New Year(ish). New Article.
Gartner have made some bold predictions that state that by 2017, the CMO will be be spending more on technology than the CIO. Well, if that’s true, CMOs need to read this right now, because buying technology for the business – even in today’s SaaS environment, isn’t as easy as clicking your fingers. They need to know how to pull together a cast-iron business case.
Luckily, this article contains five tips to make the process a little easier.
There’s nothing more unsatisfying than introducing a new system into an organization and seeing it fail. It’s a waste of time, a waste of money and a waste of opportunity – and yet it happens all the time. Usually, it has nothing to do with the technology; these failures are almost always about adoption. Whether a system is over-hyped, under-utilized or simply not fit-for-purpose, the result is the same.
Unfortunately, these precedents can make it more difficult to introduce systems in the future, as “system apathy” sets in and users become inured to promise and cynical about change. This apathy can also spread to those people who install the system: IT and the CIO. Instead of a new solution, they may see ill-conceived plans, a lack of ROI and negative impact on their credibility. The erosion of the business benefit of these systems can have a massive impact on the bottom line.
It’s great that CMOs are tech-savvy, but they need to show more than a recognition of technology benefits, and start to pick up on best practices from the IT world to really bring the CIO back into the fold.
Put simply: to get a CIO on your side, you have to think like a CIO. And that means going back to the business case.
Read the full article over at Central Desktop.
It’s been a few months since I last wrote at Central Desktop, so it’s nice to get something published there again. This time around we’re looking at the pros and cons of subscription software (or SaaS, if you prefer it).
Subscription software has been around a long time, much longer than the hoo-ha about Adobe Creative Cloud earlier this year. When Adobe changed their business model, it was treated like the death of a family pet in some quarters. However, the real question isn’t why Adobe changed, but why we were surprised.
The move to software subscription models is tied inextricably to the changing culture of business and the ever-moving world of technology that surrounds it. It is inevitable.
Shortly, we’ll look at the pros and cons of subscription software, but first a brief history lesson.
Read the full article for a history lessons and to find out what iTunes and Nike have to do with the rise of SaaS over at Central Desktop.
Tuesday saw my first article published on Forbes, covering the subject of Big Data for EMC. Big Data initiatives are often thought of as technology projects, but that misconception is one of the big reasons why these projects fail to deliver the big results that are expected. This article looks at how you can avoid falling into that trap.
Every day the number of ways in which we can collect data grows, from personal data collected by exercise gadgets such as Fitbit Flex and Nike FuelBand, to the social interactions that we engage in online through Facebook, Google and Twitter.This is on top of the transactional data that organizations have been collecting in back-end finance systems. It’s a mass of data that offers a mass of possibilities. These big data sets can give companies the ability to understand their customers, their environment and themselves in greater depth than ever before, and that understanding can generate real competitive advantage.
But before we all reach for this great panacea, a reality check. As Ben Elowitz pointed out in his AllThingsD article, “Big Data is Booming, but Big Results are lacking.” That’s not entirely true, but it’s a valid point, as getting the best out of Big Data requires an organization that has thought through the issues and put the right structure in place to execute.
Read the full article over at Forbes.
Rogue cloud apps – it all sounds a little ominous, as if Skynet will be raising its ugly self-aware artificially-intelligent head sometime soon. Of course, it’s nothing of the sort; it’s just a bunch of employees trying to bring the some of the benefits of consumer life into the workplace, and why shouldn’t they?
In my latest article for Central Desktop, I look at how you can make cloud applications work for you, rather than giving you a headache, and make a plea for IT departments to drop the “command and control” attitude and start collaborating.
Here’s the obligatory extract:
Cloud busting. No, not the fabulous Kate Bush song, but rather what most IT departments would like to be doing. Personal clouds and cloud apps are subjects of growing concern to corporate business, something highlighted in Forbes columnist Joe McKendricks’ article “Corporate Crackdown on Rogue Clouds Has Begun, Survey Suggests” – based on the PMG “Cloud Sprawl 2013′” survey. The trouble is, as always, that numbers only tell one side of the story, and articles wrapped in jargon and littered with percentages aren’t always helpful.
The questions we should be asking ourselves are: what is this really telling us and what should we be doing about it?
Read the full article over at Central Desktop.
Hot on the heels of a bloody BYOD comes more discomfort, this time in the form of growing pains. This guest article looks at the reason why businesses become inefficient as they grow and how these issues can be avoided, drawing on an paper from 1972 for inspiration – if you’re running a small business or on the verge of creating a start-up this is a definite read!
We live in a start-up culture, where it seems as if everyone is able to have an idea and start a company. Many of these will fail, some will be a success. For those that are a success, they may find that the real challenges are not with that first product launch, but the inevitable growth that success bestows upon them.
The issues that face these companies are nothing new. In July 1972, Larry E. Greiner published Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow in the Harvard Business Review (on paper, of all things!). He describes a pattern that would be familiar to entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere – that of evolution, in which the business grows smoothly, followed by revolution, where the business goes through a crisis brought about by its own growth. Solving each crisis brings about another period of evolution. Despite its age, Greiner’s piece remains amazingly relevant, even if the companies of today are working in very different industries and producing very different products.
So what does cause a company to become inefficient as it grows? The first inefficiency falls squarely at the feet of the company founders.
Read the full article and find out more about Greiner and the five reasons why companies become inefficient as they grow over at Central Desktop.
It’s been a couple of months since my last guest post and the withdrawal symptoms have started to kick in. So here it is, my latest article at Central Desktop: CMO vs. CIO? The Future of Marketing and IT
A short extract for your perusal:
Just a few years ago, asking the question whether the CIO and CMO roles were merging would have been madness. They couldn’t have been further apart. The CMO was a key part of a company’s leadership team, driving performance and changing the course of the organization, while in most cases the CIO didn’t even have a seat at the table.
That’s no longer the case – or, at least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe. If you believe Gartner’s January 2012 report entitled “By 2017 the CMO will Spend More on IT Than the CIO” and IBM’s annual CIO surveys, it would seem these two roles are on a collision course. Is it true?
Read the full article at Central Desktop.
A new guest post has gone live at Central Desktop today.
Eight Tips on Successful Adoption of Collaboration Solutions pretty much does what it says in the title. Sounds niche, but even though it’s focussed on Collaboration Solutions, the tips are valid for any large-scale solution that has the potential to upset the status quo – from ERP to Innovation to CRM.
Here’s a short extract:
Successfully adopting new working paradigms, especially those that have the potential to move employees out of their comfort zone, can be tricky. Luckily, there are some tips that can make the whole process a lot smoother. Here are eight to consider when you’re faced with implementing a collaboration solution into your business.
Tip 1 – Lead from the top
There’s a reason why this is number one. It’s the most important of all the tips. Whenever you’re undertaking a project like this, make sure you have a sponsor from within the senior management team, preferably the CEO. With buy-in from senior management, you’ll be much better equipped from the start. Everyone has to fall in line; if the CEO says jump, the vast majority of staff will jump.
You can read the full article at Central Desktop. Thanks to Adam at Central Desktop for the opportunity to virtual pen to virtual paper.