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Posts from the ‘SaaS’ Category

45% of Global Enterprises Are Running Production-Level Cloud Apps Today

cover graphicMicrosoft’s latest study shows enterprises’ pace of cloud computing adoption continues to accelerate.  Nearly half of the respondents (45%) report they have cloud-based applications running in production environments.  58% report that they selectively target new applications and projects for cloud computing.

Microsoft commissioned 451 Research to complete one of the most comprehensive global surveys to date of hosting and cloud computing, titled Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream releasing the results earlier this month. The 74 page slide deck of results provides a wealth of insights into the current and future state of hosting and cloud computing.  451 Research constructed the methodology to include interviews with 2,000 companies and organizations of all sizes from 11 countries, with more than a third of respondents coming from the United States.  Microsoft and 451 Research provided the slides showing the result of screener questions, which provides a useful context for analyzing the survey results.

Here are the key take-aways from the study:

  • 45% of enterprises globally are running production-level cloud computing applications today.  North America and Asia have the greatest percentage of enterprises reporting broad implementation of production cloud-based applications (17% each).  North America has the greatest percentage of enterprises in the discovery and evaluation phase of cloud computing adoption at 29%.

cloud computing adoption by region

  •  58% of global enterprises are selectively target new applications for cloud computing, with 18% heavily relying on cloud computing for new projects.  The following graphic shows the distribution of organizations’’ approaches to using cloud computing for new applications or IT projects.

New Apps By Region

  • SaaS (71%) and Hosted Infrastructure Services (69%) are the two most common IT services currently purchased today, with 14% growth forecasted in each by 2016. The fastest growing category is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), with 37% purchasing these services today projected to grow another 26% in two years.

current future it services

  • SaaS is most prevalent in enterprises with over 500 employees, and Hosted Infrastructure Services, in government and education.  Please see the graphic below for the distribution of responses by IT service and organization type.

 

current it services by company size

  • Spending on hosted private clouds will increase from 28% of spending today to 32% in 2016, with traditional dedicated infrastructure services dropping from 48% to 42%.

Hosted Infrastuctrure Services

  •  The majority of SaaS users are employees (45%) followed by businesses (which could be interpreted as suppliers and the broader supply chain) (22%), consumers (18%) and business partners (including distribution channels (14%).

primary application users

 

  • Telephone conversations with customer support specialists is the most valuable form of communication (just over 60%) across all support channels.  It is also the most preferred channel for SaaS support.

valuable forms of communication

  •  Business applications (17%), databases (14%) and e-mail 12%) are the top three application spending categories today in hosted and cloud applications.  The following graphic breaks out spending by hosting and cloud configuration.

hosted and cloud applications

  • Having a well-defined architecture for security (7.7 out of 8.0), understanding who the end-users are (7.6) and train users to be cautious with access & security (7.5) in addition to having a well-defined architecture for performance (7.5) are the three top best practices for cloud computing projects.

best practices cloud computing projects

  • 44% of enterprises globally have “shadow IT”, meaning business units are spending their own budget on cloud computing projects outside of the IT approval processes.  The following graphic provides the breakdown by type of organization included in the survey.

shadow it

  •  87% of respondents globally would recommend cloud computing to a peer or colleague and 13% would not. When asked why or why not, respondents most often mentioned a good experience and better service/it works (approximately 17%), followed by improving costs/cost effective/cheaper (approximately 16%).  Security issues and concerns (25%) and uncertainty/it’s too new (approximately 16%) are the reasons for not recommending cloud computing.

recommend cloud computing

Roundup Of Cloud Computing Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2014

By 2018, CIOs expect it to play a critical role in enabling their organizations strategic vision according to IBM’s latest study, Moving from the back office to the front lines – CIO insights from the Global C-suite Study. The IBM study and recent cloud computing forecasts and market estimates illustrate how quickly CIOs’ roles are changing.

CIOs in high performance enterprises are increasingly seeing the world much more like their CEO counterparts.  Both are now focusing more on how cloud computing can improve customer engagement and operational performance while anticipating market and macro-economic factors.  IBM’s study provides a glimpse into their Institute for Business Value’s 1,600 face-to-face conversations with CIOs from 70 countries and 20 industries worldwide.

