Tag Archives: Saugatuck

Oracle Rides the Marketing Services Wave

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

Research Alert: Call for Action – 2013 Beacon Awards for Business IT Innovation

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.

Continue reading

Research Alert: 2013 Cloud Data Report: Business is Booming – More Than You Thought

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

Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards: IT and Business Innovation in a State of Change

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 Roundtable: German SMEs Seek Better Cloud Insights from ISVs

What is Happening?

Saugatuck recently held a roundtable discussion event in Frankfurt with executives from 20 ISVs and regional small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), or as they are referred to in Germany – KMUs (Kleine und mittelgrosse Unternehmen).

The goal of this event – and of a series of planned similar events worldwide – was to develop and facilitate dialogue, understanding and interaction regarding the growth, evolution, and business promise of Cloud, between the executives responsible for IT in SMEs, and the ISVs serving these firms. The event was co-sponsored by IBM. Continue reading

The False Dichotomy – Should Enterprises Embrace BYOT?

Bring your own technology (BYOT) – the practice of allowing employees to bring their own devices, applications, clouds, and services is expanding within the enterprise. Though at many companies the focus is still on devices, we see the associated host of other technologies as a close follower, complicating the tasks of enterprise IT to both plan for, and manage their own data security while still enabling work on these devices.

Going through the benefits and concerns that BYOT policies present, often looks like an argument that suggests an immediate ban on BYOT is the only viable solution. Though the reduction in capital expenses on the devices themselves might be compelling for some users, the added complexity of managing more types of devices and more data makes this seem like an uneven trade. Additionally, because the devices are not company owned, but still personal, the management of the device must be more subtle – meaning that the simple approach of complete device lockdown in not viable.

Unfortunately, this does not present a simple choice, despite the arguments. The difficulty of enforcing bans of BYOT and the ineffectiveness of many current company devices and services, coupled with the availability of personal cloud services that are easy to use and free mean that while BYOT might not be allowed, it is likely taking place anyway. We see this as a major trend that many enterprises will have difficulty avoiding. As the nature of work and the role of IT evolve, it becomes more and more challenging to prevent company data from making its way outside of company control. In this way, BYOT may not be a choice, but a requirement – enabling BYOT therefore allows you to manage the data that you don’t know exists.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1174MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

Research Alert: Giving Thanks for Boundary-free Enterprise

What is Happening?

As significant sections of the heavily populated Northeastern US are still recovering from the destruction caused by “Superstorm” Sandy, we are also approaching the traditional US celebration of bounty we call Thanksgiving. At Saugatuck we are thankful for avoiding injury and significant damage to our homes and our office space. At the same time, our hearts go out to many others who were not so fortunate. Continue reading

Profiting From IT+Business Innovation: Saugatuck’s Beacon 2012 Awards

What is Happening?

In last week’s Research Alert, we noted the following: The pace of Cloud-driven business innovation is outstripping even the accelerating pace of IT innovation – and therefore is outpacing the abilities of established IT and business management organizations and structures (1138RA, Cloud Business Summit 2012 – The BfE Comes to NYC, 01Nov2012).

Our core warning to enterprises (and to the IT providers serving them): Increasing complexities and costs of doing business and managing IT, in a time when Cloud promises to help organizations and leaders deliver exactly the opposite. Continue reading

Saugatuck Research: Windows Azure Insight from ISVs and SIs

Saugatuck has studied the Windows Azure platform in depth over the past two years. This has included briefings by Microsoft as well as extensive interviews with ISVs and global systems integrators (SIs) that have migrated or built nearly 150 SaaS solutions on the Windows Azure platform.

Based on this research, Saugatuck has found that the Windows Azure platform provides migrating ISVs (and SIs deploying primarily for corporate customers) with a highly-productive, robust and cost-effective platform for enabling efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation in delivering SaaS solutions, as one ISV commented:

  • If you’re a Microsoft house on SQL server, you might as well move to Windows Azure. Make Windows Azure your target platform and don’t maintain two separate versions.”
  • Architecture is of profound importance. Good architecture brings agility and cost-effective quality solutions.

