7 years, 6 months ago

Top Technology Trends and CIO Priorities for 2013

I have been regularly writing about emerging Information Technology trends on this blog. The CIO priorities for future are often linked to these trends but they also do influence the Information Technology trends in return. Gartner who is at the forefront of research in this space has recently released their research report outlining their top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013. The complete report can be accessed here but a brief summary of this research along with my own summary comments are as follows:
  1. Mobile Devices Battles – Windows 8 is here. Is your organisation going to deploy it? If yes, what will be the impact on your BYOD policy. Windows 8 tablets and smartphones will gain in prominence. What does this mean for your iOS and Android support model?
  2. Mobile Apps and HTML 5 –  Mobile app and web technologies are fast maturing and are influencing native application development too. How will you manage the hybrid web / native development frameworks?
  3. Personal Cloud – Online applications and services are transforming consumer technology. How will this effect your organisation? Windows 8 with Skydrive is an example of this trend.
  4. The Internet of Things – Becoming more mainstream now. What innovative business models will you create in next three years to benefit from IoT?
  5. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing – As Cloud Computing evolves and matures new business and operating models are emerging. IT departments of large oranisations will be expected to act as service brokers in such hybrid models.
  6. Strategic Bid Data – Big Data has become a major driver of IT spending recently but going forward the trend will be to integrate this better with Data warehouses and Data Integration Infrastructure
  7. Actionable Analytics – Business needs real-time decision making and forward looking analytics. How can you embed this in real time applications?  
  8. Mainstream In-Memory Computing – How will In-Memory Computing disrupt the application architectures and how will your manage the operating and data governance requirements?  
  9. Integrated Platforms and Ecosystems – How do you balance vendor lock-in with benefits of integrated platforms?
  10. Enterprise APP Stores – The success of consumer App stores will drive organisation’s own enterprise App stores but this needs to balanced with security and support concerns.
Deloitte has been a recent welcome entrant in the Technology Trend publishing business with it releasing its fourth annual technology trend report recently. The folks at Deloitte have taken an interesting approach to this as they have grouped trends in two classifications or categories:  “Disruptors” are opportunities that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations, and sometimes even business models. “Enablers” are technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but which warrant another look because of new developments or opportunities. Deloitte lists trends such as Influence of Mobility, Social, Analytics, Cloud as Disruptors while listing as Gamification, Refocussing on ERP and Security focus as Enablers. 

In one of my previous blog posts I had written about five forces shaping the CIO agenda. Very briefly, they were listed as, Business Services, Application Services, Cloud Computing, Consumerisation of Technology and Business Analytics. If above published 2013 trend research is taken into account then I would like to redefine them as follows:

  1. Evolution of Cloud Computing – Private, Public, Hybrid, Community, Personal
  2. Consumerisation of Technology – Windows 8, Tablet, Smart phone adaption
  3. Mainstream nature of Data Analytics – Big Data coming to Data Warehousing 
  4. Proliferation of Web APPs – Enterprise APP stores on the line of Mobile APP Stores
  5. Increasing Integration of Platforms – e.g. Rise of Appliances such as EXADATA
I think that the business and application services are slowly merging into the APP Store philosophy while the business analytics has gone mainstream since 2011. Cloud and increasing integration of platforms is a trend which has matured since past few years and is probably going to get through further rounds of evolution in coming years. It is interesting that no one is yet talking about explicit influence of Social as much as any of above trends. 