Here are the key take-aways from the report including an infographic summarizing key points of the study:

  • Cloud computing has rapidly accelerated from 30% of CIOs mentioning it as a crucial technology for customer engagement in 2009 to 64% today.
  • 67% of CIOs IBM interviewed are actively looking into how cloud technologies can better serve and collaborate with customers.
  • 84% of CIOs are focusing on mobility solutions to support closer customer engagement, 83% are evaluating business analytics and optimization and 64%, cloud computing.   The following graphic shows a comparison of how priorities have changed between 2009 and 2013.

ibm study

  • CIOs in outperforming enterprises are nearly twice as likely as their peers (59% versus 31% for underperformers) to have a cohesive strategy for uniting the digital and physical elements of their businesses.  One respondent CIO from a banking firm in The Netherlands stated that “We want to create an integrated, 24/7 customer experience across channels and services.”  The following infographic summarizes key points of the analysis.

infographic  on CIOs new boss

  • Cloud-related tech spending by businesses is forecast to triple from 2011 to 2017 according to IHS Technology.  By 2017, enterprise spending on cloud computing will amount to a projected $235.1B, triple the $78.2B spent in 2011 according to the research firm’s analysis.  In 2014, global business spending for infrastructure and services related to the cloud will reach an estimated $174.2B, up 20% from the amount spent in 2013. Source: Cloud- Related Spending by Businesses to Triple from 2011 to 2017.  

cloud spending soars

  • Centaur Partners predicts that total SaaS revenue will shift from just over 10% of the total enterprise software market in 2010 to just over 16% by 2015, and predict that SaaS and cloud-based business application services revenue will have grown from $13.5B in 2011 to $32.8B in 2016.  The following graphic is from their latest SaaS Market Overview presentation.

centaur partners

cloud focus of investment

Cisco cloud traffic

  • Bain & Company predicts that direct spending on hardware, software and services could top $70B by 2017 based on the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT).  The research brief, Is your company ready for the Internet of Things? predicts that companies that can capitalize on mobility, analytics and cloud computing will have the highest probability of success.  Bain & Company also presented their taxonomy of market growth by enterprise spending category below, projecting software and applications will generate $180B in sales by 2017.

Bain & Company Taxonomy

  • IDC is predicting that the cloud software market will surpass $75B by 2017 attaining a five year compound annual growth rate of 22% in the forecast period. IDC also found that current organizations using the cloud expect to spend 53.7% of their IT budget on cloud-based applications and platforms in the next 24 months.  Major benefits of the cloud for IT operations include reducing the size of the IT budget, improving IT staff productivity, and simplifying and standardizing IT infrastructure.  For other departments, benefits include improved resource utilization, enabling business units to control IT solutions more directly, and launch revenue generating services faster with more efficient time-to-market strategies. These findings are from the Cisco infographic based on IDC research data titled Midsize Enterprises Leading The Way With Cloud Adoption.

Accenture infographic

The Best Cloud Computing Companies And CEOs To Work For In 2014

Job Growth2014 continues to be a year marked by the accelerating hiring cycles across nearly all cloud computing companies.

Signing bonuses of $3K to $5K for senior engineers and system design specialists are becoming common, and the cycles from screening to interviews to offers is shortening.  The job market in the cloud computing industry is leaning in favor of applicants who have a strong IT background in systems integration, legacy IT expertise, business analysis and in many positions, programming as well.

One of the most common questions and requests I receive from readers is who the best companies are to work for.  I’ve put together the following analysis based on the latest Computer Reseller News list The 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors Of 2014.  

Using the CRN list as a baseline to compare the Glassdoor.com scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO, the following analysis was completed.  You can find the original data here .  There are many companies listed on the CRN list that don’t have than many or any entries on Glassdoor and they were excluded from the rankings below.  You can find companies excluded here. If the image below is not visible in your browser, you can view the rankings here.

results

The highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor as of February 23rd include the following:

  • Jeremy Roche of FinancialForce.com (100%)
  • Robert Reid, Intacct (100%)
  • Randy Bias, Cloudscaling (100%)
  • Sridhar Vembu, Zoho (98%)
  • James M. Whitehurst, Red Hat (96%)
  • Larry Page, Google (95%)
  • Christian Chabot, Tableau Software (95%)
  • Aneel Bhusri, Workday (94%)
  • Bill McDermott & Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP (93%)
  • Marc Benioff, Salesforce (93%)
  • David Friend, Carbonite (93%)

Best- And Worst-Performing Cloud Computing Stocks Feb. 10th To Feb. 14th And Year-to-Date

cloud computing forecast update 2012The five highest performing cloud computing stocks year-to-date in the Cloud Computing Index are Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM), F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV), Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR), Fusion-IO (NYSE:FIO), Qualys (NASDAQ:QYLS) and Workday (NYSE:WDAY).  A $10K investment in Akamai on January 2nd of this year is worth $12,901 and $10K invested in F5 Networks is worth $12,509 as of market close yesterday.   IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP share prices are included for comparison.

