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Posts from the ‘2012 Cloud Predictions’ Category

Forecasting Public Cloud Adoption in the Enterprise

The economics of public cloud computing are accelerating the pace of change occurring in enterprise software today.

Many of the scenarios that Clayton Christensen insightfully describes in The Innovator’s Dilemma are playing out right now in many sectors of this industry, shifting the balance of purchasing power to line-of-business leaders away from IT.  True to the cases shown in the book, new entrants are bringing disruptive innovations that are being successfully used to attack the most price-sensitive areas of the market.  Winning customers at the low-end and making their way up-market, new entrants are changing the customer experience, economics and structure of the industry.  Salesforce.com is a prime example of how the insights shared in The Innovator’s Dilemma are alive and well in the CRM market for example.  This is an excellent book to add to your summer reading list.

Defining The Public Cloud

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have defined the public cloud in their latest definition of cloud computing in their September, 2011 brief you can download here (The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing). The NIST defines public cloud as “the cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.”   In addition the NIST defines three models including Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  Gartner’s definition of public cloud computing is comparable yet includes Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) and Cloud Management and Security.

A quick check of the term public cloud on Google Insights shows the rapid ascent of interest in this area.  A graphic from Google Insights is shown below:

Public Cloud Adoption in the Enterprise 

In the many conversations I’ve had with CIOs and CEOs of manufacturing companies the role of cloud computing comes up often.  There’s a very clear difference in the thinking of CIOs who see their jobs as selectively applying technologies to strategic needs versus those who are focused on compliance and risk aversion.  The former see their enterprises moving to public and hybrid clouds quickly to better integrate with dealers, distributors and suppliers at a strategic level.

The public cloud’s pervasiveness in the enterprise is growing rapidly.  This market dynamic is reflected in the report, Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2010-2016, 2Q12 Update (ID:G00234814).  Gartner breaks out forecasts into the areas of Cloud Business Process Services/Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), Application Services/Software as a Service (SaaS), Application Infrastructure Services/Platform as a Service (PaaS), System Infrastructure Services/Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Cloud Management and Security Services.  Highlights from the report are presented in the following five areas:

Cloud Business Process Services/Business Process as a Service (BPaaS)

  • Gartner is predicting that BPaaS will grow from $84.1B in 2012 to $144.7B in 2016, generating a global compound annual growth rate of 15%.
  • Of the eight subsegments Gartner is tracking in their BPaaS forecast, Cloud Payments (17.8%) Cloud Advertising (17.1%) and Industry Operations (15.1%) are expected to have the greatest compound annual growth rates (CAGR) in revenues generated by 2016.
  • In terms of revenue generated, Cloud Advertising is projected to grow from  $43.1B in 2011 to $95B in 2016, generating 17.1% CAGR in revenue growth through 2016.
  • Cloud Payments are forecast to grow from $4.7B in 2011  to $10.6B in 2016, generating a CAGR of 17.8% worldwide.
  • E-Commerce Enablement using BPaaS-based platforms is expected to grow from $4.7B in 2011 to $9B in 2016, generating a 13.6% CAGR in revenue globally.

Application Services/Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • SaaS-based applications are expected to grow from $11.8B in 2012 to $26.5B in 2016, generating a CAGR of 17.4% globally.  Gartner tracks ten different categories of SaaS applications in this latest forecast with CRM, ERP, and Web Conferencing, Teaming Platforms, and Social Software Suites being the three largest in terms of global revenue growth.
  • The three fastest-growing SaaS areas include Office Suites (40.7%), Digital Content Creation (32.2%) and Business Intelligence applications (27.1%) having the highest CAGRs from 2011 through 2016.
  • SaaS-based CRM will see the largest global revenue growth of all categories, increasing from $3.9B in 2011 to $7.9B in 2016, achieving a 15.1% CAGR worldwide.
  • Web Conferencing, Teaming Platforms, and Social Software Suites will grow from $2B in 2011 to $3.4B in 2016, generating an 11.2% CAGR.  Gartner is including Enterprise 2.0 applications in this category.
  • SaaS-based ERP is forecasted to grow from $1.9B in 2011 to $4.3B in 2016, achieving a 17.3% CAGR.
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM) is an area that Forrester, Gartner, IDC and others have predicted significant growth in.  Gartner’s latest forecast for SaaS-based SCM is $1.2B spent in 2011 growing to $3.3B in 2016, representing a 21.1% CAGR.