We note that in order to realize the benefits of the platform, architecture that understands the platform and its design constraints is considered essential. However, there are significant challenges in getting up to speed on Windows Azure as a platform and in learning how to work around design constraints that can cause delays and increase expenses, for example:

  • Deployment of packages and VM roles from on-premises development still a challenge despite improvements in Azure Development Services Portal. Evolving VM roles and SQL Azure feature set are possible workaround tools.
  • Because of no certainty of achieving certifications or their timing, interim workaround solutions recommended, e.g., hybrid data storage for on-premises storage of regulated data that cannot reside on platform.

Despite these design constraints, Saugatuck believes Windows Azure remains a viable platform to accelerate an ISV into SaaS and recommends ISV consider exploring a relationship with a Windows Azure SI partner to accelerate implementation, avoid wasted expense, and implement a long-term viable solution.

Note1: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1023MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.

Note 2: For more on Saugatuck’s assessment of Windows Azure, see companion Strategic Perspective 1016MKT 10 Things To Know About Windows Azure, 27 January 2012, or Lens360 blog post Microsoft Azure Update: Ten Things You Need to Know, 01 February 2012.

Microsoft Azure Update: Ten Things You Need to Know

In 2010, Microsoft launched the Windows Azure platform. Since then, Saugatuck has been actively tracking Windows Azure through regular Microsoft briefings, interviews with ISVs and with SIs that have migrated their solutions or workloads to Windows Azure or that have built natively on Windows Azure.

ISVs migrating to the Cloud and enterprise developers should understand the evolution and maturity of the Windows Azure platform, and the solutions and workloads it was designed for. Not all work well on Windows Azure. In a recently published premium Saugatuck research deliverable (1016MKT, 10 Things to Know about Windows Azure Two Years after Release, 29Jan2012) we provide an update and overview of the platform, and its suitability for Cloud solutions. In this Lens360 blog post, we highlight some of the takeaways from this 6-page Strategic Perspective.

Overall, significant progress has already been made, and it is important to note several important advances on the horizon for Windows Azure platform:

SQL Azure:
  • 2012 will see SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure move closer to parity, as the once-significant functionality gap continues to close.
  • 2012 will see SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure share development tools.
  • New federated partitioning for SQL Azure provides the means to handle issues related to managing customers separately.
Windows Azure:
  • System Center 2012 makes management of Azure solutions part of the overall systems management capability.
Regulatory Certifications:
  • Microsoft is currently in the process of completing the SSAE 16 audit.
  • Work is also under way to Deliver on HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
  • PCI certification, not in place today, is next on the roadmap.

At the same time, however, Windows Azure presents significant challenges to enterprise developers or to ISVs with enterprise customers migrating to the Cloud because of persistent design constraints. While we don’t have the room in this blog post to flesh these issues out in full, we discuss these in some detail in the Strategic Perspective, and what to do about it.

One area we do want to highlight is that despite considerable recent attention to achieving certifications, Windows Azure still lacks FISMA, GLBI, HIPAA, PCI, and SSAE16 – a key constraint if an enterprise or an ISV needed to store medical information or consumer credit card data, for example. While we believe many of the key certifications are on the roadmap, it takes time to fully address all of the certification issues. Stay tuned.

Complicating things further, Windows Azure is a rapidly moving target of functionality. The progress Microsoft has made in enhancing the platform continues at a fairly rapid pace. Therefore, it is important to understand the technical direction that the Windows Azure platform will take and continue to take as it evolves further. 2012 holds several very promising new additions to the Windows Azure platform, including development and testing capability.

Fortunately for migrating ISVs and enterprise developers, leading SIs such as Accenture, Avanade, Cognizant and Wipro, for example, have partnered with Microsoft to enable Windows Azure ISV workloads and solutions, and in doing so have amassed deep knowledge of the platform, its architecture and its future directions. These SIs have also developed solutions that fill in some of the gaps in the platform today.

Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1016MKT) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password. Non-clients can purchase and download this premium research piece by clicking here.