best performing YTD Feb 14

Akamai delivered better-than-respected results for their latest fiscal quarter and year, gaining $436M in revenues for fiscal Q4 and $1.578B for fiscal year.  Media Deliver Solutions revenue increased 19% year over year to $207.5M in revenue.  On their latest earnings call earlier this month, Akamai also says that traffic for gaming, social media, software and video downloads all continue to accelerate.  Support and Service revenues grew 36% year over year, reaching $36.3M in fiscal Q4, and Performance And Security revenue reached $192.2M, increasing 18% year over year.  Adjusted EBITDA for fiscal Q4 was $192M.

The following graphic compares how $10,000 invested on January 2nd of this year in the highest performing cloud computing stocks, in addition to IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are valued today.

total dollar value 10K feb 14 2014

Please see the full Cloud Computing Index for market caps, average volumes, 52-week high and low share prices, Earnings per Share, Price/Earnings Ratio, and Beta.  I am using the Google Finance Portfolio option to track the performance of these stocks.  For information on how this index was created, see the description at the end of this post.  I do not hold equity positions or work for any of the companies mentioned in this blog post or included in the Cloud Computing Index and this post is not meant to provide investment advice.  It is simply a glimpse into the performance of these company’s stock prices over time.  The following is this week’s Cloud Computing Index.

Cloud Computing Stock Index February 14

Best Performing Cloud Computing Stocks, February 10th to February 14th, 2014

Capturebest performing for the week feb 14

Worst Performing Cloud Computing Stocks, February 10th to February 14th, 2014

worst performing for the week feb 14

Best Performing Cloud Computing Stocks In 2014

best performing YTD Feb 14

Worst Performing Cloud Computing Stocks In 2014

worst performing YTD Feb 14

Comparing Cumulative Stock Performance Performance of the Cloud Computing Index over the last year is compared to NetSuite, Salesforce, IBM, Oracle and SAP is below. This index has been up 27.58% over the last year, with NetSuite (NYSE:N) up 63.84%, Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) up 43.50%, IBM (NYSE:IBM) down 8.59%, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) up 9.10% and SAP (NYSE:SAP) up .14%. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

trending

Specifics on the Cloud Computing Stock Index I used The Cloud Times 100 as the basis of the index, selecting twenty companies all of which are publically traded.  The latest edition of the Cloud Computing Index is shown here.  The filter applied to these companies is that 50% or more of their revenues are generated from cloud-based applications, infrastructure and services

Roundup Of Free Cloud Computing Online Courses

career-start1One of the best ways to capitalize on cloud computing’s growth from a career standpoint is to constantly be learning and gaining new knowledge.

Being able to apply the technological aspects of cloud computing to business problems quickly, combined with constantly developing expertise on how to manage legacy systems and cloud platforms is a very valuable, marketable skill.

Many manufacturers I meet with are grappling with the high maintenance costs and time latency of legacy systems when their business models are accelerating faster than ever.   Helping these enterprises bridge the gap between legacy systems and the urgent need for more accurate customer, supplier, pricing, and quality data creates many opportunities for career growth.

Free Cloud Computing Courses

The number and quality of free online cloud computing courses continues to grow, and lately the prices of fee-based online programs are dropping.  Not across the board, but clearly the competition of online education programs is changing in favor of the student.

The table below profiles free online cloud computing certificate and degree programs.  You can download a PDF of the full roundup of cloud computing courses here that also includes fee-based online programs.  Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.

Roundup of cloud computing courses

Key take-aways from the roundup of cloud computing courses include the following:

  • edX & UC BerkeleyX are offering a series of courses on Engineering Software as a Service.  The first of two sessions offered by edX and UC Berkeley concentrate on engineering solid high performance cloud applications using agile techniques to design then code a Software as a Service (SaaS) application using Ruby on Rails.  The second session concentrates on deploying the application in the cloud and enhancing its performance using JavaScript.
  • Coursera and Vanderbilt University are offering Programming Cloud Services for Android Handheld Systems.  This class signifies a broader trend by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) where cloud computing and mobility are often being included in the same course.  This course includes instruction on how to apply patterns and frameworks to develop scalable and secure cloud services.  Included is coverage of mobile and cloud communication, data persistence, concurrency and synchronization, synchronous and asynchronous event handling, and security. The bulk of the examples are in Java using the Spring Framework and Jetty middleware platform. The examples will be run on Google App Engine and Amazon EC2.  This course is free. 
  • Google Developer Academy – Self-based e-learning site that has an excellent overview of Google AppEngine, Python App Engine and Google+ APIs.
  • Microsoft Research Windows Azure for Research Training – An innovative training program aimed at academicians and researchers, this is going to be an excellent learning platform regarding the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform.  Best of all, the course sessions and eventual online content are free.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) - One of the most comprehensive collections of courseware available globally today, OCW  is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