Application Infrastructure Services/Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • Gartner forecasts the worldwide enterprise market for PaaS platforms will grow from $900M spent in 2011 to $2.9B in 2016, representing a 26.6% CAGR.
  • Growth rates by PaaS subsegment include the following: Application Development (22%), Database Management Systems (48.5%), Business Intelligence Platform (38.9%) and Application Infrastructure and Middleware (26.5%).
  • Application Infrastructure and Middleware is expected to be the largest revenue source in PaaS for the next four years.  Gartner reports this subsegment  generated $649M in 2011, projected to grow to $2.1B in 2016, generating $1.5B in revenue and a 26.5% CAGR.

System Infrastructure Services/Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • With a projected CAGR of 41.7%, this segment is the fastest growing of the five Gartner included in their public cloud forecast.  From $4.2B in revenue generated in 2011 to $24.4B in 2016, IaaS is expected to grow by just over $20B in the forecast period globally.
  • CAGR by IaaS segment from 2001 to 2016 include Compute (43.2%), Storage (36.6%) and Print (16%).
  • The Compute subsegment is expected to see the greatest revenue growth globally, growing from $3.3B in 2011 to $20.2B in 2016, generating a 43.2% CAGR.

Cloud Management and Security Services

  • Comprised of Security, IT Operations Management and Storage Management, Cloud Management and Security Services generated $2.3B in 2011 with a forecast of $7.9B in 2016, generating a 27.2% CAGR.
  • IT Operations Management (38.2%), Storage Management (30.6%) and Security (23.7%) each have relatively high CAGRs through 2016.

Bottom line:  Of the five areas Gartner includes in their forecast, BPaaS  and its subsegments show trending towards greater support for enterprise-wide transaction and e-commerce management. With 76% of the entire 2012 public cloud forecast being in the BPaaS segment, it is clear Gartner is seeing strong interest on the part of enterprise clients to spend in this area.

What’s Hot in CRM Applications, 2012

Serving the sales force is a mantra and mindset that resonates through the best companies I’ve ever worked with and for.

That priority alone can help galvanize companies who are adrift in multiple, conflicting agendas, strategies and projects.  Uniting around that goal – serving sales and getting them what they need to excel – can turn around even the most downtrodden companies.  And size doesn’t matter, the intensity of focus and commitment to excel  do.

That’s why the latest report from Gartner’s Ed Thompson, What’s “Hot” in CRM Application 2012, published last Thursday resonates with me.  He’s talking about how sales strategies need to be propelled by rapid advances in mobile technology, social CRM, sales content and collaboration, and clienteling to serve the sales force more thoroughly than ever before.  His assessment of what’s hot in CRM is a great foundation for getting behind the mantra of serving the sales force and engraining it into a corporate culture while getting full value from the latest technologies.

Here are the key take-aways from the report:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery of CRM applications represented 34% of worldwide CRM application spending in 2011.  More than 50% of all Sales Force Automation (SFA) spending is on the SaaS platform.  Gartner clients who are successfully running SaaS are now looking at how to get value from Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in the context of selling strategies.
  • CRM spending grew 13% in 2011, fueled analytical, operational and social CRM growth.  Operational CRM represents 80% of all CRM spending and grew 10% in 2011.
  • Analytical CRM, in which Gartner includes predictive analytics and market segmentation analysis, grew a solid 10% in 2011 and is having a very strong year with inquiry traffic.
  • Social CRM grew 30% in 2011 in revenue terms and is 7% of total CRM spending globally as of 2011.   90% of Social CRM spending is originating in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) organizations with the remaining occurring in B2B.
  • Gartner is projecting that CRM will be one of the top three search terms on Gartner.com throughout calendar 2012 based on the trends and volume of calls they are seeing today.
  • CEOs see CRM as their #1 technology-enabled investment in 2012 according the query calls through April, 2012.
  • CRM is ascending rapidly in the priorities of CIOs in 2012, moving from 18th place to eight place  in the latest Gartner analysis.
  • The following table of Highest CRM Application Priorities, 2012 show what’s trending within Sales, Customer Service, E-Commerce and Marketing inquiries Gartner is receiving from its clients.  Consider these as leading indicators of interest.  Over time these areas will need to solidify for forecasts to be completed.
  • Apple iPads are the great maverick buy of 2012 with thousands being purchased by Sales and Marketing management with the immediate requirement of IT integration to these devices.   IT departments are scrambling on the security issues and lack of polices on BYOD.  In enterprise software, iPads are proving to be highly effective as demo platforms for new SaaS-based applications.  They have become the new sales bag of the 21rst century.
  •  High Tech, Life Sciences and Insurance are the three industries with the greatest levels of iPad adoption as of April 2012.  Gartner is predicting that by the end of 2012, 80% of all sales representatives in the pharmaceutical industry will be using iPads for their daily sales tasks.
  • Social or community customer service is the hottest area of growth for post-sales service with high-tech, media, travel, telecommunications, retail and education-based clients dominating client inquiries.

Roundup of SaaS ERP Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

The latest round of SaaS ERP market forecasts are more grounded in the reality of CIO priorities and committed projects in 2012 than ever before.  And this is good news for the many vendors competing in the Financial Management Systems (FMS), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Manufacturing segments of the SaaS ERP market.

Two weeks ago in Houston I interviewed twenty-five different CIOs, IT Directors, CEOs and CTOs as part of a persona research study I am doing.  Their take on SaaS ERP was consistent with what this round-up shows, namely this type of SaaS application is best suited for extending beyond, not replacing, the main ERP systems and platforms.   I concentrated on SaaS ERP adoption in manufacturing and learned the following during my interviews:

  • Usability and speed of deployment are the two most common benefits CIOs mentioned in my survey during Convergence.  The economics of cloud computing is a topic that CFOs love to talk about, especially in the areas of value-based pricing and how that is determined.
  • When asked what kept them up at night, CIOs said it was the thought of a call from their boss (often the CFO) that a cloud system had been compromised or had completely gone down.  Security and reliability are holding back CIOs in manufacturing from adopting SaaS-based ERP systems more pervasively in their companies.
  • CIOs from aerospace and defense companies get the benefits of cloud computing, yet they have much bigger issues to deal with right now, like replacing financials in their existing ERP system and staying in compliance to government requirements.  Earned Value Management is a major focus they have as well.  SaaS-based ERP systems are interesting to them; they however would require a completely enclosed, locked-down implementation due to security requirements.
  • There are vast differences in how CIOs view cloud computing – something that the following forecasts don’t really capture.  For the CIOs who are strategists, cloud computing in general and SaaS ERP specifically is a consideration given the agility and time-to-market, providing customization is held to a minimum.  CIOs who came up through IT have a healthy degree of skepticism and see SaaS ERP as potentially useful for scaling out an operation yet never being the primary financial system.

Here are the latest SaaS ERP forecasts and market estimates:

