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:
“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.”
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 Business-IT “Alignment” is Really About Synchronization→
As a result of ongoing discussions with users and providers of Cloud infrastructure, Saugatuck has identified that Cloud infrastructures are not immune to the fundamental characteristic of any shared resource: resource sharing can result in variable service levels.
In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck explains why Cloud infrastructures deliver inconsistent service. Saugatuck urges Cloud users to perform ongoing monitoring of performance of key Cloud-based workloads and offers some possible approaches for dealing with inconsistent service, including: Continue reading The Secret in the Clouds – Inconsistent Service Delivery→
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→
The latest Saugatuck research survey is complete, with the first, topline data results and insights published for our research clients just this week. We’ve also published the first in a series of deeper dives – Strategic Perspectives examining specific survey data sets, developing client-focused insights, and providing summary guidance.
The first Strategic Perspective on this was published simultaneously with the survey report. In it, we look at a series of 10 statements along with the percentages of participants who agreed or disagreed with each. This approach provides simple, fast, and accurate insights into participant thinking and beliefs, helping us to develop and refine real-world trends, constructs and scenarios more quickly and more accurately.
China’s rapid development is having a continuing effect upon a wide range of sectors, from Information Technology to politics. Although economic growth has slowed somewhat, it remains relatively high, and profound changes continue to occur throughout the country as it digests its newfound prosperity and the new requirements of a high tech industrial society. Information Technology is leading the way in many of these changes, and it is backed by well-funded government programs that focus development toward a goal of global leadership in Science and Technology by 2050.
One of the key elements of the Chinese plan is to improve innovation so that the country is less reliant upon invention from abroad…even as a starting point for Chinese design. This has created plans and initiatives that have seen Chinese patents rise to the most per year of any nation in the world. Patent quality aside, this has repercussions for external perceptions, investment, and for molding individual and institutional behavior toward creation of new ideas and new ventures. Continue reading Information Technology and Innovation, Beijing Style→
Saugatuck recently surveyed user executives worldwide seeking their perceptions about adoption and usage of Cloud-based offerings. Results of the survey include the combined responses from over 200 IT and non-IT executives in enterprises of various sizes.
In newly published research, weexamine a subset of the survey data in more depth to identify insights regarding the concerns that executives associate with the adoption of Cloud-based offerings. In our survey we offered a list of eleven potential concerns and asked IT and business executives to identify their top 3 most important concerns related to the Cloud. The results reveal that Data Security and Privacy are a concern for a clear majority of respondents. In fact, Data Security and Privacy (selected 55 percent overall) is the top ranked concern in the survey. Continue reading Worldwide Survey Highlights Differences in IT and Business Executive Concerns→
Social IT interest is apparently not as strong as Analytics or Mobility interest for the enterprise, according to a recent Saugatuck survey. Analytics and Mobility have, of course, been garnering a significant amount of media attention recently while Social is last year’s news. However, upon closer inspection, there appears to be more at work here. For one thing, Social feeds Analytics, with Social Analytics showing up as a critical part of the latest essays into Big Data. Social Mobility, on the other hand, is a key part of Mobile growth. So, what is going on here?
Technologies evolve. The constituents of Social IT have actually been in place since man first opened his mouth. Social is about relations between people, communications, and modes of expression. How these are accomplished has changed continuously throughout history, while the underlying requirement has remained the same. So, when there appears to be a drop in interest in social, this is really only talking about terminology, and current definitions. While terminology seems to undergo predictable cycles of popularity, this does not necessarily have anything to do with the underlying technologies, or the need that they were developed to meet. Continue reading Refactoring Social IT→
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.
One of our ongoing research programs that manifests the greatest interest among enterprise IT leaders and Cloud IT providers alike is where, when, how, and why Cloud is changing the roles, responsibilities and value of enterprise IT leaders, groups, and resources. It’s our position that the real value of enterprise IT groups will always be there; but the inability of enterprise IT leaders to translate and apply that value will cause unnecessary (and probably large) changes in IT org size, budgets, and influence.
The basic challenge facing enterprise IT leaders today is not a diminishing of their value to the enterprise, but a lack of awareness regarding how and why that value is changing due to Cloud. That lack of awareness keeps IT leaders from seeing and implementing innovative ways of using, and managing, Cloud and hybridized IT and business resources.
As dozens of IT leaders have told Saugatuck – and have been quoted in our research over the past years:
What we think we know about Cloud is probably wrong.
Anything we knew about Cloud and providers six to twelve months ago is out of date.
We don’t know **** about Cloud. We think we do, but we don’t. It changes everything.
Bottom line? Even years after making itself known in the enterprise, Cloud still provides a steep and accelerating learning curve. IT leaders who want, and need, to defend the value of their organizations must learn to accept, adapt, and innovate with Cloud within Business context; change their core approach to thinking about IT assets; and therefore change what and how they lead.
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