Recent surveys have shown the increasing importance of Cloud and Mobile technologies in fostering innovation. While these exist within a cluster of mutually supporting technologies, such as Analytics, APIs, and an overall Digital Business context, they deserve a closer look as platform components for a new vision of innovation.
As the need for innovation becomes increasingly acute, and the profitability window continues to shrink, businesses need to look beyond idea sources to the processes supporting innovation and new product development. Cloud and Mobile technologies can play an important supporting role in energizing the traditional gated innovation process. These changes can make innovation more efficient and more effective, bringing some of the simplicity and rapid response that we have seen in Agile software development to the critical process of developing next generation products and services. Continue reading
What is Happening?
Imagine attending a vendor conference where you get just enough exercise, just enough to eat and drink, and learn just what you need for a great blog post. I wrote that line as a tweet, reflecting on the many conferences I’ve attended through the years when you walk miles and miles between sessions, overindulge in food or drink through sheer conviviality and never quite get the core messages the conference sponsors intended, despite very high-gloss keynotes with booming sound tracks. Is this the one, maybe?
It begins well enough with stimulating, but not deafening music, eye-catching and thought-provoking visuals on the theme of innovation, and a video that emphasizes the interconnections that make the information you need immediately available, ah nirvana!
Progress Software CEO Phil Pead kicked off Progress Exchange 14 by commenting on the warm-up video and on the theme of partnership and problem solving through software engineering, and those are the twin uber-themes that wove through the keynotes. The reason behind all of this emphasis on innovation is a business imperative: innovation. Pead’s motif was the unpredictable disruption in the marketplace or the Black Swan that Nassim Taleb made popular in his great business book on the subject. Can you identify your competitor? Or does disruption come from somewhere entirely unexpected? Continue reading
If the assets or customers of a business are distributed or moving, then adequate location information is not just a nice-to-have, it is critical. The ubiquity of devices and sensors, sometimes called the Internet of Things (IoT), combines with the global expansion of mobility via smartphones and other portable devices to add a steady ongoing stream of geotagged data. In addition, this is an enormous industry — the economic impact of geospatial services is about the same as that of the global security services industry.
While geospatial standards efforts are progressing, the vendor ecosystem offers uneven approaches, leaving enterprises to piece together working solutions. Handling geospatial data incorrectly has significant monetary, legal, environmental, and competitive consequences for vendors and enterprises; using it correctly as a core component of Digital Business can be powerful in planning, reporting, and predicting.
Firms are just beginning to understand the full implications of managing Digital Business transformation. Saugatuck believes, and its recent survey results reinforce, that mobility is the single most influential / important factor enabling Digital Business today. The results also show that five of the top seven growth drivers involve customer engagement. Continue reading
BYOD is dead! Long live.. CYOD (Choose Your Own Device), COPE (Company Issued, Personally Enabled), BYOA (Bring Your Own App), BYOC (Bring Your Own Cloud), and BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology). The growing importance of mobile devices within the corporation has created a need to control the technology. At the same time, companies are loathe to manage personal activities. Since smartphones and tablets often enter the business as employees’ devices, this creates significant problems that cannot be adequately controlled by mobile device management software alone. Companies need to establish policies that include issues of security and device usage, along with who pays for devices and their connections.
We are coming to the end of the laissez-faire era of BYOD, and moving into a time in which greater control will be required. This is similar to what happened when transportable personal computers started going home with employees. Businesses need to ensure that incoming devices are secure, do not compromise the company or its systems, and do not create an unwanted financial burden for employees or for the company. Continue reading
Mobile payments are a form of monetization that has not yet gained significant traction, despite years of attempts and dozens of startups. According to multiple sources, growth of mobile payments could contribute over $100B in U.S. retail sales alone by 2017, only a part of total business-to-consumer (B2C) revenues, and that’s not counting its potential in business-to-business (B2B) markets.
Some sources say that B2B e-commerce has now more than doubled B2C, with $559 billion in 2013 sales. And while currently less than 5 percent of B2B revenues come from mobile payments, more than 75 percent of B2B vendors will support mobile payments by YE 2015, up from nearly 60 percent in 2014. Going forward, any Digital Business, whether B2C or B2B, will leave significant money on the table without support for mobile payments. It is, then, important to understand the drivers and dynamics of mobile payments for any Digital Business to compete successfully.
Figure 1: Three Key Mobile Payments Players
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.
Ultimately, mobile payments as a form of monetization, is about the customer experience, convenience, in a word. If customers Continue reading
What is Happening?
This Research Alert is being written on the eve of this year’s highly-anticipated Apple product announcements, which should include a new iPhone priced in the $700 range, along with one or more wearables that complement and extend the Apple ecosystem and revenue streams. Apple certainly has been successful with high-end smartphones, tablets, and associated devices and services, and as such, has helped to pioneer, promote, and shape growth in consumer and business mobility in a very high-profile manner.
