As we close out the year 2015, we at Saugatuck Technology are publishing a series of weekly Research Alerts that look at what our research points to as the top “megatrends” that not only have been affecting enterprise business and IT markets over the past year, but which will remake markets for years to come. The second megatrend we are highlighting is: Data is the “oil” of the digital economy.
The rise of inexpensive processing and storage (including both on-premises and Cloud-based) combined with advanced / predictive analytic capabilities (including Big Data and so-called “cognitive” engines such as IBM’s Watson) promise a new era of business decision making. Business data of all types, including things that we typically today do not regard as “data,” will provide not only the raw material to be refined into multiple types of outputs, but also the lubricant of business optimization and growth for the foreseeable future. In sum, the exploration of, and exploitation of, business data will be the “oil rush” of the 21st century.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is complex. IT service providers face significant and ongoing changes as they help their clients innovate for growth. These providers need to help clients understand and implement IoT, while much is new to everyone. A new Strategic Perspective, published for clients of Saugatuck’s CRS subscription research service, examines the IoT approaches of some selected providers to highlight differences and similarities. Continue reading IT Service Providers’ IoT Approaches→
Information technology in Asia Pacific continues to develop at an enthusiastic pace despite the slowdown in the Chinese manufacturing sector. Asia is tremendously varied and faces innumerable impacts from both new technology and economy. Recently, we have seen the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement signed by 12 regional countries–but excluding China. There are innumerable free-trade agreements existing within the region particularly associated with ASEAN. These agreements are aiding trade in the region and promoting growth. But recent economic movements have had a direct impact upon the ability to spend. The Chinese manufacturing sector slowdown has created problems throughout the region, particularly for suppliers of raw materials and components. The recent issues with the Chinese stock market are likely to have further implications, stifling some investment within the region.
In addition to the economic moves, the Asian area faces issues of technological change. For example, the Indian Business Processing Outsourcing area, which is the bulwark of IT in India, has seen some serious readjustments, which have led to mass layoffs. This has created follow-on implications for IT in India. Meanwhile, the region is moving heavily into Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Digital Business, and, most particularly, the Internet of Things. As with Cloud, these new areas are greeted with enthusiasm and initial buildout has begun. But many of these buildouts begin from a greenfield situation; but the abilities of new technologies to reduce costs, produce efficiencies, and develop entirely new concepts that are useful to the region is particularly significant. Continue reading Asian IT in the Time of Uncertainty→
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→
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→