Roundup Of Cloud Computing And Enterprise Software Predictions For 2014

cloud computing predictions 2014 Alan Kay’s saying that the best way to predict the future is to create it resonates through the best cloud computing and enterprise software predictions for 2014. Constraints that held start-ups back from delivering sophisticated new apps and services are disappearing fast.  The dynamics of one of my favorite books, The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, are in full force across the cloud and enterprise landscape.

There are many predictions being generated right now and instead of writing yet another set,  I’m providing a listing of those that are the most interesting and thought-provoking. They are listed below:

  • 10 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2014 – In-depth analysis of ten predictions including how more companies will realize they are really in the software business, private cloud computing having a moment of truth and continued adoption of cloud brokerages.  This set of predictions is an interesting read and provides useful insight.  I’d just add that as application developers go, so goes an industry, a point Bernard Golden refers to in this post.
  • Analytics Eats the World in 2014 – George Mathew of Alteryx is one of the most driven people I’ve ever met about analytics programming and development.  He’s very focused on breaking down constraints that hold analysts back from getting more value from their data. His predictions provide insight into how business analysts’ roles are changing based on rapid advances in analytics app development, model development and use.
  • Changing Cloud Scapes in 2014 – Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies provides ten insightful predictions regarding the continued adoption of cloud computing platforms in the enterprise.  His fourth prediction, “Although horizontal cloud solutions will continue to experience significant growth, vertical market solutions aimed at specific industries will grow even more rapidly” is starting to emerge today.  The recent success of Veeva Systems supports his prediction and points to next year seeing more vertical market solutions being successfully launched.
  • Cloud computing experts forecast the market climate in 2014 – Excellent summary of seven cloud computer experts’ predictions for 2014 including Mark Eisenberg, Roger Jennings, Paul Korzeniowski, David S. Linthicum, Tom Nolle, Dan Sullivan and Mark Szynaka.  Highlights include IDC analysts predicting the “Over the 2013 to 2017 forecast period, public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of 23.5%, five times that of the IT industry as a whole,” and PaaS will lead IaaS and SaaS with a CAGR of 29.7%. What’s useful about these set of predictions is the breadth of expertise reflected in market statistics, market and technology projections and insights shared.
  • Cloud Computing Predictions for 2014: Cloud Joins The Formal IT Portfolio – James Staten of Forrester Research has compiled an excellent series of predictions for the year with emphasis on security and SaaS becoming the de facto choice for new applications.  While he hasn’t quoted adoption figures of SaaS relative to on-premise, he does point out that Forrester believes HCM, CRM and collaboration will be the leading categories of SaaS apps in 2014.
  • My One Big Fat Cloud Computing Prediction for 2014 – I have been following the industry analysis, writing and research of Joe McKendrick for years based on the excellent insight he provides.  Joe predicts that cloud computing is set to become mainstream computing, period.  He cites Cisco’s research showing the majority of data center will be cloud-based and shares his perspective of the market.  Joe has an innate sense of how enterprises adopt and use technology and this post reflects that expertise.
  • SaaS predictions for 2014 – Chris Kanaracus is predicting that multitenancy will fade away as a major concern in SaaS, geographic depth of coverage will accelerate with cloud vendors announcing new data center openings around the world, and more vertical market adoption of SaaS.  He also prefaces his predictions with the Gartner forecast for SaaS (software as a service) quoting their figures of the total market will toping $22 billion through 2015, up from more than $14 billion in 2012.
  • Top Predictions about Software Companies in 2014 – In-depth analysis and predictions of which companies are going to be the most interesting to watch in 2014 and predictions regarding the enterprise software landscape.  This post provides a great overview of how industry veterans see enterprise software changing as a result of cloud computing as well.
  • Troubling, Challenging 2014 ERP Predictions – Brian Sommer’s predictions are the most thought-provoking and honest of any written so far this year. He writes “for an ERP vendor to sell CX (customer experience) software and then mistreat their own customers so badly is more than ironic (or moronic). It’s a death wish.  Yet, it happens.”  If there is only one set of predictions you read from this list, be sure to read this set.
  • What Should CMOs Do In 2014? IDC’s Top Ten Predictions – Gil Press provides in-depth analysis of IDC’s predictions of how the role of CMO will change in 2014.  He’s summarized the key points of the recent webinar including market forecasts from IDC, providing his insight and expertise in this post.  IDC is predicting that digital marketing investment will exceed 50% of total program budget by 2016, up from 39% in 2013 and that by the end of 2014, 60% of CMOs will have a formal recruiting process for marketers with data skills.