7 years, 6 months ago

Top Technology Trends and CIO Priorities for 2013

I have been regularly writing about emerging Information Technology trends on this blog. The CIO priorities for future are often linked to these trends but they also do influence the Information Technology trends in return. Gartner who is at the forefront of research in this space has recently released their research report outlining their top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013. The complete report can be accessed here but a brief summary of this research along with my own summary comments are as follows:
  1. Mobile Devices Battles – Windows 8 is here. Is your organisation going to deploy it? If yes, what will be the impact on your BYOD policy. Windows 8 tablets and smartphones will gain in prominence. What does this mean for your iOS and Android support model?
  2. Mobile Apps and HTML 5 –  Mobile app and web technologies are fast maturing and are influencing native application development too. How will you manage the hybrid web / native development frameworks?
  3. Personal Cloud – Online applications and services are transforming consumer technology. How will this effect your organisation? Windows 8 with Skydrive is an example of this trend.
  4. The Internet of Things – Becoming more mainstream now. What innovative business models will you create in next three years to benefit from IoT?
  5. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing – As Cloud Computing evolves and matures new business and operating models are emerging. IT departments of large oranisations will be expected to act as service brokers in such hybrid models.
  6. Strategic Bid Data – Big Data has become a major driver of IT spending recently but going forward the trend will be to integrate this better with Data warehouses and Data Integration Infrastructure
  7. Actionable Analytics – Business needs real-time decision making and forward looking analytics. How can you embed this in real time applications?  
  8. Mainstream In-Memory Computing – How will In-Memory Computing disrupt the application architectures and how will your manage the operating and data governance requirements?  
  9. Integrated Platforms and Ecosystems – How do you balance vendor lock-in with benefits of integrated platforms?
  10. Enterprise APP Stores – The success of consumer App stores will drive organisation’s own enterprise App stores but this needs to balanced with security and support concerns.
Deloitte has been a recent welcome entrant in the Technology Trend publishing business with it releasing its fourth annual technology trend report recently. The folks at Deloitte have taken an interesting approach to this as they have grouped trends in two classifications or categories:  “Disruptors” are opportunities that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations, and sometimes even business models. “Enablers” are technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but which warrant another look because of new developments or opportunities. Deloitte lists trends such as Influence of Mobility, Social, Analytics, Cloud as Disruptors while listing as Gamification, Refocussing on ERP and Security focus as Enablers. 

In one of my previous blog posts I had written about five forces shaping the CIO agenda. Very briefly, they were listed as, Business Services, Application Services, Cloud Computing, Consumerisation of Technology and Business Analytics. If above published 2013 trend research is taken into account then I would like to redefine them as follows:

  1. Evolution of Cloud Computing – Private, Public, Hybrid, Community, Personal
  2. Consumerisation of Technology – Windows 8, Tablet, Smart phone adaption
  3. Mainstream nature of Data Analytics – Big Data coming to Data Warehousing 
  4. Proliferation of Web APPs – Enterprise APP stores on the line of Mobile APP Stores
  5. Increasing Integration of Platforms – e.g. Rise of Appliances such as EXADATA
I think that the business and application services are slowly merging into the APP Store philosophy while the business analytics has gone mainstream since 2011. Cloud and increasing integration of platforms is a trend which has matured since past few years and is probably going to get through further rounds of evolution in coming years. It is interesting that no one is yet talking about explicit influence of Social as much as any of above trends. 

