One of the most common questions I get from students is where they can find free cloud computing and enterprise software research.
Few if any of my students work for companies who have subscriptions with the top analyst firms however. A small group of students are working on a start-up on the side and want to absorb as much market data as they can.
Many of my former students are also in IT management roles, and when they become interested in a specific cloud computing or enterprise topic over time, they write me and ask if I have any data on their subject of interest. I keep the following list updated from them too. To serve all these students I’ve been adding to the list shown below for a number of years. None of these companies are current or past clients and I hold no equity positions in any of them.
The requests are so prevalent in global competitive strategy courses I distribute this list at the beginning of the semester with the following disclaimers.
- Many of the cloud computing and enterprise software companies pay to have white papers written and research done. Writing white papers and doing research for an enterprise software vendor client is a very lucrative business for many industry analyst firms. Ethical industry analysts will often insist that a disclaimer be included in the white paper and on the website stating that they and their firms were hired to write the paper or do the research and publish the report.
- The reports are intellectual property of the firms publishing them. Enterprise software vendors often pay tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum for reprint rights and the right to provide them on their websites. I advise my students to seek out the copyright and quote policies of the research firm of interest if they plan on re-using the graphics in any published materials or in their blog posts. One for example, the Gartner Copyright and Quote Policy is shown here.
- Pay attention to the methodologies used in each report and realize they change over time. This is especially the case with the Gartner Magic Quadrant and MarketScopes. Gartner has been very active this year in refining the Magic Quadrant methodology for example.
The following are the list of cloud computing and enterprise software vendor sites that offer free downloads of cloud computing and enterprise software research:
- Amazon Web Services – Amazon has purchased re-print rights to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service written by Lydia Leong, Douglas Toombs, Bob Gill, Gregor Petri, Tiny Haynes published on August, 19, 2013 in addition to the latest reports from Forrester on enterprise public cloud platforms and enterprise cloud databases. Link: https://aws.amazon.com/resources/analyst-reports/
- BMC Software – Many free reports from Gartner, Forrester, The 451 Group and other research firms covering advanced performance analytics (APA), cloud computing, IT Service Management and long-term technology trends. Link: http://www.bmc.com/industry-analysts/reports/
- Computer Associates – An extensive collection of cloud computing and enterprise software research organized into the following categories: cloud; data management; energy and sustainability management; IT automation; IT security; IT service management; mainframe; project and portfolio management; service assurance and virtual organizations. CA requires opt-in on the latest research as they use this site as part of their lead generation strategy. Link: http://www.ca.com/us/collateral/industry-analyst-reports.aspx
- Cisco Systems - Data Center and Virtualization; includes the latest Current Analysis, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Lippis and Yankee Group research reports covering Big Data, blade servers, cloud computing, Hadoop, unified data centers and many other topics. Be sure to click across the Computing, Network, Orchestration/Automation, and Network Services tabs to find additional research: Link: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns857/ns156/ns1094/analyst_reports.html
- Hewlett-Packard – HP has invested primarily in networking-related analyst research including the latest studies and market frameworks from Forrester, Gartner, IDC and Infonetics Research. Link: http://h17007.www1.hp.com/us/en/networking/ar/index.aspx#.Uhp-ERufg-J
- Intel – Organized around the topic of designing a data center for the cloud, Intel is providing a series of research studies, reports, white papers and videos that provide insights into virtualization, networking, mobility and Intel-based servers running cloud architectures. Link: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/cloud-computing/cloud-computing-analyst-reports.html
- Microsoft – Balancing the need to support their enterprise applications today and create demand for cloud-based initiatives now and in the future, Microsoft’s series of analyst reports reflect their evolving business model. Microsoft has licensed the latest research from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESDG), Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Ovum, Yankee Group and others listed on this site. Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/itanalyst/
- Oracle - The most comprehensive collection of industry analyst research online for any enterprise software vendor, Oracle has hundreds of research reports available for viewing under their reprint licenses for free, and also for download. The reports are organized into corporate, infrastructure, systems, services, solutions, industries, enterprise applications and regions. Link: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/index.html
- Progress Software – Extensive collection of research from Bloor, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Tabb Group, Ovum and other research firms are available for download from this site. Link: http://www.progress.com/en/inthenews/analyst-reports.html
- SAS – The most extensive and well-organized online collection of analyst research on analytics and business intelligence (BI) available, SAS makes research available from fifteen analyst firms across six industries on this area of their website. You can find the SAS Analyst Viewpoints section of their website here: http://www.sas.com/news/analysts/
- Symantec – Provides downloadable analyst reports in the areas of risk and compliance, endpoint security and management, information and identity protection, messaging security, backup and archiving, storage and availability management, services and emerging trends. ESG, Info-Tech Research Group, Forrester, Gartner and IDC reports are on this page for download. Link: http://www.symantec.com/about/industryanalysts/analystreports.jsp
- Teradata – Extensive collection of industry analysis and research organized into the sections of Active Data Warehousing, Active Enterprise Intelligence, Enterprise Data Warehousing, Teradata Analytical Ecosystem and Teradata Integration Analytics. The latest market frameworks from Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other research firms are available for download. Link: http://www.teradata.com/analyst-reports/
From the obvious to the outrageous, enterprise software predictions often span a wide spectrum at the beginning of every year.
In enterprise software in general and ERP specifically, there are many safe harbors to dock predictions in, from broad industry consolidation to Oracle buying more companies. Or the inexorable advances of cloud computing and SaaS platforms in ERP today, which is often cited in enterprise software predictions.
