continue reading

Business-IT “Alignment” is Really About Synchronization

What is Happening?

In reviewing several years of Saugatuck Business IT research in preparation for the release of our 2015 CFO-CIO Cloud strategy report next week, we re-examined some key concepts related to typical enterprise IT, Finance, and enterprise business organizations.

One such concept is “alignment.” No one, including Saugatuck, would disagree that most enterprise business leaders and CIOs need to be aligned when it comes to any strategic or significant business and technology issue, need, plan, or investment.

Here’s what we had to say just last week in our review of survey data regarding CFO and CIO views on Cloud-based Financial management solutions:

Source: Forbes.com and Saugatuck Technology

Source: Forbes.com and Saugatuck Technology

“Alignment between the CFO and CIO is essential when undertaking the Cloud migration. Go-to-market strategy and messaging of providers of core financials in the Cloud should focus not only on the top concerns where there is already pretty good alignment, but also on lower-priority issues where there are more significant differences between CFOs and their CIO partners.”

– 1566STR, Core Financials in the Cloud: Aligning the CFO – CIO Partnership, 23April2015

Saugatuck’s position is that while alignment is of paramount importance, it is not itself the primary problem stunting the value of Cloud or Digital Business adoption. Even when IT and Business leaders and groups are aligned strategically, they just don’t know what the other group knows – and they don’t see things in similar-enough ways. The core problem is synchronization. Continue reading

Cloud Security Services – On the Move

Is the security profile of your organization partly cloudy with a chance of meatballs? Is the security budget not expanding fast enough to cover required projects or simply never enough? Can you easily explain the difference between managed security services, subscription security services, and Cloud infrastructure security including VM monitoring services, virtual machine, and hypervisor notification agents?

It may be time to climb out of the Cloud and look at alternatives to onsite security programs and controls. Security subscription services, managed security services, Identity services, Cloud infrastructure and data center services may be just the fixes for never enough money, staff turnovers, and the need to deliver more in less time.

Saugatuck recently published a five-page Strategic Perspective entitled The Rise of Cloud Security Services (1562STR, 17Apr2015 – see link at bottom of this blog post if you are a premium subscriber to Saugatuck’s CRS research service to access) that analyzes available Cloud security service alternatives across five key dimensions (see Figure 1). The piece includes identification of some of the leading vendors delivering Cloud security services in each of the five categories, what the different services are best suited for and why, and provides insight into the multiple apparitions of Cloud security.

Figure 1: Cloud Security Services


Source: Saugatuck Technology, 2015

It seems that all security products and services are being labeled as “Cloud security” these days, and that every vendor in the business of delivering security is now a Cloud security vendor. There’s good reason why vendors are toeing the “Cloud” line as organizations transition from legacy systems and application workloads to virtualized Cloud data centers: the Cloud and in the transition to the Cloud is where the money is. Continue reading

Time to Rethink the “Data Center” Concept – and the Role of “IT?”

On the one hand, the IT function and organization for most firms has never been more about “data.” Big Data, data mining, advanced analytics, predictive analytics, real-time analytics, and so on rule media reports, analyst insights, event titles, the blogosphere, and provider announcements. The growth of Digital Business both feeds, and feed off of, data and more data. What used to be primarily a focus on software and infrastructure, many firms now see data and content providing their greatest growth.

On the other hand, data and its processing are every day less and less centered. It’s easy to see the proliferation of Cloud-based function-, application-, and group-specific analytics that accompany the parallel proliferation of Cloud-based applications and attendant data stores. And meanwhile, CIOs all over the globe are already telling us that because they can leverage Cloud capabilities, they want to never build another data center.

This has engendered some interesting discussions with the Saugatuck team and with our clients as well. If we as business and IT leaders are more and more about “data” every day, while we actively pursue non-centered uses, locations, and processing for that data, what do we do with the concept of the “data center?”

The data center concept grew because of traditional, centralized IT organizations, infrastructures, and policies that insisted that data was a valuable resource that therefore must be centrally held, controlled, processed, and secured. This version of reality became moot after the onslaught of desktop and portable computing, and has become even less meaningful to many in a Cloud-first IT and Continue reading

CFO/CIO Panel – Framing Digital Business Success (CBS14)

On November 12th, 2014, Saugatuck Technology held its 4th annual Cloud Business Summit at the Yale Club of New York City. As with prior Summits, our event brought together more than 100 large-enterprise CIOs, CTOs and senior business, marketing and finance leaders – to explore how they can and are realizing value from the Cloud. The key focus this year was the significant impact that Cloud is having in shaping core business strategy, as we evolve into the era of Digital Business.

In a featured CFO / CIO panel entitled “Framing Digital Business Success,” Saugatuck’s Founder and CEO Bill McNee spoke with four senior Finance and IT leaders – all from diverse organizations – including Vinay Mehra, CFO at WGBH, Pat Milano, CFO at McGraw Hill Education, Harpreet Grewal, CFO at Constant Contact, Scott Henry, EVP and CTO at Madison Square Garden.

The panel focused on how today’s Finance leaders are accelerating their adoption of Cloud-based accounting solutions as well as advanced “big data” analytics. But Finance is also at the center of a rethinking of business, technology and operating models brought Continue reading

CIO-CTO Panel – Technology, Vision and Leadership: The Digital Business Era (CBS14)

On November 12th, 2014, Saugatuck Technology held its 4th annual Cloud Business Summit at the Yale Club of New York City. As with prior Summits, our event brought together more than 100 large-enterprise CIOs, CTOs and senior business, marketing and finance leaders – to explore how they can and are realizing value from the Cloud. The key focus this year was the significant impact that Cloud is having in shaping core business strategy, as we evolve into the era of Digital Business.