Roundup of Cloud Computing Forecasts Update, 2013

tunnel-of-speed-forecast-of-saas-cloud-computing-final-300x201Time-to-market, more flexible support for business strategies by IT, and faster response time to competitive conditions are combining to accelerate cloud computing adoption today.

Of the enterprises I’ve spoken with over the last several months including several Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses just beginning to evaluate cloud-based CRM and manufacturing systems, one message resonates from all of them: they need enterprise applications that keep pace with how fast they want to move on new business strategies. The latest round of cloud computing forecasts reflect the urgency enterprises have of making IT a foundation for strategic business growth.

The following is a summary of the latest cloud computing forecasts and market estimates:

McKinsey Analysis

  • IDC predicts public IT cloud services will reach $47.4B in 2013 and is expected to be more than $107B in 2017. Over the 2013–2017 forecast period, public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.5%, five times that of the IT industry as a whole. The growing focus on cloud services as a business innovation platform will help to drive spending on public IT cloud services to new levels throughout the forecast period. By 2017, IDC expects public IT cloud services will drive 17% of IT product spending and nearly half of all growth across five technology categories: applications, system infrastructure software, platform as a service (PaaS), servers, and basic storage. Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest public IT cloud services category throughout the forecast, capturing 59.7% of revenues in 2017. The fastest growing categories will be PaaS and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), with CAGRs of 29.7% and 27.2%, respectively.  Source: IDC Forecasts Worldwide Public IT Cloud Services Spending to Reach Nearly $108 Billion by 2017 as Focus Shifts from Savings to Innovation.

IDC Forecast Public IT Spending

  • Informatica’s presentation titled Enable Rapid Innovation with Informatica  and MicroStrategy for Hybrid IT by Darren Cunningham, Informatica Cloud  and Roger Nolan, Informatica Data Integration and Data Quality contains a useful series of cloud market overviews supported by 451 Research Gartner, Forrester and IDC data.  A summary of the statistics section is shown below:

Informatica

adoption graphic from KPMG

  • Gartner predicts that in the next five years enterprises will spend $921B on public cloud services, attaining a CAGR of 17% in the forecast period.  Darryl Carlton, Research Director, APAC with Gartner recently presented Cloud Computing 2014: Cloud Computing 2014: ready for real business?  His presentation is full of insightful analysis and market forecasts from Gartner, with specific focus on Asia-Pacific.
  • Visiongain predicts the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) submarket is valued at $1.9B in 2013 growing to $3.7B in 2018, attaining a 14.3% CAGR for the period 2013-2018.  The following figure shows the firm’s forecast.  Source: Visiongain on Slideshare.
  • Gartner predicts that in the next five years enterprises will spend $921B on public cloud services, attaining a CAGR of 17% in the forecast period.  Darryl Carlton, Research Director, APAC with Gartner recently presented Cloud Computing 2014: Cloud Computing 2014: ready for real business?  His presentation is full of insightful analysis and market forecasts from Gartner, with specific focus on Asia-Pacific.
  • Visiongain predicts the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) submarket is valued at $1.9B in 2013 growing to $3.7B in 2018, attaining a 14.3% CAGR for the period 2013-2018.  The following figure shows the firm’s forecast.  Source: Visiongain on Slideshare.

visiongain forecast

marketscape

  • Boston Consulting Group writes that SaaS is a $15B market, growing at three times that rate of traditional software.  BCG estimates that SaaS is 12% of global spending on IT applications.  BCG interviewed 80 CIOs and found they were willing to consider SaaS solutions for 35% to 60% of their application spending.  BCG also evaluated how the economics of cloud software adoption vary for on-premises versus SaaS customers.  The following two charts from the completed study. Source: (Free, opt-in required) Profiting from the Cloud: How to Master Software as a Service

Profiting_Cloud_Ex1_lg_tcm80-138310 BCG Categories

Profiting_Cloud_Ex2_lg_tcm80-138309 BCG Economics

Asia Pacific Cloud Market Growth

Cloud Predictive Analytics Most Used To Gain Customer Insight

AnalyticsUsing analytics to better understand customer satisfaction, profitability, retention and churn while increasing cross-sell and up-sell are the most dominant uses of cloud-based analytics today.