8 years, 13 days ago

The Rise and Rise of BYOD

Amazon Kindle V Apple iPad
As the festive and gift season approaches, our favourite consumer technology vendors are gearing up to release a range of new gadgets and consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod for instance have dominated many a wish lists and gift lists for the past years. And Apple competitors are not far behind with Google, Samsung and lately Amazon with Kindle trying to steal the market share from Apple in this lucrative and ever-increasing consumer technology segment. This year in particular the tablet segment is abuzz with not one not two but three high-profile product launches just weeks ahead of the festive season. Apple iPad mini, Amazon’s new Kindle and the eagerly anticipated Microsoft tablet, all are slated to make blockbuster debut and coming after our share of gift season wallet. 
Apple iPhone V Samsung S3
And many of us, technology geeks or not are eagerly awaiting release and availability of such devices along with new smartphone models from Samsung’s new small S3 and Apple’s new big iPhone 5. But not everyone is happy with this onslaught of new consumer technology devices. And its not just the print media who is worried about losing yet another batch of potential traditional readers to these new breed of ebook and emagazine readers. A couple of my CIO and CTO friends who look after a large number of IT users for instance, are not particularly happy at these developments and the new flood of such devices. Why? The answer is simple….the rise and rise of the phenomenon called BYOD!
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner. So really what is BYOD? Gartner defines BYOD as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
A recent survey of 578 senior-level executives commissioned by Cisco found that despite concerns from corporate officials, companies increasingly are allowing, in varying degrees, employees to use their own mobile devices – in particular, smartphones and tablets – in the workplace, and to access the corporate network and data. “Overall, the results found that although many executives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s newly promoted senior vice president of worldwide sales, wrote in an 10 October post on Cisco’s blog.
Tablets are fast becoming media consumers
The rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablets – fueled by Apple’s wildly popular iPad – have been the key drivers in the BYOD trend, where rather than accepting company-issued technology, workers have pushed to use their own devices for work. Cisco and a host of other vendors have for more than a year been rolling out solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to identify and manage employee-owned devices on the network, and to secure the companies’ information.  
According to the Cisco survey, conducted last month by Economist Intelligence Unit, most executives are uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies, and while 42 percent said that C-level executives need secure and timely access to strategic data, only 28 percent said it’s appropriate to access this information from mobile devices. Forty-nine percent said that the complexity of securing so many different devices and a lack of knowledge about the security and risks involved with mobile access are top challenges for their firms.
This trend is set to grow exponentially next year – whether businesses actively manage it or not, according to a latest industry report published in IT Business Canada. Two-thirds of businesses already are seen some form of BYOD phenomenon in their office, but just one in four have actively created a policy that allows for consumer devices to be used in the workplace. The report quotes the findings of an Info-Tech Indaba survey sponsored by Telus Corp. This could cause problems raising security issues and complicating IT environments with multiple devices and operating systems. For 2013, the most popular technology for BYOD efforts is smartphones with 72 per cent of firms expressing at least some interest, according to Info-Tech. The next most popular is tablets with 64 per cent of businesses expressing interest, and then laptops with 59 per cent showing interest. 
As a recent CIO article has articulated, the best practice seems to be to centralize the purchase and deployment of tablets and smartphones. In addition to simplifying device management, this strategy gave the companies more leverage with their preferred carriers. When individual employees paid their monthly phone bills and submitted them on expense reports, the companies had no clout to negotiate with. When all the monthly bills were rolled into one, they got lower rates. As Gartner suggests IT’s best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term; and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term. Policies must be built in conjunction with legal and HR departments for the tax, labor, corporate liability and employee privacy implications.