In a featured CIO / CTO panel entitled “Technology, Vision and Leadership: The Digital Business Era,” Saugatuck Research Fellow Mike West spoke with several senior IT from diverse organizations – Malcolm Frank, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at Cognizant Technology Solutions, Rich Roseman, former CIO at 21st Century Fox, Daniel Widera, CIO at Veolia – who were asked to consider the following contextual issues:

  • How can IT leaders optimize traditional and emerging resources, internally and externally?
  • How should IT leaders rethink getting work done and delivering operational excellence?
  • What changes must be made to realize the enormous potential of Digital Business?

The panelists were posed the following Continue reading

Cloud Finance – Competitive System, Not a Boat Anchor

Saugatuck Technology has recently revisited its long-standing coverage of the CFO and the finance systems that support that office in a series of interviews, briefings, and surveys to plumb the changes underway, as the Cloud asserts its viability for core business systems (See 1492SSR, Saugatuck Technology’s 2014 CFO / CIO Survey: Cloud Financials – The Third Wave Emerges,18Dec2014). The CIO / CFO survey report included responses from 317 finance and IT executives who participated in the research, with 85 percent senior decision makers with Director and above titles. Continue reading

Financials in the Cloud – New Survey Insights

What is Happening?          

According to analysis of Saugatuck’s latest web survey research, a third wave of Cloud Business Solution adoption is now fully underway and gaining momentum – focused on the Office of the CFO. But unlike earlier waves of Cloud solution adoption (e.g., CRM, HCM and Marketing systems), Cloud Financials will follow its own path, as a more complex set of deployment scenarios will play out – over a longer period of time. This will include “Sidecar” models, “Process-specific” migrations and a range of Private and Public Cloud redeployments.

Driving demand is not only the power of the new Master Architecture to deliver better, cheaper and faster outcomes – and addressing the highly fragmented nature of financial systems – but enabling the finance function to provider greater agility, flexibility and value to the business. This is particularly relevant given the dual mandates of an evolved (and more strategic) mission for finance, and the fundamental challenges of supporting the transition to Digital Business.

These are just some of the key conclusions from Saugatuck’s just released 51-page research report titled “Cloud Financials – The Third Wave Emerges” (1492SSR, 18Dec2014). The report leverages a recent web survey of 317 senior Finance and IT executives in North America, primarily from mid-size and large enterprises. Continue reading

Trip Report: Key Highlights from 2014 Cloud Business Summit

What is Happening?          

Earlier this week, Saugatuck hosted its fourth annual Cloud Business Summit, an intimate gathering of 100+ large-enterprise CIOs/CTOs, CMOs, and CFOs at the Yale Club of New York City. As with previous Summits, the event explored how these leaders are realizing the most from the Cloud today. However, the key focus this year was the significant impact that Cloud is having in shaping core business strategy, as we evolve into the era of Digital Business.

Throughout the day, it was very clear that the “Cloud Experiment” is over for all but the most laggard IT shops. Up and down the Cloud technology stack and across the new master architecture (that includes mobile, social, and advanced analytics) we are moving toward mainstream adoption. Even the Finance organization is coming around, as our soon to be released CFO / CIO research will demonstrate. Given this, a key issue for business and IT leaders is how best to exploit the new frontier to build profitable and sustainable Digital Enterprises, which has now become a top-tier CXO agenda item.

Why is it Happening?

Saugatuck founder and CEO Bill McNee kicked off this year’s Summit by unveiling the results of its just completed CXO survey on Digital Business engagement, success, and key challenges. The research, conducted with 102 SVP+ IT, Finance, and Marketing leaders in McNee’s LinkedIn network – illustrates just how rapidly the shift to Digital Business is occurring.

While Saugatuck will soon be publishing more in-depth results of the research, find below some key highlights. It should be noted that the research is biased toward very large North American enterprises, as 50% of the respondents work for companies with greater than 10K employees. The insights are also reflective of very senior business and IT leaders, with nearly 60% maintaining a C-level title, with another 20% SVP+.

  • A quarter (26%) of the enterprise leaders stated that their firms were already “Fully Engaged” or “Established” in Digital business, with 74% either having “No Digital Footprint” (4%), in an “Experimental / Learning” mode (32%), or “Committed / In Process” (38%) today, although not yet generating meaningful revenue.
  • However, by 2018, more than half of these execs believe their firms will be fully “Established” Digital Businesses (57%), with another 33% fully “Engaged” – with Digital Business central to business organization, management and brand, including engagement with customers, partners, and suppliers.

Continue reading

How Much Should You Spend on Security?

What is Happening?

Spending on security is always a low priority. After all, it’s not visible and when nothing’s occurring it’s easy to assume the budget for security can be reduced. Until after it becomes visible when something goes awry. And when things go wrong, spending on security escalates in response to everything hitting the proverbial wall.

The research shows average spend on security is a pitifully low, less than one-quarter of one percent of revenue or operating budget. Although sending is low, the risks are high, as much as 14 percent of revenue with a 1-in-20 to 1-in-40 chance (or better) of being struck by cyber-crime or cyber-espionage.

These are some of the key findings found in a new 16-page Saugatuck Strategic Report (SSR) published earlier today entitled “Cyber Risk and Spend on Security: How Do You Compare?” The research summarizes our insight and recommendations regarding: Continue reading