  • Gartner released their latest SaaS revenue forecast last week predicting revenue will reach $14.5B this year, a 17.9% increase from 2011 of $12.3B, with strong growth predicted through 2015 when the market is expected to be $22.1B. Source: http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh040212-story08.html
  • In the report Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012 Gartner is predicting  59% of manufacturers will adopt IaaS during the 2011 – 2015 timeframe and 47% will be either piloting or using SaaS-based applications.  Gartner cites the need for greater business and supply chain agility as the factors driving this rapid adoption.  The following figure is from the Gartner report  Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012.
  • Forrester forecasts SaaS ERP spending staying at 2% of the global ERP market, while Gartner forecasts 7% through 2012.  Gartner is projecting Project and Portfolio Management (29.1%) and Supply Chain Management (22.1%) will see the greatest growth rates through 2015.  Supply Chain Management is expected to reach $2.7B in revenue by 2015.  The Total Software Revenue Forecast for SaaS Delivery Within Enterprise Software is shown in the following table.  Source: Forecast: Software as a Service, Worldwide, 2010-2015, 1H11 Update Published: 22 June 2011 Analyst(s): Sharon A. Mertz, Chad Eschinger, Tom Eid, Chris Pang, Laurie F. Wurster
  • Gartner, IDC and Forrester all predict that Human Capital Management (HCM) will see the broadest adoption of all SaaS-based ERP components through 2015.  Vendors in this category include ADP, Concur, Cornerstone onDemand, HumanConcepts, Infor, Kenexa, Lumesse, Saba, SilkRoad, Sonar6, SuccessFactors, SumTotal Systems, Taleo, Ultimate Software and Workday.  Based on a recent Gartner Spending and Usage of SaaS Survey, 39% of manufacturers are piloting or using SaaS-based financials followed by 37% using Expense Management.The following figure illustrates their forecast, from the report  Market Trends: Cloud Computing and SaaS Adoption in Manufacturing and Natural Resources, Worldwide, 2012
  • Gartner’s IT Market Clock for ERP Platform Technology indicates that multitenant SaaS-based ERP is maturing rapidly, driven by time-to-market and cost advantages. The IT Market Clock is shown below, indicating SaaS ERP-based systems position relative to other ERP platforms now in use.  Vendors including  Epicor Express Editions, Glovia, Kenandy, NetSuite, Plex Systems, and SAP Business ByDesign compete in this segment.Source: IT Market Clock for ERP Platform Technology, 2011 Published: 19 September 2011 Analyst: Jim Shepherd.

Gartner has also compiled a Market Clock Recommendation Summary which is shown in the following table.  Of the CIOs I’ve spoken with during the persona research, the description of Multitenant SaaS is accurate.  No CIO I’ve spoken with is willing to bet their job on a rip-and-replace strategy for SaaS ERP; yet many are willing to extend their existing ERP systems using SaaS implementations to get up and running quickly at lower cost.  The one caveat nearly everyone mentions is little or no customization is necessary for SaaS ERP systems to be even evaluated by their companies.  Slight configuration is expected; however in-depth customization is not.

Bottom line: The persona research completed shows that the SaaS-based ERP growth is being helped by the transition occurring in the CIO ranks today.  More of them are strategists, who are expected to make business strategies happen, over and above just keeping the system dial tone on in their enterprises.

Gartner Search Analytics Shows Spike in Hadoop Inquiries in 2012 – Good News For CRM

Hadoop was one of the most-searched terms on Gartner’s website in 2011 through 2012, spiking to 601.8% over the last twelve months alone.  Additional insights from the Search Analytics on Hadoop include the following:

  • 27% of all inquiries are from banking, finance and insurance industries, followed by manufacturing (14%), government (13%), services (10%) and healthcare (8%).
  • North America (75.9%) and EMEA (13.5%) are the two most dominant geographies in terms of query volume.
  • Here is the trend line from Gartner Search Analytics:

What’s driving Hadoop’s meteoric rise in searches is a combination of industry hype about big data, CIOs getting serious about using Hadoop distributions that minimize time and risk yet deliver value, and the dominant role Amazon is playing in bringing Hadoop into the cloud.  Today Amazon offers Elastic MapReduce as a Web Service that relies on a hosted Hadoop framework running the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S2).

Microsoft also scored a major hiring win this week announcing that Raghu Ramakrishnan, former chief scientist for three divisions of Yahoo is now with Microsoft. Raghu is now a technical fellow working in the Server and Tools Business (STB).  He’ll focus on big data and integration to STB platforms.  Big Data on Azure will accelerate now with him on-board.

Hadoop’s Potentially Galvanizing Effect on CRM and Social CRM Analytics

The quickening pace of Hadoop adoption in the enterprise is good news for CRM and especially social CRM. Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) are the “glue” that unify CRM and keep it in context. One of Hadoop’s greatest potential contributions is the analysis, categorization and use of unstructured content.  Marketing and sales won’t have to run three or four systems to gain insights into customer data, they can run a single analytics platform that fuels the entire selling cycle and lifetime customer value chain of their businesses.  Hadoop has the potential to make unstructured content more meaningful while also reporting the impact of customer insights on financial performance, profitability and lifetime customer value.

Translating terabytes of customer, sales, services and partner data into meaningful analytics and business intelligence (BI) is emerging as a priority for CIOs, who are sharing responsibility for driving top-line revenue growth.   Hadoop shows potential to be the “glue” or galvanizing technology base that unifies all CRM and Social CRM strategies.

To get a perspective on how fast Hadoop is being evaluated and adopted it’s useful to look at the Hype Cycle for Data Management, the latest edition published July, 2011.   This is another indicator of how quickly Hadoop and big data are gaining in terms of CIO mindshare.  Big Data and extreme information management are on the technology Trigger area of the hype cycle.  The Hype Cycle for Data Management is shown below:

Bottom line:  CRM and Social CRM will benefit more than any other area of an enterprise as Hadoop’s adoption continues to accelerate.  CIOs are increasingly called upon to be strategists, and with the ability to translate terabytes of data into strategies that deliver dollars, look for Hadoop’s contributions to drive top-line revenue growth.

Sizing the Data Center Services Market, 2012

The Data Center Services (DCS) market is at a turning point today, with both Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) strategies potentially playing a pivotal role.

Traditionally data centers generate the majority of their business from colocation, data center outsourcing, and hosting.  The current and future impact of IaaS and PaaS is small but growing rapidly in this market.  Gartner estimates the global DCS market generated $150B globally as of 2011, projected to grow to $200B in 2012.

IaaS and PaaS Will Define The Future of the DCS Market

With IaaS generating $4B in global revenues in 2011 and PaaS is generating $1.4B, together they contributed 3.6% of the total DCS revenues last year.  The future direction of the DCS market, including the nature and trajectory of IaaS and PaaS, will be determined over the next three to five years by enterprise adoption of these platforms and the increasing move of enterprise applications to the cloud.  In sizing the DCS market, it’s useful to take a look at the forecasts from Gartner of cloud application infrastructure and cloud applications as a proportion of enterprise application software.  The following tables provide this analysis.

Cloud Application Infrastructure, Cloud Systems Infrastructure as a Proportion of Core ITO and Traditional Web Hosting (Dollars in Billions)

Source: Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide and Regions, Industry Sectors, 2010-2015, 2011 Update

Cloud Applications as a Proportion of Enterprise Application Software (Dollars in Billions)

Source: Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide and Regions, Industry Sectors, 2010-2015, 2011 Update

Mapping the Data Center Services Market – A First Approach

Gartner has proposed a Data Center Services Map and Market Compass for Enterprise Data Center Services, both of which are shown below.  Taken as taxonomies for organizing the market, they are effective, resembling value chains in their structure.  The Garter Data Center Services Map is shown below:

The Gartner Data Center Services Map

Source: Data Center Services: Regional Differences in the Move Toward the Cloud, 2012

Gartner’s Market Compass for Enterprise Data Center Services takes into account size, scope and management of data center (DC) applications by the use of sharing, pricing models and elasticity (Time to Provision Change) to create a market grid.  These are considered to be the six most differentiating factors in DC performance in this model.  The foundation of the Market Compass are shown below:

Gartner’s Market Compass for Enterprise Data Center Services

Source:Data Center Outsourcing, Hosting or Cloud? Use Gartner’s Market Map and Compass to Decide

The Garter Market Compass can further be used to define which solution sets in the DCS market best align with a given business’ strategic and IT needs.  Elasticity of infrastructure utility and cloud computing are, according to the analysis, the strongest growth factors in the DCS market today.

Analyzing the Six Main Segments of the Data Center Services Market with the Gartner Market Compass

Source: Data Center Outsourcing, Hosting or Cloud? Use Gartner’s Market Map and Compass to Decide

Bottom line: As more enterprise applications migrate to the cloud, DCS providers will be forced to rapidly improve the elasticity and time provisioning options their platforms provide.  All these changes will re-order the economics of cloud computing forcing DCS providers to greater level of flexibility that many have attained in the past.

Roundup of Cloud Computing Forecasts and Market Estimates, 2012

The latest round of cloud computing forecasts released by Cisco, Deloitte, IDC, Forrester, Gartner, The 451 Group and others show how rapidly cloud computing’s adoption in enterprises is happening.  The better forecasts quantify just how and where adoption is and isn’t occurring and why.

Overall, this year’s forecasts have taken into account enterprise constraints more realistically  than prior years, yielding a more reasonable set of market estimates.  There still is much hype surrounding cloud computing forecasts as can be seen from some of the huge growth rates and market size estimates.  With the direction of forecasting by vertical market and process area however, constraints are making the market estimates more realistic.

I’ve summarized the links below for your reference:

  • According to IDC, by 2015, about 24% of all new business software purchases will be of service-enabled software with SaaS delivery being 13.1% of worldwide software spending.  IDC further predicts that 14.4% of applications spending will be SaaS-based in the same time period. Source: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=232239
  • The cloud computing marketplace will reach $16.7B in revenue by 2013, according to a new report from the 451 Market Monitor, a market-sizing and forecasting service from The 451 Group. Including the large and well-established software-as-a-service (SaaS) category, cloud computing will grow from revenue of $8.7B 2010 to $16.7B in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24%. https://451research.com/
  • Forrester forecasts that the global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. The total size of the public cloud market will grow from $25.5 billion in 2011 to $159.3 billion in 2020. Link to report excerpt is here.
  • Deloitte is predicting cloud-based applications will replace 2.34% of enterprise IT spending in 2014 rising 14.49% in 2020.  The  slide below  is from an excellent presentation by Deloitte titled Cloud Computing Forecast Change downloadable from this link.

  • Gartner predicts Small & Medium Business (SMB) in the insurance industry will have a higher rate of cloud adoption (34%) compared to their enterprise counterparts (27%).  Gartner cites that insurance industry’s opportunity to significant improve core process areas through the use of technology.  The following figure from the report, 2011 SMB Versus Enterprise Software Budget Allocation to Annual Subscriptions indicates the differences in software budget allocation for annual subscriptions by vertical market from the report:

2011 SMB Versus Enterprise Software Budget Allocation to Annual Subscriptions

  • Gartner is predicting that the cloud system infrastructure (cloud IaaS) market to grow by 47.8% through 2015. The research firm advises outsourcers not moving in that direction that consolidation and cannibalization will occur in the 2013 – 2014 timeframe  The providers named most often by respondents were Amazon (34%), SunGard (30%) and Verizon Business (30%). Of the global top 10 IT outsourcing market leaders, only CSC appears on the list. Source: User Survey Analysis: Infrastructure as a Service, the 2011 Uptake  Claudio Da Rold,  Allie Young.

External Service Providers Being Considered for IaaS (or Cloud IaaS)

How Cloud Computing And ERP Mobility Are Reordering Gartner’s Hype Cycle for ERP

A good friend of mine recently became CIO of a financial services firm and was given his first major project last month: make the complete accounting, financial, and loan provider data and applications available 24/7 on any iPad or Android-based tablet from any office, at any time.

The majority of loan provider applications are cloud-based and his company is running NetSuite.  His corporate office is in Asia and cloud-based applications made it possible for the company to launch and operate in California within months.   He’s been given six months to transform this mobile vision into reality.