What lurks further down the food chain from glossy i-devices is what enables and catalyzes business mobility for the vast majority of Boundary-free Enterprises™ and the accelerating trend toward Digital Business. Juxtaposed against Apple’s high-end rollouts comes news of a $99 smartphone selling out online in India in less than 5 seconds, while more than a dozen manufacturers promote sub-$50 smartphones, with more planning sub-$30 smartphones for developing markets within the next 12 months. Meanwhile, cheap-yet-functional tablets have so saturated business and consumer markets that pundits fear the form factor may have plateaued if not dead-ended in some markets.
We (almost) suddenly have billions of digitally-enabled users globally, with at least twice that many affordable and easily-used devices being used to perform and adapt daily life and business tasks into digital, Cloud-enabled marketplace realities. The net result? Cheap, “good enough” smartphones and other mobile devices, enabled and supported by Cloud-based functionality, are catalyzing a user-driven Digital Business reality well beyond that conceived by many, if not most, western enterprises and IT providers – and of which few are ready to take full advantage. Continue reading
Traditionally, mobility was a means of personal interaction and accessing business systems, data, and operations. Mobile technology means more than just personal enablement. Now, mobility is also a means of gathering/producing business, which in turn generates and requires an increasingly wide and deep volume and variety of data. For example, businesses can improve their customer engagement by using mobile devices to collect more feedback around the customer experience. Some mobile applications use location to expand and improve marketing efforts to customers. There is a global surge in mobile payments both via card scanners and mobile money.
It’s not just mobile phones and tablets; wearables and sensors on movable items such as vehicles and retail goods contribute to the mix of devices generating and consuming data and bandwidth. Accompanying the resulting deluge of data is uncertainty. Uncertainty abounds concerning data volumes, network capacity, security, privacy, and other processing requirements. Cloud implementations can help address this uncertainty by handling the fluctuating data and communications demands while ensuring availability and reliability. Continue reading
Progress, the below-the-radar development platform provider (formerly known as Progress Software), just announced an extension to the Progress Pacific platform to enable mobile app development. The importance of tools for mobile app development probably cannot be exaggerated, given the importance of this capability both to enterprises and to Cloud providers.
For example, in Saugatuck’s 2013 global Cloud adoption survey, we learned that C-level
executives see mobile capability as at least as important as Analytics – and a greater competitive value than SaaS, Social or Cloud Infrastructure through 2015
However, mobile app development ranges in complexity and sophistication from a simple browser-like front end to a fully-functional set of capabilities that may be called “enterprise class.” The latter, enterprise class mobile apps, is the target of the Progress Pacific platform just-announced capabilities.
Progress has three primary objectives for this mobile development Continue reading
What is Happening?
So far, focus at Microsoft’s Build developer event on the audio-driven Cortana PDA has garnered tremendous publicity. Saugatuck believes that Cortana right now provides a sexy sideshow distracting from what Saugatuck considers to be a public acknowledgement by Microsoft concerning its core strategic positioning.
In Saugatuck’s opinion, the Microsoft news this week with the greatest impact on Microsoft and IT markets was announcement of free Windows licensing on smaller mobile devices.This announcement puts clear and massive Microsoft internal and ecosystem emphasis on Cloud; it positions Cloud as keystone in Microsoft’s strategic business. That’s an excellent move, and at in business terms, it is much more sexy than the Cortana PDA. The move helps to push developers and users away from traditional computing devices, and reduces (and over time removes) the company’s opportunity for massive, volume-driven revenue growth in smaller, more numerous devices.
We think that this is an interesting step, an important step, but one that indicates that Microsoft is really still pursuing its traditional business model – just under a “Cloud-first” halo. Continue reading
What is Happening?
Much of the IT world is abuzz this week due to Google’s announcement of its Android Wear operating system (OS) and SDK for wearable computing and communications devices. Motorola and LG announced smartwatches built to use Android Wear, and the mainstream media and tech media alike are focusing on the “smartwatch” aspect, comparing what could be coming to products already in the market and to Apple’s yet-to-be announced smartwatch offering.
Not all details regarding Android Wear have been released as of this writing. What we do know is that Google is aiming first at the fitness niche, promoting the availability of “real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle, or walk.” Google Maps will be included, as will the Google Now card-based reminder/information application. And Google indicates that Wear will also enable multi-device functionality – e.g., users can voice a command to the watch to activate certain apps on other devices enabled by the OS, which could include thermostats in the home, entertainment systems in an automobile, and more.
This is why Saugatuck sees the Android Wear announcement as much more than a smartwatch OS and SDK proclamation. In fact, we see the smartwatch aspect as a bit of a red herring, distracting attention from where it should be.Android Wear is Google’s acknowledgement of the steadily-emerging reality of the internet-of-things, with individuals (not just consumers) always connected as both a source of data and as the actuator/controller and beneficiary.
Android Wear is therefore not (just) about smartwatches, it’s about enabling a personalized IT network environment that includes portable and sensor-driven devices. This has huge implications for enterprise IT, Big Data and advanced analytics, and how/what we consider Mobile IT. Continue reading