Too often predictions gravitate too much towards theoretical economics, overly-simplified industry dynamics and technologies, leaving out the most critical element: customers as people, not just transactions. So instead of repeating what many other industry analysts, observers and pundits have said, I am predicting only the customer side of ERP advances in the next twelve months.
The following are my predictions for ERP systems and enterprise computing in 2013:
- The accelerating, chaotic pace of change driven by customers will force the majority of Fortune 500 companies to reconsider and refine their ERP and enterprise computing strategies. Social, mobile and cloud computing are combining to provide customers with more acuity and articulation of what their preferences, needs and wants are. The majority of ERP systems installed today aren’t designed for managing the growing variation and pace of change in customer requirements and needs. In the next twelve months this trend will force the majority of Fortune 500 companies to re-evaluate their current ERP systems when it becomes clear their existing enterprise systems are getting in the way of attracting new customers and holding onto existing ones.
- Highest-performing CIOs will rejuvenate monolithic, dated ERP systems and make them agile and customer-focused, while at the same time excelling at change management. There are CIOs who can handle these challenging tasks, and the future belongs to those who can fluidly move between them quickly. In twelve months, a group of CIOs will emerge that are doing this, delivering significant gains to gross margins and profitability in their companies as a result. They’re the emerging class of rock stars in IT and enterprise computing.
- Quality ratings of ERP systems by internal customers will become commonplace, including 360-degree feedback on ERP performance. This is overdue in many companies and it takes a courageous CIO and senior management staff to value feedback on how their ERP systems are performing. In the most courageous companies, within twelve months the results of these internal surveys will be posted on bulletin boards in IT and throughout IT services departments. For some companies this will be first time IT staff members have a clear sense of just what internal customers need, how they are being served, and what needs to be done to improve business performance.
- ERP systems built on a strong foundation of personas, or clear definition of customers and their roles, will overtake those built just on features alone. This is already happening and it will accelerate as featured-based ERP systems prove too difficult to be modified to reflect the fast-changing nature of personas and roles in organizations. The quickest way to determine if a given ERP system launching in the next twelve months will succeed or not is asking what personas it is based on and why.
- Customers push speed and responsiveness from a “nice to have” to a “must have” as advances in mobility platforms and integration make real-time possible. If there is one unifying need across the personas of customers an ERP system serves, it is the need to improve responsiveness and speed. The same holds true within enterprises today as well. It would be fascinating to look at the data latency differences between market leaders versus laggards in the airline industry for example. Customers will push accuracy, speed and precision of response up on the enterprise computing agenda of many companies this year. Speed is the new feature.
- What were once considered ERP-based operations bottlenecks will be shown to be lack of customer insight. Take for example the very rapid product lifecycles in retailing. At first glance slower sales are attributed to not having the right mix of products in stores, which is a classic supply chain problem. Yet customer-driven ERP systems will tell retailers a different story, showing how product selection, even suppliers, are no longer pertinent to their customers’ preferences and needs. More customer-centric ERP systems will help retailers overcome costly and difficult to recover from bottlenecks in their operations.
Bottom line: Enterprises clinging to monolithic, inflexible ERP systems need to re-evaluate how their enterprise computing strategies are serving their customers before their competitors do.
At the 7th Annual Cloud Expo held earlier this month at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Rex Wang of Oracle presented his company’s 2010 roadmap to Cloud Computing. Rex is the VP of Product Marketing with responsibility for cloud and grid computing, in addition to enterprise architecture, modernization and embedded systems.
Key take-aways from this presentation include the following:
- 28.6% of respondents have internal or private clouds today according to an IOUG Study cited in the presentation.
- 54.% of respondents do not use public cloud providers.
- 24.7% use Application Server Platform as a Service, the highest percentage across PaaS and IaaS adoption from the study completed.
- Financial & accounting (19.6%), HR (18.6%) and collaboration-based apps including e-mail (18.2%) are the three most common applications running on private cloud services
Oracle’s 2010 roadmap to Cloud Computing provides insights into how they are shaping their private cloud value proposition and selling strategy around Exadata, Exalogic, and WebLogic. Oracle clearly sees private clouds dominating.
Bottom line: The future of cloud architectures will be much more hybrid in structure and scope, as every enterprise has legacy data that cannot be easily moved into private clouds. Add in the complexity of aggregating and normalizing unstructured content, and the direction of cloud architectures will be more hybrid, less private, over time.
For all the hype and millions spent entertaining customers, analysts and the press at OpenWorld, Oracle isn’t really breaking new ground here. They are taking their enterprise model and shifting it not to a cloud strategy, but an enterprise stack. The following video is excellently done by IDG and worth watching.
As Oracle continues to build out their enterprise stack with acquisitions over the next year, sales of the Exalogic Elastic Cloud will be a leading indicator of how successful their new systems strategy is and where. Most likely stealth environments including aerospace and defense, banking and financial services will immediately see a need. Oracle has taken the concept of cloud computing and used it as a unifying concept to make their acquisitions make sense. It remains to be seen if Oracle customers will be willing to make such significant changes during a time when any purchasing or spending risks are being avoided.
Bottom line: Look for Oracle to make a play for the evolution of private clouds to hybrid clouds through middleware and still own the entire technology stack, from Java all the way to applications.
Bottom line: During previous quarterly earnings calls Oracle has often said they see cloud computing as an aberration and a business that could not scale to profitability. Not wanting to leave any money on the table with enterprise accounts, Oracle gets cloud religion just in time to upsell servers, services and infrastructure. Larry’s favorite cloud color is currency green.