Jim Ericson and James Taylor presented the results of Decision Management Solutions’ cloud predictive analytics survey this week in the webinar Predictive Analytics in the Cloud 2013 – Opportunities, Trends and the Impact of Big Data.  The research methodology included 350 survey responses, with a Web-based survey used for data collection.  The survey centered on the areas of pre-packaged cloud-based solutions, cloud-based predictive modeling, and cloud deployment of predictive analytics.  You can see a replay of the webinar at this link.

Key takeaways of the study results released during the webinar include the following:

  • Customer Analytics (72%), followed by supply chain, business optimization, marketing optimization (57%), risk and fraud (52%), and marketing (58%) are the areas in which respondents reported the strongest interest.
  • When the customer analytics responses were analyzed in greater depth they showed most interest in customer satisfaction (50%) followed by customer profitability (34%), customer retention/churn (32%), customer management (30%), and cross-sell/up-sell (26%).
  • Adoption was increasingly widespread and growing, with over 90% of respondents reporting that they expected to deploy one or more type of predictive analytics in the cloud solution.
  • Industries with the most impact from predictive analytics include retail (13% more than average), Financial Services (12%) and hardware/software (4%). Lagging industries include health care delivery (-9%), insurance -11%) and (surprisingly) telecommunications (-33%).  The following graphic illustrates the relative impact of cloud-based predictive analytics applications by industry.

Adoption of Cloud-based Predictive Analytics by Industry

  • The most widespread analytics scenarios include prepackaged solutions (52%), cloud-based analytics modeling (47%) and cloud-based analytic embedding of applications (46%).  Comparing the 2011 and 2013 surveys showed significant gains in all three categories, with the greatest being in the area of cloud-based analytic modeling.  This category increased from 51% in 2011 to 75% in 2013, making it the most likely analytics application respondents are going to implement this year.

Comparison of Analytics Applications Most Likely To Deploy, 2011 versus 2013

  • 63% of respondents report that when predictive analytics are tightly integrated into operations using Decision Management, enterprises have the intelligence they need to transform their businesses.

Impact of Predictive Analytics Integration Across The Enterprise

  • Data security and privacy (61%) followed by regulatory compliance (50%) are the two most significant concerns respondent companies have regarding predictive analytics adoption in their companies.  Compliance has increased as a concern significantly since 2011, probably as more financial services firms are adopting cloud computing for mainstream business strategies.

Concerns of Enterprises Who Are Using Cloud-based Predictive Analytics Today

  • Internal cloud deployments (41%) are the most common approach to implementing central cloud platforms, followed by managed vendor clouds (23% and hybrid clouds (23%). Private and managed clouds continue to grow as preferred platforms for cloud-based analytics, as respondents seek greater security and stability of their applications.  The continued adoption of private and managed clouds are a direct result of respondents’ concerns regarding data security, stability, reliability and redundancy.

Approach To Cloud Deployment

  • The study concludes that structured data is the most prevalent type of data, followed by third party data and unstructured data.
  • While there was no widespread impact on results from Big Data, predictive analytics cloud deployments that have a Big Data component are more likely to contribute to a transformative impact on their organizations’ performance.  Similarly those with more experience deploying predictive analytics in the cloud were more likely to use Big Data.
  • In those predictive analytics cloud deployments already operating or having an impact, social media data from the cloud, voice or other audio data, and image or video data were all much more broadly used as the following graphic illustrates.

Which Data Types Deliver The Most Positive Impact In A Big Data Context

Making Analytics Pay In The Enterprise

global-analytics-300x2001With analytics and big data being so heavily hyped today, it is ironic the majority of business analysts often lack access to data and tools they need.

But things are changing with the next generation of analytics software coming to market.  A recent study by The Economist, “Big Data and the Democratisation of Decisions,” shows the severity of the big data analytics problem and which departments need the most support: customer service, human resources, marketing, strategy and business development.  The following is an infographic based on the study’s key findings. To be clear, all companies mentioned in this post are not and never have been clients of mine or companies I have worked for.

Unleashing Greater Insight in the Enterprise

The real analytics payoff in the enterprise begins when business analysts can achieve customer and market insights faster than their competitors.  In the consumer packaged goods industry, every week counts in a new product launch and product lifecycle.  In healthcare, lag times in customer service lead to patients seeking more responsive treatment alternatives.  The net result in each is lost revenue.

Analytics applications and platforms are increasingly being designed for self-service and the needs of business analysts first.  Instead of having to rely on IT for analytics, big data and advanced statistical analysis support, business analysts need to be able to complete projects on their own. Analytics applications are advancing quickly on this self-service dimension, making it possible for business analysts to get complex projects done in a fraction of the time it would have taken IT to staff and complete them.

Alliances and partnerships between analytics software providers are focused on getting business analysts the tools they need so they don’t have to rely on IT so much to get their work done.  The recent partnership announced between Alteryx and Revolution Analytics puts R-based predictive analytics directly in the hands business analysts is a case in point.

What’s noteworthy about this partnership above all others is the option it gives enterprises to integrate big data and other 3rd party sources into a common system of engagement. Business analysts can then use tools to design analytics and reporting workflows that align and stay in step with line-of-business needs over time.

alteryx-gallery1-300x1691Once an application or workflow is complete, business analysts can publish and distribute their analytics applications enterprise-wide. The Alteryx Analytics Gallery (shown to the right) gives customers the opportunity to share their analytics applications with each other.  The gallery is helping business analysts learn from each other, serving as a catalyst for broader analytic consumption.

This is the same model ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) has been so successful with in the area of IT Service Management.  I attended Knowledge13 earlier this year and found their customer base to be one of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever met.  What ServiceNow has done IT Service Management, Alteryx is on its way to accomplishing in analytics.

Why All This Matters For Customers

Getting analytics applications and tools in the hands of business analysts significantly improves the customer experience and reduce errors at the same time. At Kaiser Permanente, business analysts focus on cost saving projects that improve customer service.

Kaiser has a continual stream of customer interactions across multiple channels going on daily.  Supported by legacy IT systems, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and manual processes to keep the entire system working, the healthcare provider was seeing patient satisfaction levels drop as they didn’t have a clear view of their customers.  The legacy and manual systems also made coordinating customer service teams very difficult and replicating analytics tools very difficult.

Alteryx-Workflow-21

Kaiser Permanente was able to aggregate and cleanse the myriad of data sources they rely on and gain greater insights into their customer’s needs. Creating analytics and reporting workflows that business analysts and lean leaders in their Service Organization use to stay on top of customer needs has led to a five-fold increase in customer service performance according to Greg Hall, Senior Service Optimization Leader.

Why Salesforce Is Winning The Cloud Platform War

300px-Salesforce_Logo_2009The future of any enterprise software vendor is being decided today in their developer community.

Alex William’s insightful thoughts on Salesforce Is A Platform Company. Period. underscores how rapidly Salesforce is maturing as a cloud platform.  And the best measure of that progress can be seen in their developer community.

(To be clear, Salesforce and the other companies mentioned in this post are not clients and never have been.  I track this area out of personal interest.)

DevZone force.com

The last four years I’ve made a point at every Salesforce Dreamforce event to spend the majority of my time in the developer area.  Watching mini hacks going on in the DevZone, mini workshops, the Salesforce Platform and Developer keynotes over the last few years has been a great learning experience.  An added plus: developers are often skeptical and want to see new enhancements help streamline their code, extend its functionality, and push the limits of the Force.com platform. This healthy skepticism has led to needed improvements in the Force.com platform, including a change to governor limits on Application Programmer Interface (APIs) performance and many other enhancements.  Despite the criticisms of Force.com being proprietary due to Apex and SOQL, the crowds at developer forums continue to grow every year.

I’ve started to look at the developer area as the crucible or foundry for future apps.  While the Cloud Expo shows how vibrant the partner ecosystem is, the developer area is where tomorrow’s apps are being coded today. The Force.com Workbook, an excellent reference for Force.com developers, was just released October 1 and DeveloperForce shows how far the developer support is matured in Salesforce.  In addition a new Force.com REST API Developer’s Guide is out just last month.

The Journey From Application To Platform

In visiting the developer area of Dreamforce over the last four years I’ve seen indications that Salesforce is successfully transforming itself into a cloud platform business:

  • Significant jump in the quantity and quality of developer attendees from 2010 to 2012.  The depth of questions, sophistication of code samples, calls for more flexibility with governor limits, and better mobile support typified these years.
  • Steady improvement to visual design tools, application development environment and support for jQuery, Sencha and Apache Cordova.
  • The steady maturation of Salesforce Touch as a mobile development platform and launch of Salesforce Platform Mobile Services Launched in 2011, this platform continues to mature, driven by developer’s requirements that reflect their customers’ needs for mobility support.  HTML 5 is supported and the apps I’ve seen written on it are fast, accurate and ideal for customer service.  ServiceMax has created exceptional mobile apps including their comprehensive ServiceMax for iPad app on the Force.com platform.
  • 2012: Rise of the Mobile Enterprise Developer.  Salesforce’s enterprise customers in 2009 weren’t nearly as active as they were last year with questions on legacy systems integration and how to create web services capable of integrating customer data.  2011 was a breakout year in mobile app development with 2012 showing strong momentum on mobile web services development.  I expect this year’s Dreamforce developer community to reflect the rapidly growing interest in mobile as well.

How Enterprise Applications Make The Salesforce Platform Work For Them

In speaking with Salesforce developers over the years one of my favorite questions continues to be “what is the real payoff of having a native Force.com application in your company?”  Initially I thought this was marketing spin from enterprise software vendors attempting to use features as benefits, however after a closer look it is clear that the platform has significant advantages, especially for any solution requiring global deployments or large numbers of users.  Here is what I found out:

  • The investments Salesforce.com has made in their cloud infrastructure over several years (and continue to make) has resulted in a platform that developers  are leveraging to rapidly deliver enterprise applications that deliver world-class performance, reliability, and security.
  • Of the many native Force.com applications that extend Salesforce beyond CRM, it’s been my experience the most challenging are Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) and contract management.  Creating a single system of record across these two areas is challenging even outside of Force.com, which is why many companies in this space have two entirely different product strategies.  Apttus is the exception as they have successfully created a unified product strategy on Force.com alone.  I recently had the chance to speak with Neehar Giri, President and Chief Solutions Architect.  “Apttus’ strategic decision to deliver our enterprise-class applications natively on the Salesforce platform has allowed us to focus on our customer needs, meeting and exceeding their expectations in both functionality and speed of innovation,” said Neehar Giri, president and chief solutions architect, Apttus.  “We’ve seen the platform evolve rapidly in its capabilities and global scalability.  Apttus’ customers have and continue to benefit from the true multi- tenancy, world class security, reliability and performance of the Salesforce Platform.”
  • Salesforce.com’s multi-tenant architecture allows for optimization of computing resources resulting in savings and significant gains in efficiency for global enterprises even over applications deployed on private clouds.
  • Native Force.com applications share the same security model as Salesforce apps.  Financialforce.com chose to develop their accounting, ordering and billing, professional services automation and service resource planning entirely on the Force.com architecture due to shared master data, multi- tenancy, world class security, reliability and performance.  This shared architecture also benefits enterprise consumers of native applications by providing best-in-class uptime.
  • Native Force.com applications are contributing to greater return on investment (ROI). IT often does not need to manage data integration or sync issues, upgrades to even large numbers of users are easily deployed, and users can remain in a familiar interface.   These benefits support faster and easier deployment as well as rapid user adoption both of which are critical to success and a high ROI for any solution. Enterprise developers have often mentioned the familiar interface and ease of deployment have led to higher rates of adoption than any other approach to delivering new application functionality.
  • Advanced APIs to support integration of legacy applications not on the Force.com platform.
  • Proven ability of Salesforce.com to support global deployments.  The company has expanded its global support centers.  Salesforce.com also publishes real-time statistics on system status: http://trust.salesforce.com/trust/.
  • A continuing acceleration of new capabilities resulting from increasing numbers of developers driving the advancement of the platform through their collective input, suggestions and requirements.
  • Ability to design applications that respond with greater customer insight and intelligence across mobile devices.  ServiceMax has an impressive series of mobile applications that do this today.  I had a chance to speak with David Yarnold, their CEO about his vision for the company.  He wants to give ServiceMax’s customers the ability to deliver flawless field service where every interaction is perfect.  By building on the Force.com architecture he explained how each service customers’ contextual intelligence can be seen in real-time by everyone involved in serving customers.  Clearly ServiceMax is capitalizing on the mobile development platform area of Force.com as well.

Bottom Line: Enabling developers to attain greater revenue growth, while creating an extensive mobile app development platform is further proof Salesforce has turned the corner from being an application company to a platform provider.

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