8 years, 13 days ago

The Rise and Rise of BYOD

Amazon Kindle V Apple iPad
As the festive and gift season approaches, our favourite consumer technology vendors are gearing up to release a range of new gadgets and consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod for instance have dominated many a wish lists and gift lists for the past years. And Apple competitors are not far behind with Google, Samsung and lately Amazon with Kindle trying to steal the market share from Apple in this lucrative and ever-increasing consumer technology segment. This year in particular the tablet segment is abuzz with not one not two but three high-profile product launches just weeks ahead of the festive season. Apple iPad mini, Amazon’s new Kindle and the eagerly anticipated Microsoft tablet, all are slated to make blockbuster debut and coming after our share of gift season wallet. 
Apple iPhone V Samsung S3
And many of us, technology geeks or not are eagerly awaiting release and availability of such devices along with new smartphone models from Samsung’s new small S3 and Apple’s new big iPhone 5. But not everyone is happy with this onslaught of new consumer technology devices. And its not just the print media who is worried about losing yet another batch of potential traditional readers to these new breed of ebook and emagazine readers. A couple of my CIO and CTO friends who look after a large number of IT users for instance, are not particularly happy at these developments and the new flood of such devices. Why? The answer is simple….the rise and rise of the phenomenon called BYOD!
The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner. So really what is BYOD? Gartner defines BYOD as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
A recent survey of 578 senior-level executives commissioned by Cisco found that despite concerns from corporate officials, companies increasingly are allowing, in varying degrees, employees to use their own mobile devices – in particular, smartphones and tablets – in the workplace, and to access the corporate network and data. “Overall, the results found that although many executives are uneasy about the security of corporate information on mobile devices, the trend is largely unstoppable and proper policies must be initiated to underpin access to this sensitive information,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s newly promoted senior vice president of worldwide sales, wrote in an 10 October post on Cisco’s blog.
Tablets are fast becoming media consumers
The rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablets – fueled by Apple’s wildly popular iPad – have been the key drivers in the BYOD trend, where rather than accepting company-issued technology, workers have pushed to use their own devices for work. Cisco and a host of other vendors have for more than a year been rolling out solutions designed to make it easier for businesses to identify and manage employee-owned devices on the network, and to secure the companies’ information.  
According to the Cisco survey, conducted last month by Economist Intelligence Unit, most executives are uneasy about their companies’ mobile data-access policies, and while 42 percent said that C-level executives need secure and timely access to strategic data, only 28 percent said it’s appropriate to access this information from mobile devices. Forty-nine percent said that the complexity of securing so many different devices and a lack of knowledge about the security and risks involved with mobile access are top challenges for their firms.
This trend is set to grow exponentially next year – whether businesses actively manage it or not, according to a latest industry report published in IT Business Canada. Two-thirds of businesses already are seen some form of BYOD phenomenon in their office, but just one in four have actively created a policy that allows for consumer devices to be used in the workplace. The report quotes the findings of an Info-Tech Indaba survey sponsored by Telus Corp. This could cause problems raising security issues and complicating IT environments with multiple devices and operating systems. For 2013, the most popular technology for BYOD efforts is smartphones with 72 per cent of firms expressing at least some interest, according to Info-Tech. The next most popular is tablets with 64 per cent of businesses expressing interest, and then laptops with 59 per cent showing interest. 
As a recent CIO article has articulated, the best practice seems to be to centralize the purchase and deployment of tablets and smartphones. In addition to simplifying device management, this strategy gave the companies more leverage with their preferred carriers. When individual employees paid their monthly phone bills and submitted them on expense reports, the companies had no clout to negotiate with. When all the monthly bills were rolled into one, they got lower rates. As Gartner suggests IT’s best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term; and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term. Policies must be built in conjunction with legal and HR departments for the tax, labor, corporate liability and employee privacy implications.

8 years, 3 months ago

Contrasting Tale of Two Retailers – ASOS and Marks & Spencer

I have been regularly tracking the developments for both these retailers over the past few years on my blogs. But the growing contrast between their performance couldn’t be more obvious than comparison of latest financial performance numbers. To be fair, M&S and ASOS is not a like for like comparison. M&S is your traditional, conventional, respected high street retailer. Probably in league of its own along with only a few other retailers such as John Lewis. While ASOS is the new kid on the block, fresh, young, vibrant and bold online retailer who has challenged every conventional retail wisdom and won almost on all occasions. Both are highly successful and set benchmark in a way for their respective retail segments. Hence the comparison is far more interesting because, in reality this is not so much a comparison between two retailers rather between two different retail business models. 
Photo Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett
As for the actual financial performance, Marks and Spencer have posted the worst trading results in three years, with clothing and homeware down 6.8 per cent. The company said that clothing sales had been affected by stock issues, as well as the wet weather. In the first half of the year, M&S said it had run out of some of the best selling womenswear. These are the weakest set of quarterly figures the retailer has published since spring of 2005. Food sales in the UK rose 2.9pc but this was not enough to offset the slump in general merchandise, dragging total group sales down 0.7pc
Photo Credit: ASOS
In contract ASOS has had an impressive year, posting results ahead of expectations. Profits jumped 43% to £40.9 million. Revenues also showed strong growth, with the company taking £495 million compared with £340 million the previous year. The company’s international business lead the growth, with sales up 103% over the period, while UK sales only grew 7%. Australia, Russia, Singapore and China were highlighted as sales-boosting countries, while new websites were launched in Italy, Spain and Australia.
Above financial highlights drop enough hints about the reasons behind this contrasting performance:
  • Focus on international growth strategy and its successful execution
  • Successful adoption of new and evolving retail technologies
  • Product and portfolio innovation
  • Identification and strategy for growth customer segments
  • Better Supply-Chain integration with new technology distribution models
  • and i am sure there are a few more core retail seasonal trends, weather impact etc.
Let me also qualify my thinking on this blog by stating that though these are contrasting results, I have no doubt that M&S is and will remain one of the strongest retailers of the conventional high street model. And even M&S is implementing a few new technology led multi-channel strategies successfully. However, the new and evolved Retail Reference Architecture continues to differentiate ASOS from its conventional competitors. And to an extent, retailer like ASOS is creating new market places where traditional retailers are struggling to reach and expand. The company’s website attracts 16.6 million unique visitors a month and had 8.7 million registered users at the end of June. Technology is a key enabler for ASOS and this is proven by the fact that, ASOS sells more than 50,000 branded and own-label product lines, with around 1,500 new lines being introduced each week. This is agility in action and this is yet again a classic case study of how technology can truly provide a competitive advantage to business and operations of an enterprise.