Another CIO of a major A&D manufacturer I recently visited wants vendors to challenge him more to get greater value from his investments in legacy data and ERP systems. Using ERP to run batch reports alone has nearly caused project schedules to slip, so the focus internally is on real-time system integration of project management and accounting systems.  He’s also been given the task of revamping accounting and financial systems by October, 2012, and they just started late last year.

Gartner’s Hype Cycle for ERP 

Considering these two extremes in the context of the Gartner Hype Cycle for ERP (shown below) and the recent report SaaS and Cloud ERP Trends, Observations, and Performance 2011  (free for download until January 9, 2012) published by Aberdeen last month several take-aways emerge.

  • CIOs are under increasing pressure in 2012 to enhance, modify even replace existing ERP systems while standardizing technology across the enterprise at the same time.  The most risk-averse way around this is to add applications to single instance ERP backbone systems, with analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) being the among the most in demand.
  • Cloud-based ERP in the Enterprise and Small & Medium Businesses (SMB) are accelerating along the Hype Cycle faster than Gartner indicates.  Enterprises are using Cloud-based ERP systems as part of their two-tier ERP system strategies due to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and time-to-deploy advantages, and the flexibility of tailoring everything from user interfaces to workflows to their specific requirements.  Highly specialized Cloud-based ERP suites including those from Plex Systems are gaining traction due to their expertise in specific industries and the compliance-related challenges inherent within them. In SMBs, the cost and time-to-deploy are two major drivers with concerns over security being the biggest impediment to growth.  Gartner reports that they are seeing Cloud-based ERP adoption fastest in companies with fewer than 200 users overall.
  • Cloud-based ERP systems most often considered in industries that have high variable costs, rapid transaction cycles and tend towards higher Return on Invested Capital (ROIC).  Based on the research SaaS and Cloud ERP Trends, Observations, and Performance 2011 the industries who are the most willing to consider Cloud-based ERP versus on-premise are Financial Services (22% SaaS versus 44% on-premise); Healthcare (42% SaaS versus 58% on-premise); and Professional Services (56% SaaS versus 58% on-premise).
  • Large companies (over $500M in annual revenue) using Cloud-based ERP systems are opting for hosted deployments managed by their ERP vendor (10%) or an independent 3rd party (11%), with just 2% relying on a SaaS platform. Aberdeen defined small organizations as those with annual sales under $50M, midsize organizations having annual sales of $50M – $500M. The following is from SaaS and Cloud ERP Trends, Observations, and Performance 2011:
  • ERP mobility will be a dominant force from the shop floor to each sales call where quotes, orders and contracts deliver real-time order and pricing updates.  How a given manufacturer chooses to sell is even more important than what they sell in many industries. Equipping manufacturing, quality assurance, production scheduling, procurement and sales to have immediate data on what’s going on with orders, customers and suppliers is critical.  For the sales and service teams, real-time data is the fuel they run on.  There’s a chronic time shortage in many, many companies right now, and bringing greater ERP mobility from the shop floor to the sales call will increasingly be seen as a means to lessen the time crunch.  2012 is the year where mobility gets real across the enterprise with solid performance numbers being generated as a result.  For companies with large sales forces and service organizations, integrating to key ERP systems to gain real-time data will quickly lead to increased sales and higher gross margins on service and warranty repairs.
  • Gartner predicts that by 2015 enterprises who are successfully using extreme information management strategies (Big Data) will outperform competitors in their industry sectors by 20% in every available financial metric.  The following is the Priority Matrix for ERP, 2011 showing what Gartner believes to be transformational technologies and strategies in ERP.

Analytics, Cloud Computing Challenge Flat Growth in Forrester’s Tech Market Outlook for 2012

It’s time to strip away the hype surrounding analytics, big data and cloud computing by asking how these technologies contribute  to excellent customer experiences and greater customer engagement.  Those are the real catalysts of market growth and the greatest disruptive forces at work in enterprise software today.

Filtering forecasts of future technology adoption with a customer experience and engagement mindset is essential for separating hype from reality.  Two excellent blog posts were published today that provide useful insights for doing this.  Ray Wang’s Monday’s Musings: 10 Mega Business Trends To Watch For In 2012 provides pragmatic, insightful analysis of the progression going on from transactional to personal fulfillment systems.  Many of the CIOs I’ve met with in the last two months are saying exactly what Ray has written regarding this transition.   Paul Greenberg’s CRM 2012 Forecast – The Era of Customer Engagement – Part I delivers more insight than any of the financial or industry analyst reports I’ve read in the last twelve months on CRM and its intersection to social networks.  He has defined customer engagement so thoroughly I am sure this post will be a classic, referenced for years to come.  Both posts provide an excellent framework to evaluate the upcoming wave of new forecasts due out from research firms at the start of 2012.

Having recently read Forrester’s US Tech Market Outlook For 2012 and applying the concepts Ray Wang and Paul Greenberg discuss, here are several take-aways from that report:

  • Total U.S. ICT market in 2011 was $962B with the majority being generated from software sales ($208B) followed by Telecom Services ($199B) and IT Consulting and Systems Integration Services ($188B).  The following graphic illustrates the purchase of ICT product and services in the U.S. during 2011.  As enterprise software companies are striving to deliver what Ray Wang is calling Experiential Systems, the majority of their core Intellectual Property (IP) was obtained from building Transactional Systems.  Despite this conflict, software development methodologies including Agile give the industry a fighting chance at growth in 2012.
  • Software continues to dominate both in total revenue ($208B) and growth rate, with 8.2% growth projected for 2012.  In addition to analytics and Business Intelligence (BI), Forrester is predicting an increase in ERP, Middleware and SaaS-based application growth.
  • Forrester is most optimistic in their forecasts for analytics, BI, Cloud Computing and Smart Computing.  Cloud Computing forecasts at Forrester are indexed to sales levels of NetSuite, RightNow Technologies (Oracle), Salesforce.com, and Ultimate Software.  Forrester is claiming these four vendors will generate a 23% increase in revenues in calendar Q1, 2012 over Q1, 2011, increasing and staying constant at 24% year-over-year growth from Q2 to Q4, 2012 relative to Q2 to Q4,  2011. Salesforce.com could accomplish this level of growth through acquisitions alone. They’re showing they can integrate newly acquired companies faster than Oracle, who they are challenging for global CRM market leadership in the 2012 – 2013 timeframe.  When customer experience and engagement is taken into account, the forecast seems high.  Salesforce knows how to translate trial users into customers.  The question is can they do this fast enough in 2012 throughout the enterprise and mid-tier accounts to keep up their sales growth on track while reducing churn and increasing profitability.
  • Smart Computing is defined by Forrester as platform technologies including specialized analytics, BI, service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure, virtualization software, rules engines, and awareness-based technologies.  Forrester is very optimistic about this area with a growth rate second only to cloud computing. Its index of the market is based on Informatica, Pegasystems, and Tibco Software.  Forrester is predicting in calendar Q1, 2012 there will be 16% growth over Q1, 2011, followed by consistent 13% growth year-over-year for Q2 to Q4, 2012 relative to 2011.  The following graphic compares growth of both Cloud Computing and Smart Computing.

  • The inflexion point of Smart Computing will happen when analytics, BI and awareness-based technologies including RFID can be used to make customer experiences consistently positive and drive cultural change throughout a business to center on customers’ expectations.  Paul Greenberg refers to this area of customer engagement in his blog post.  I agree with him and see the real value of analytics not for reporting, but for being a barometer of just how customer-centric and focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences a company is becoming.
  • In 2012, financial services, professional services, and manufacturing will be the three industries that dominate software purchases.  Financial services (19%), professional services (15%) and manufacturing (14%) will be the largest buyers of enterprise software.  Forrester believes that ERP replacements, supply chain management (SCM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) will all be proprieties in the coming twelve months.

Bottom line: Critiquing high growth technologies based on their contribution to customer experience, engagement and the creation of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is what matter most. Hopefully the new wave of forecasts for 2012 and beyond will take the customer – not just technology and statistical extrapolations – into account.

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