References:
ASOS 

8 years, 3 months ago

Contrasting Tale of Two Retailers – ASOS and Marks & Spencer

I have been regularly tracking the developments for both these retailers over the past few years on my blogs. But the growing contrast between their performance couldn’t be more obvious than comparison of latest financial performance numbers. To be fair, M&S and ASOS is not a like for like comparison. M&S is your traditional, conventional, respected high street retailer. Probably in league of its own along with only a few other retailers such as John Lewis. While ASOS is the new kid on the block, fresh, young, vibrant and bold online retailer who has challenged every conventional retail wisdom and won almost on all occasions. Both are highly successful and set benchmark in a way for their respective retail segments. Hence the comparison is far more interesting because, in reality this is not so much a comparison between two retailers rather between two different retail business models. 
Photo Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett
As for the actual financial performance, Marks and Spencer have posted the worst trading results in three years, with clothing and homeware down 6.8 per cent. The company said that clothing sales had been affected by stock issues, as well as the wet weather. In the first half of the year, M&S said it had run out of some of the best selling womenswear. These are the weakest set of quarterly figures the retailer has published since spring of 2005. Food sales in the UK rose 2.9pc but this was not enough to offset the slump in general merchandise, dragging total group sales down 0.7pc
Photo Credit: ASOS
In contract ASOS has had an impressive year, posting results ahead of expectations. Profits jumped 43% to £40.9 million. Revenues also showed strong growth, with the company taking £495 million compared with £340 million the previous year. The company’s international business lead the growth, with sales up 103% over the period, while UK sales only grew 7%. Australia, Russia, Singapore and China were highlighted as sales-boosting countries, while new websites were launched in Italy, Spain and Australia.
Above financial highlights drop enough hints about the reasons behind this contrasting performance:
  • Focus on international growth strategy and its successful execution
  • Successful adoption of new and evolving retail technologies
  • Product and portfolio innovation
  • Identification and strategy for growth customer segments
  • Better Supply-Chain integration with new technology distribution models
  • and i am sure there are a few more core retail seasonal trends, weather impact etc.
Let me also qualify my thinking on this blog by stating that though these are contrasting results, I have no doubt that M&S is and will remain one of the strongest retailers of the conventional high street model. And even M&S is implementing a few new technology led multi-channel strategies successfully. However, the new and evolved Retail Reference Architecture continues to differentiate ASOS from its conventional competitors. And to an extent, retailer like ASOS is creating new market places where traditional retailers are struggling to reach and expand. The company’s website attracts 16.6 million unique visitors a month and had 8.7 million registered users at the end of June. Technology is a key enabler for ASOS and this is proven by the fact that, ASOS sells more than 50,000 branded and own-label product lines, with around 1,500 new lines being introduced each week. This is agility in action and this is yet again a classic case study of how technology can truly provide a competitive advantage to business and operations of an enterprise.

References: