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Cybersecurity CEOs Share How Businesses Can Protect Themselves In 2022

Cybersecurity CEOs Share How Businesses Can Protect Themselves In 2022

Bottom Line: Every business needs to resolve in 2022 to treat cybersecurity as a business decision first because the risk to operations and revenue are too great if they don’t.

Any cybersecurity prediction for 2022 will likely be on the low side, given how ingenious ransomware attackers are at mining long-standing common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) and how intricate breach attempts are becoming.

Predictions don’t protect businesses, professional guidance does. Intending to provide every business, especially startups, with insights they can use to protect themselves in 2022, I’ve interviewed several cybersecurity CEOs. Their recommendations on what every business can do to improve their cybersecurity and avert a potential breach, ransomware attempt, or worse are provided below:

BOS Framework Founder and CEO Sashank Purighalla

Before BOS, Sashank founded and served as the CEO of 5Y Solutions, Inc., a DevOps company that provides SaaS and enterprise-class technology solutions based in the cloud, AR, VR, IoT, Media Streaming, and Big Data spaces. 5Y has offices in the US, Australia, and India. Much of Sashank’s 20+ years of experience has involved developing enterprise-class technology solutions, strong strategic and long-range planning, setting business and technology strategies in B2B and B2C environments, and leading and motivating diverse teams to build high-impact SaaS and PaaS products. Sashank has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Computer Science.

Advice from Sashank Purighalla Founder and CEO at BOS Framework

 “The biggest problem that enterprises are dealing with is with fractured technology architectures. The playbook for how technology systems are designed and maintained has fundamentally changed over the past 5 years with the advent of DevOps as a new disciple geared toward bringing efficiency to the PDLC process. To help meet this growing demand, there has been nearly a 570% increase in the number of known niche tools. Here’s the strange dichotomy: In the same timeframe, there has been an over 630% increase in the number of cyber breaches and over 600% increase in technology management and maintenance costs.

The fact is that you cannot patch disparate systems with non-standardized implementations using niche tools and expect to achieve security. Breach resilience and systemic integration can only result from sound systemic architectures that are based on best practices. 

Enterprises must shift their focus from thinking of the next tool for efficiency or patching gaps to consistent architectures for effective holistic outcomes. This is an ecosystem problem and can only be addressed at an organizational architecture level”.

Founder Shield Co-Founder & CEO Benji Markoff

Benji Markoff is the Co-Founder & CEO of Founder Shield. He has an obsession with culture and the science behind it. He wants his legacy to be the success and positivity that everyone who works at Founder Shield brings to the world, whether at Founder Shield or in any their future endeavors. He hopes that Founder Shield provides a platform for unlimited success and happiness for all that work there.

Advice from Benji Markoff, Co-Founder & CEO of Founder Shield

“It’s old news that cybercriminals have beefed up their attacks, with ransomware and phishing topping every bad actor’s to-do list, it seems. The pandemic spotlighted weak links in cybersecurity systems nationwide, and hackers didn’t waste one minute to attack — back door, front door, didn’t matter. Hybrid work schedules and burnt-out IT specialists make the waters even murkier. Naturally, cyber liability insurance is a hot commodity currently, and the insurance industry plays a significant role in helping companies stay protected. Unfortunately, the attacks keep coming. Flip the script, though, and all these negative headlines can serve as lessons learned. For starters, let’s remember that cross-functionality value also translates to cybersecurity training. The more employers raise awareness and implement in-depth training, the lower they’ll fall on a hacker’s checklist. Keep cybersecurity top-of-mind throughout your entire company. Also, don’t be shy about relying more heavily on your managed service provider (MSP). These companies are ever-broadening their scope of services. If eyes and ears are what you need, start negotiating new MSP contracts.”

Hexnode Founder and CEO Apu Pavithran

Apu Pavithran is the founder and CEO of Hexnode. Recognized in the IT management community as a consultant, speaker, and thought leader, Apu has been a strong advocate for IT governance and Information security management. In addition, he’s passionate about entrepreneurship and spends significant time working with startups and empowering young entrepreneurs.

Advice from Apu Pavithran, founder and CEO of Hexnode

“Enterprise customers in 2022 are looking for a seamless digital experience that they can adopt immediately. Unfortunately, while catering to this need businesses tend to overlook the cybersecurity risks involved in making this possible. 

In practice, cybersecurity decisions mostly take the backseat when associated with budgetary needs and business priorities, however, what comes with that is a successful ransomware attack that can completely turn the equation upside down.   So, while adopting a flexible working environment in a constantly changing IT landscape, I would strongly recommend having a device security policy and a UEM in place. This helps keep your sensitive information safe by making sure employee devices are always compliant. 

A patch management solution that comes along with the UEM solution will monitor your devices to make sure that there are no security vulnerabilities. The solution will also make sure that your device is running on the latest OS update and protected from threat actors. 

Endpoint security solutions like UEM’s will help secure businesses to an extent, But having the right tools can’t always ensure that your businesses are 100% secure. The biggest threat is always the human element in cyber security. So make sure that in your flexible work environment your employees are cyber aware with regular cyber awareness classes that cover updated cybersecurity best practices.”

Ivanti CEO Jeff Abbott

As CEO of Ivanti, Jeff Abbott oversees all aspects of the company’s growth strategy and direction. Before becoming CEO of Ivanti in October 2021, Jeff served as Ivanti’s President since January 2020. Jeff has over 25 years of experience working for enterprise software and services companies, including Accenture, Oracle, and Infor. Jeff holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and Georgia State University. He sits on the National Alumni Board at the University of Tennessee and has previously held board positions with the Georgia Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Posse Foundation.

Advice from Ivanti CEO Jeff Abbott:

The rapid shift to remote work has accelerated growth in new digital systems and workflows, leading to expanded enterprise attack surfaces. At the same time, threat actors have matured their tactics and targeted enterprise security gaps. For example, attackers have increasingly waged phishing attacks at mobile devices, which remote workers are using more than ever before, via text and SMS messages, instant messages, social media, and other modes of communication, beyond just corporate email. Ransomware has also continued to evolve, with attackers increasingly leveraging known vulnerabilities that have remote code execution and privilege escalation capabilities. Ransomware is a business, and threat actors are incentivized to find companies that are more likely to pay.

Organizations are struggling to proactively combat these growing cyber threats. A new study by Ivanti revealed that 71% of IT and security professionals found patching to be overly complex and time-consuming. 57% of respondents stated that the global transition towards a decentralized workspace has made patch management more complex to deal with. And 53% said that organizing and prioritizing vulnerabilities takes up most of their time. This is alarming because the longer vulnerabilities remain unpatched, the more exposed a business is at risk of an attack or ransomware. 

To effectively mitigate risk, companies should implement a Zero Trust security strategy. At its simplest, Zero Trust provides organizations continuous evaluation of their employee devices, endpoints, assets, and networks that business relies on. As part of an overall Zero Trust strategy, companies should invest in automated controls that proactively perform cyber hygiene tasks and reduce security risk across infrastructure and applications. This includes leveraging a combination of risk-based vulnerability prioritization and automated patch intelligence to identify and prioritize vulnerability weaknesses and then accelerate remediation. A proactive, end-to-end risk-based assessment strategy can drive business value and further reduce the mean time to detect, discover, remediate, and respond to cyber threats.

Orchestral Founder and EVP Dale Smith
As Orchestral’s Head of Revenue Technology & Operations, Dale leads the digital infrastructure team responsible for integrating customer-facing operations across marketing, sales, and customer success to deliver extraordinary customer experiences that accelerate revenue performance. Dale has over 30+ years of experience in the tech industry, including several roles that include engineering, marketing, business development, and product management. His current startup, Orchestral.ai, provides AI-enabled IT workflow automation & orchestration technologies that facilitate digital transformation for some of the world’s largest enterprises. 

Advice from Orchestral Founder and EVP Dale Smith

“Although there is an increasing amount of attention given to automation within the cybersecurity sector, there are still many gaps between the countless tools and SOAR/SIEM platforms found in a typical enterprise’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
To be sure, cybersecurity automation is a welcome and necessary focus for innovation in threat intelligence and response. But, as organization’s adopt cybersecurity automation, they are likely to discover that significant human intervention is still required to bridge the “silos of automation” that naturally develop around highly specialized security tools and platforms. It is at this point when the focus should shift to “cybersecurity orchestration”. Cybersecurity orchestration intelligently integrates all of the different and disparate tools, platforms and siloed automations so that information is shared across the entire cybersecurity infrastructure. In this context, cybersecurity automation and cybersecurity orchestration are complimentary stages of focus for developing security infrastructure capable of coordinating a truly “autonomous” threat response.”

Prometeo Co-Founder and CEO Rodrigo Tumaián

Rodrigo Tumaián is co-founder of Prometeo, a startup in the fintech area. He is also a co-founder of Truss, a company that provides information security services in the financial sector. His extensive experience working with national and international companies has enabled him to learn to adapt to any type of environment and help customers across a broad spectrum of business models, industries and revenue levels.

Advice from Prometeo Co-Founder and CEO Rodrigo Tumaián

“When we talk about Cybersecurity month to encourage awareness around the topic, we should keep in mind that it is something we must take action on every day.  The repercussions that are caused when we find ourselves in the middle of a problem or a serious cybersecurity issue, profoundly impact our digital ecosystem.  Constantly promote cybersecurity awareness – that’s what we’re focused on internally and with every customer – and we’re product of what we’re accomplishing with them and seeing them and we are very proud of what we have accomplished.”

Rapid.Space Founder and CEO Jean Paul Smets

Jean Paul is an entrepreneur, with 20 year experience and success in enterprise open source software for B2B markets. As Founder and CEO At Rapid.Space, he leads product and business development . Before Rapid.Space, Jean Paul founded Nexedi S.A the largest FLOSS publisher in the EU (4 M€ income). He founded VIFIB which invented edge computing in 2009 and contributed its technology to Rapid.Space. He holds a PhD in computer science, graduated from ENS Ulm and joined “corps des mines”.

Advice from Jean Paul Smets, Founder and CEO at Rapid.Space

 “If you use a cloud service, make sure  your cloud provider does not have access to your passwords or credentials (most have access and password leaks happen in average every year, as we all experienced). If you use containers, make sure you understand that they do not provide strong isolation (containers from other users on the same host may be able to access your sensitive data through security escalation, such as the one which happened to Azure in 9/2021)”

ThycoticCentrify CEO Art Gilliland

Art Gilliland is CEO at Centrify and brings proven success in the global enterprise software industry-leading large organizations in product development, enterprise infrastructure, cybersecurity, go-to-market strategy, and SaaS operations. He most recently was SVP/GM of the Symantec Enterprise Division of Broadcom, reporting to the CEO, where he led the integration and business operations post-acquisition. Before Symantec, Art held executive positions at Skyport Systems, HP, Symantec, and IMlogic.

Advice from ThycoticCentrify CEO Art Gilliland:

“As organizations execute on their digital transformations to adopt cloud and SaaS infrastructure it will become more essential to adopt tighter control over who has access to what. Investments in tighter controls over privileged access by using multi-factor authentication, centralizing identities, and enforcing least privilege can go a long way to securing modern infrastructure. This investment can not only make the user experience more seamless for those who need and should have access, but can also simultaneously harden defenses to reduce risk of becoming the next hack or ransomware victim.”   — Art Gilliland, CEO, ThycoticCentrify

How Services CPQ Helps Close Revenue Gaps

How Services CPQ Helps Close Revenue Gaps

Bottom Line: Professional services (PS) organizations need to close the gaps in their CPQ selling strategies to win more deals, capture more revenue and protect margins from ongoing price pressure.

Why Services CPQ Is Too Slow Today

When PS organizations compete in sales cycles, the first competitor to have a complete quote with accurate pricing, schedules, and an engagement plan will often win. However, getting a complete quote out fast is a major challenge for most PS organizations today. Many PS organizations manually create their quotes by taking into account a broad base of factors that include the following: talent profiles of employees and the market value of their skills; utilization rates; direct and indirect engagement costs; typical gross margins by type of engagement; and, competitive pricing. The average PS organization takes six weeks to deliver a quote or proposal. John Ragsdale’s excellent recent article Automating Services Quote-to-Cash: Emergence of CPQ for Services provides useful insights into what needs to change for PS quoting and selling to increase its velocity.

Getting Services CPQ Right Is Hard

Gaps that drain revenue and margin grow wider when PS organizations attempt to use product-centric CPQ platforms to sell services. Too often, PS organizations attempt to wedge their quoting, pricing, and revenue management into a product-based CPQ system – and get mediocre results at best. Earlier in my career, I led a product management team that defined, created, and launched a quoting system for professional services inside a large IT organization. The most valuable lessons learned from that experience include the following:

  • PS bundles only work if they have simple, solid direct cost structures. Adding a synthetic SKU that represents a PS bundle only works for the most simple, automated PS engagements. Think of those PS engagements with long-standing direct cost structures that are simple, clear and easy to implement. Attempting to group PS bundles can easily lead to quoting mistakes that drain margin when a product-centric CPQ system is used for PS.
  • The greater the differences in PS revenue management, the more the need for a new CPQ platform. Many PS organizations are making a mistake by attempting to make product-centric CPQ platforms work for their unique costing, pricing, and selling needs. My team and I learned that the more a PS revenue model is unique and one-of-a-kind, the more it requires a unique CPQ platform.
  • Getting product-based CPQ rules and constraint logic right is hard in PS. Our teams’ biggest challenge in recycling IT’s CPQ app for PS was how difficult it was to get the rules-based engine to work for the wide variety of variables in a common service engagement. Rules created for transaction velocity needed to be reworked for greater variety. PS engagements didn’t follow a common logic structure like a product, making the constraint logic code only somewhat usable.
  • Only launch after CRM and Revenue Management integration is complete. Our team was handed a project that had languished in IT for nearly a year because PS selling teams wouldn’t use it. The problem was that the quoting module ran batch updates to a series of databases to get customer records and fetch the latest price tables off of a mainframe. In addition, CPQ wasn’t connected in real-time to CRM or Revenue Management.

Closing Long-Standing Services CPQ Gaps

The more a Services CPQ app can close the gaps between CRM, PSA, Revenue Management, and CPQ apps and their workflows, the more effective it will be stopping margin and revenue leakage. Having APIs that share data in real-time between CRM, PSA, and Revenue Management within each quote creation session has the potential to save thousands of hours a year. FinancialForce’s recently announced Services CPQ shows how a platform-based integration strategy works. The following graphic shows how revenue potential increases as a Services CPQ’s systems become more integrated.

How Services CPQ Helps Close Revenue Gaps

FinancialForce’s approach to taking on the challenge of providing an enterprise-grade Services CPQ is noteworthy for several reasons, including the following:

  • Real-time visibility and control of Services CPQ Effectiveness. Having Services CPQ, PSA and Revenue Management on the same Salesforce platform provides the visibility and control PS sales managers need to track quoting effectiveness by program, geography, customer segment, and rep. The more real-time the data integration across these systems the greater the potential for revenue growth in existing accounts and winning new ones.
  • Changing professional services quotes in real-time without impacting sales cycles is possible. Due to the integrated design of Services CPQ, one change made anywhere on a quote will replicate through the entire system and change all related factors immediately.
  • Getting in control of professional services engagement dates and utilization rates by associates helps reduce time-to-market and assures better time-to-customer performance. Keeping track of the myriad of factors that influence a services quote using a manually-based process is too slow for how quickly engagements are decided. Instead, having a single, unified data model that can track effectiveness and provide updates on how they impact engagement project plans is needed to excel at selling with Services CPQ. Adopting an agile CPQ strategy that relies on an integration thread to unify all systems is the secret to scaling and selling more with an agile approach to services CPQ.
  • Pricing needs to be one of the core strengths in an integrated Services CPQ platform. Realizing how a customers’ requested changes to a professional services engagement will impact costs and margins gives PS teams with an integrated system a formidable pricing advantage. FinancialForce’s approach to solving the Services CPQ challenge shows the potential to take on this challenge and provide its PS customers with the insights they need to upsell engagements – and not lose margin doing it.
  • A must-have for any Services CPQ platform is support for channel partner collaboration and team quoting. For any Services CPQ to scale up and deliver its full potential value, there needs to be support for customizing partner selling experiences while providing for team selling and quoting. FinancialForce solves this by relying on the Salesforce platform. By closing the gaps between the systems Services CPQ relies on, the channel selling teams and partners gain greater flexibility in defining customized products.

Conclusion

Services CPQ needs to scale out on a platform to achieve its full potential by providing the analytical insights to track engagement lifecycles and customer lifetime value by engagement. FinancialForce has proven they can do this in their Spring 2021 release. Taking on the most challenging aspects of a Services CPQ architecture starts by providing insights and guidance on how best to optimize the mix of associates and their utilization and billing rates, locations of each engagement, margin threshold levels, and the expected duration of each engagement. Additionally, the world’s leading professional services organizations could use an automated Services CPQ solution as many of them don’t rely on enough data, letting revenue leakage happen without knowing it.

 

2021 State Of The Machine Learning Market: Enterprise Adoption Is Strong

data science, machine learning, enterprise software, AI, artificial Intelligence
  • 59% of all large enterprises are deploying data science (DS) and machine learning (ML) today.
  • Nearly 50% of all organizations have up to 25 or more ML models in use today.
  • 29% of enterprises are refreshing their data science and machine learning models every day.
  • The higher the data literacy an enterprise can achieve before launching Data Science & Machine Learning initiatives, the higher the probability of success.

These and many other insights defining the state of the data science and machine learning market in 2021 are from Dresner Advisory Services’ 2021 Data Science and Machine Learning Market Study. The 7th annual report is noteworthy for its depth of analysis and insight into how data science and machine learning adoption is growing stronger in enterprises. In addition, the study explains which factors drive adoption and determine the key success factors that matter the most when deploying data science and machine learning techniques. The methodology uses crowdsourcing techniques to recruit respondents from over 6,000 organizations and vendors’ customer communities. As a result, 52% of respondents are from North America and 34% from EMEA, with the balance from Asia-Pacific and Latin America. 

“The perceived importance of data science and machine learning correlates with organizational success with BI, with users that self-report as completely successful with BI almost twice as likely to rate data science as critical,” said Jim Ericson, vice president, and research director at Dresner Advisory. “The perceived level of data literacy also correlates directly and positively with the current or likely future use of data science and machine learning in 2021.” 

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • 59% of large enterprises are deploying data science and machine learning in production today.  Enterprises with 10K employees or more lead all others in adopting and using DS and ML techniques, most often in R&D and Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC)-related work. Large-scale enterprises often rely on DS and ML to identify how internal processes and workflows can be streamlined and made more cost-efficient. For example, the CEO of a manufacturing company explained on a recent conference call that DS and ML pilots bring much-needed visibility and control across multiple plants and help troubleshoot inventory management and supply chain allocation problems.
machine learning
  • The importance of data science and ML to enterprises has doubled in eight years, jumping from 25% in 2014 to 70% in 2021. The Dresner study notes that a record level of enterprises sees data science and ML as critically important to their business in 2021. Furthermore, 90% of enterprises consider these technologies essential to their operations, rating them critically important or very important. Successful projects in Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) and R&D helped data science and ML gain broad adoption across all organizations. Larger-scale enterprises with over 10K employees are successfully scaling data science and ML to improve visibility, control, and profitability in organizations today.
machine learning
  • Enterprises dominate the recruiting and retention of data science and machine learning talent. Large-scale enterprises with over 10K employees are the most likely to have BI experts and data scientists/statisticians on staff. In addition, large-scale enterprises lead hiring and retention in seven of the nine roles included in the survey. It’s understandable how the Business Intelligence (BI) expertise of professionals in these roles is helping remove the roadblocks to getting more business value from data science and machine learning. Enterprises are learning how to scale data science and ML models to take on problems that were too complex to solve with analytics or BI alone.    
machine learning
  • 80% of DS and ML respondents most want model lifecycle management, model performance monitoring, model version control, and model lineage and history at a minimum. Keeping track of the state of each model, including version control, is a challenge for nearly all organizations adopting ML today. Enterprises reach ML scale when they can manage ML models across their lifecycles using an automated system. The next four most popular features of model rollback, searchable model repository, collaborative, model co-creation tools, and model registration and certification are consistent with the feedback from Data Science teams on what they need most in an ML platform. 
machine learning
  • Financial Services prioritize model lifecycle management and model performance monitoring to achieve greater scale from the tens of thousands of models they’re using today. Consistent with other research that tracks ML adoption by industry, the Dresner study found that Financial Services leads all other industries in their need for the two most valuable features of ML platforms, model lifecycle management and model performance monitoring. Retail and Wholesale are reinventing their business models in real-time to become more virtual while also providing greater real-time visibility across supply chains. ML models in these two industries need automated model version control, model lineage and history, model rollback, collaborative, model co-creation tools, and model registration and certification. In addition, retailers and Wholesalers are doubling down on data science and machine learning to support new digital businesses, improve supply chain performance and increase productivity.
machine learning
  • Enterprises need support for their expanding range of regression models, text analytics functions, and ensemble learning. Over the last seven years, text analytics functions and sentiment analysis’ popularity has continually grown. Martech vendors and the marketing technologists driving the market are increasing sentiment analysis’ practicality and importance. Recommendation engines and geospatial analysis are also experiencing greater adoption due to martech changing the nature of customer- and market-driven analysis and predictive modeling. 
machine learning
  • R, TensorFlow, and PyTorch are considered the three most critical open-source statistical and machine learning frameworks in 2021. Nearly 70% of respondents consider R important to getting work done in data science and ML. The R language has established itself as an industry standard and is well-respected across DevOps, and IT teams in financial services, professional services, consulting, process, and discrete manufacturing. Tensorflow and Pytorch are considered important by the majority of organizations Dresner’s research team interviewed. They’re also among the most in-demand ML frameworks today, with new applicants having experience in all three being recruited actively today.   
machine learning
  • Data literacy predicts DS and ML program success rates. 64% of organizations say they have extremely high literacy rates, implying that DS and ML have reached mainstream adoption thanks partly to BI literacy rates in the past. Enterprises that prioritize data literacy by providing training, certification, and ongoing education increase success odds with ML. A bonus is that employees will have a chance to learn marketable skills they can use in their current and future positions. Investing in training to improve data literacy is a win/win.
machine learning
  • On-database analytics and in-memory analytics (both 91%), and multi-tenant cloud services (88%) are the three most popular technologies enterprises rely on for greater scalability. Dresner’s research team observes that the scalability of data science and machine learning often involves multiple, different requirements to address high data volumes, large numbers of users, data variety while supporting analytic throughput. Apache Spark support continues to grow in enterprises and is the fourth-most relied-on industry support for ML scalability.   
machine learning

Four Interesting Insights From Gartner 2020 CRM Market Share Update

Four Interesting Insights From Gartner 2020 CRM Market Share Update
  • “The worldwide CRM market grew from $61.6 billion in 2019.  The CRM market grew 12.6% to $69.3 billion in 2020, a strong performance but with wide variations in growth due to pandemic impacts.  However, CRM generally continues to thrive and grow above the overall software industry average rates, which were 8.8% in 2020”.
  • “CRM accounted for the largest share in the overall enterprise software market at 29%”
  • “Salesforce’s  CRM revenue grows by 18.8%, Reaching $13.5 billion In 2020”.
  • “SAP and Oracle each witnessed a slight decrease in market share to 5.2% and 4.4%, respectively, in 2020, down slightly from 5.7% and 4.7% in 2019”.

“The worldwide CRM market grew by 12.6% to $69.3 billion in 2020, up by $7.77 billion from 2019. CRM is the software market  and the third fastest-growing” according to the Gartner, Market Share Analysis: Customer Experience and Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2020, by Julian Poulter, Yanna Dharmasthira, Neha Gupta, Amarendra, 16 June 2021.

Gartner found that “Digital commerce grew at a rate of 17.1%, up from 13.2% growth in the prior year, highlighting the shift to digital”. The research firm also defined a new CRM submarket called Cross-CRM comprised of Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Voice of the Customer (VoC) spending. According to Gartner, “Customer Service and Support (CSS) also continues to be the largest segment in the overall CRM market, accounting for 35.5%share. The following graphic compares the top five vendors’ revenue by subsegments:

Four Interesting Insights From Gartner 2020 CRM Market Share Update

Additional interesting insights from Gartner latest CRM market share update include the following:

  • Five vendors comprise 35.6% of an increasingly fragmented CRM market. “Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Adobe, and Microsoft jointly held share in the CRM market is at 35.6%, up slightly from 35.2% in 2019, while still leaving a highly fragmented 23% stake for 81 named vendors (that we track in market share) and 41.5% stake for the remaining large number of other software vendor”s. “Shopify grew 41.5% year on year, a higher rate than the previous year’s 38%”.
Four Interesting Insights From Gartner 2020 CRM Market Share Update
  • Salesforce, Microsoft, and Adobe grew faster than the market in 2020.  “Salesforce’s CRM revenue grows by 18.8%, Reaching $13.5 Billion in 2020”. Microsoft’s CRM Revenue grew by 17.5% in 2020. Sales is its largest segment with 61% of its CRM revenue and achieved 13.7% growth, above the sales average growth of 10.9% suggesting Dynamics attractive price point, integrated with Power Platform and Office and as a unified CRM suite, are appealing to buyers”. Adobe is the most significant marketing software vendor with its “CRM revenue totaling $2.4 billion in 2020 (just ahead of Salesforce at $2.35 billion), up from $2.1 billion in 2019”.
Four Interesting Insights From Gartner 2020 CRM Market Share Update
  • $55 billion of 2020 CRM sales were cloud-based, comprising 79.4% of all sales, increasing from $47.7 billion in 2019. Gartner believes that “Cloud growth was slightly slower due to the pandemic, and on-premises software (new license and software support services) still had very small growth of just over 4% up from the previous year”. Vertical market niche-based applications are sold on-premise, including those tailored to the specific needs of banking, financial services, manufacturing, and process industries’ operations.
  • “North America and Western Europe hold the largest share in the CRM market, with 59.6% and 20.7% stakes, respectively”. According to Gartner, “Mature APAC and Japan emerged as the fastest-growing regions with 19.2% and 17.5% growth rates respectively. Adoption lags in these markets compared with North America and Western Europe, and this higher growth rate shows more investment as companies catch up. At the moment however, Mature APAC and Japan together only account for about 9% of the overall CRM market share”.
  • Global spending on Customer Service and Support (CSS) grew 12.9% in 2020, down from 14.78% in 2019.   “The CSS market saw growth of 12.9% in 2020, down from 14.78% in 2019, reaching $24.6 billion, up from $21.8 billion in 2019”. “The leading vendor in the CSS segment is Salesforce , with $5.3 billion in revenue,with service being its biggest cloud, overtaking sales in 2020”, according to Gartner. The next three top vendors include Genesys, Oracle and Zendesk – with Zendesk replacing SAP at No. 4 Zendesk,  achieved revenue of $866 million and a growth rate of 25.1%”.

Source:

Gartner, ‘Market Share Analysis: Customer Experience and Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2020’, Julian Poulter, Yanna Dharmasthira, Neha Gupta, Amarendra, June 16, 2021 (client access required)

2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth

2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth

Demand for TensorFlow expertise is one of the leading indicators of machine learning and AI adoption globally. Kaggle’s State of Data Science and Machine Learning 2020 Survey found that TensorFlow is the second most used machine learning framework today, with 50.5% of respondents currently using it.

TensorFlow expertise continues to be one of the most marketable machine learning and AI skills in 2021, making it a reliable leading indicator of technology adoption. In 2020, there were on average 4,134 LinkedIn open positions that required TensorFlow expertise soaring to 8,414 open LinkedIn positions this year in the U.S. alone. Globally, demand for TensorFlow expertise has doubled from 12,172 open positions in 2020 to 26,958 available jobs on LinkedIn today.  

Demand for machine learning expertise, as reflected in LinkedIn open positions, also shows strong growth. Increasing from 44,864 available jobs in 2020 to 78,372 in 2021 in the U.S. alone, organizations continue to staff up to support new initiatives quickly. Globally, LinkedIn’s open positions requiring machine-learning expertise grew from 98,371 in 2020 to 191,749 in 2021.

Market forecasts and projections also reflect strong growth for AI and machine learning spending globally for the long term. The following are key takeaways from the machine learning market forecasts from the last year include the following:

  • Forrester says the AI market will be defined and grow within four software segments, with AI maker platforms growing the fastest, reaching $13 billion by 2025, helping drive the market to $37 billion by 2025. Forrester is defining the four AI software segments as follows: AI maker platforms for general-purpose AI algorithms and data sets; AI facilitator platforms for specific AI functions like computer vision; AI-centric applications and middleware tools built around AI for specialized tasks like medical diagnosis; and AI-infused applications and middleware tools that differentiate through advanced use of AI in an existing app or tool category.  New AI-centric apps built on AI functions such as medical diagnosis and risk detection solutions will be the second-largest market, valued at nearly $10 billion by 2025. Source: Sizing The AI Software Market: Not As Big As Investors Expect But Still $37 Billion By 2025, December 10, 2020.
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • IDC predicts worldwide revenues for the artificial intelligence (AI) market, including software, hardware, and services, will grow from $327.5 billion in 2021 to $554.3 billion in 2024, attaining a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5%. IDC further predicts that the AI Software Platforms market will be the strongest, with a five-year CAGR of 32.7%. The slowest will be AI System Infrastructure Software, with a five-year CAGR of 13.7% while accounting for roughly 36% of AI software revenues. IDC found that among the three technology categories, software represented 88% of the total AI market revenues in 2020. It’s the slowest growing category with a five-year CAGR of 17.3%. AI Applications took the largest share of revenue within the AI software category at 50% in 2020. Source: IDC Forecasts Improved Growth for Global AI Market in 2021, February 23, 2021
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • AI projects continued to accelerate in 2020 in the healthcare, bioscience, manufacturing, financial services, and supply chain sectors despite economic & social uncertainty. Two dominant themes emerge from the combination of 30 diverse AI technologies in this year’s Hype Cycle. The first theme is the democratization or broader adoption of AI across organizations. The greater the democratization of AI, the greater the importance of developers and DevOps to create enterprise-grade applications. The second theme is the industrialization of AI platforms. Reusability, scalability, safety, and responsible use of AI and AI governance are the catalysts contributing to the second theme.  The Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2020, is shown below: Source: Software Strategies Blog, What’s New In Gartner’s Hype Cycle For AI, 2020, October 20, 2020.
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Capgemini finds that Life Sciences, Retail, Consumer Products, and Automotive industries lead in the percentage of successfully deployed AI use cases today. Life Sciences leads all interviewed industries to AI maturity, with 27% of companies saying they have deployed use cases in production and at scale. Retail is also above the industry average of 13% of companies that have deployed AI in production at scale, with 21% of companies in the industry has adopted AI successfully.  17% of companies in the Consumer Products and Automotive industries now have AI in production, running at scale. Source: Capgemini, Making AI Work For You, (The AI-powered enterprise: Unlocking the potential of AI at scale) 2021
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Between 2018 and 2020, there’s been a 76% increase in sales professionals using AI-based apps and tools. Salesforce’s latest State of Sales survey found that 57% of high-performance sales organizations use AI today. High-performing sales organizations are 2.8x more likely to use AI than their peers. High-performing sales organizations rely on AI to gain new insights into customer needs, improve forecast accuracy, gain more significant visibility of rep activity, improve competitive analysis, and more. Source: Salesforce Research, 4th Edition, State of Sales, June 2020
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • While 24% of companies are currently using AI for recruitment, that number is expected to grow, with 56% reporting they plan to adopt AI next year. In addition, Sage’s recent survey of 500 senior HR and people leaders finds adoption of AI as an enabling technology for talent management increasing. AI is proving effective for evaluating job candidates for potential, improving virtual recruiting events, and reducing biased language in job descriptions. It’s also proving effective in helping to improve career planning and mobility. Josh Bersin, a noted HR industry analyst, educator, and technologist, recently published an interesting report on this area titled The Rise of the Talent Intelligence Platform. Leaders in the field of Talent Intelligence Platforms include Eightfold.ai. Grounded in Equal Opportunity Algorithms, the Eightfold® Talent Intelligence Platform uses deep-learning AI to help each person understand their career potential, and each enterprise understands the potential of their workforce.Sources: VentureBeat, 8 ways AI is transforming talent management in 2021, March 25, 2021, and Eightfold.ai.
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • 84% of marketers are using AI-based apps and platforms today, up from 28% in 2018. Salesforce Research’s latest State of Marketing survey finds that high-performing marketers use an average of seven different applications or use cases. The familiarity high-performing marketers have with AI is a primary factor in 52% of them predicting they will increase their use of AI-based apps in the future. Source: Salesforce Research, 6th Edition, State of Marketing, June 2020
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Marketing and Sales lead revenue increases due to AI adoption, yet lag behind other departments on cost savings.  40% of the organizations McKinsey interviewed see between a 6 and 10% increase in revenue from adopting AI in their marketing and sales departments. Adopting Ai to reduce costs delivers the best manufacturing and supply chain management results based on the McKinsey survey results. Revenue increases and cost reductions based on AI adoption are shown in the graphic below. Source: McKinsey & Company, The state of AI in 2020, November 17, 2020
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • AI sees the most significant adoption by marketers working in $500M to $1B companies, with conversational AI for customer service as the most dominant. Businesses with between $500M to $1B lead all other revenue categories in the number and depth of AI adoption cases. Just over 52% of small businesses with sales of $25M or less use AI for predictive analytics for customer insights. It’s interesting to note that small companies are the leaders in AI spending, at 38.1%, to improve marketing ROI by optimizing marketing content and timing. Source: The CMO Survey: Highlights and Insights Report, February 2019. Duke University, Deloitte, and American Marketing Association. (71 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in).
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Three out of four companies are fast-tracking automation initiatives, including AI.  Bain & Company found that executives would like to use AI to reduce costs and acquire new customers, but they’re uncertain about the ROI and cannot find the talent or solutions they need. Bain research conducted in 2019 found that 90% of tech executives view AI and machine learning as priorities that they should be incorporating into their product lines and businesses. But nearly as many (87%) also said they were not satisfied with their Company’s current approach to AI. Source: Bain & Company, Will the Pandemic Accelerate Adoption of Artificial Intelligence? May 26, 2020
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms predicts a continued glut of exciting innovations and visionary roadmaps from competing vendors. Competitors in the Data Science and Machine Learning (DSML) market focus on innovation and rapid product innovation over pure execution. Gartner said key areas of differentiation include UI, augmented DSML (AutoML), MLOps, performance and scalability, hybrid and multicloud support, XAI, and cutting-edge use cases and techniques (such as deep learning, large-scale IoT, and reinforcement learning). Please see my recent article on VentureBeat, Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant cites ‘glut of innovation’ in data science and ML, March 14, 2021.
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • 76% of enterprises are prioritizing AI & machine Learning In 2021 IT Budgets. Algorithmia’s survey finds that six in ten (64%) organizations say AI and ML initiatives’ priorities have increased relative to other IT priorities in the last twelve months. Algorithmia’s survey from last summer found that enterprises began doubling down on AI & ML spending last year. The pandemic created a new sense of urgency regarding getting AI and ML projects completed, a key point made by CIOs across the financial services and tech sectors last year during interviews for comparable research studies. Source: Algorithmia’s Third Annual Survey, 2021 Enterprise Trends in Machine Learning.
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Technavio predicts the Artificial Intelligence platforms market will grow to $17.29 billion by 2025, attaining a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 35%. The research firm cites the increased levels of AI R&D investments globally combined with accelerating adoption for pilot and proof of concept testing across industries. Technavio predicts Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Alphabet Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. will emerge as top artificial intelligence platforms vendors by 2025. Source:  Artificial Intelligence Platforms Market to grow by $ 17.29 Billion at 35% CAGR during 2021-2025. June 21, 2021
2021 Roundup Of AI And Machine Learning Market Forecasts Show Strong Growth
  • Tractica predicts the AI software market will reach $126 billion in worldwide revenue by 2025.  The research firm predicts AI will grow fastest in consumer (Internet services), automotive, financial services, telecommunications, and retail industries. As a result, annual global AI software revenue is forecast to grow from $10.1 billion in 2018 to $126.0 billion by 2025. Source: T&D World, AI Software Market to Reach $126.0 Billion in Annual Worldwide Revenue by 2025.

Sources of Market Data on Machine Learning:

Salesforce Sees Surge In $1M+ Deals Powering Record Q1, FY22 Results

Salesforce Sees Surge In $1M+ Deals Powering Record Q1, FY22 Results
  • Salesforce Q1, FY22 revenue was $5.96B, the best quarter in the company’s history. 
  • $1M+ deals hit an all-time high and were up 120% year-over-year.  New $1M+ sales are averaging four or more Clouds, with senior management calling out Service Cloud during the earnings call as gaining strong traction in enterprises. Eight of the top 10 deals included Tableau, and five included MuleSoft.
  • FY22 Revenue guidance raised from $25.9B to $26B, approximately 22% year-over-year growth.
  • Service Cloud Q1, FY22 revenue is $1.5B, growing 20% year-over-year.
  • Tableau sales grew 38% year-over-year, reaching $394M in sales. MuleSoft grew 49% year-over-year, reaching $380M in sales in Q1, FY22.
  • The Slack acquisition is expected to close at the end of Q2, FY22.

Salesforce’s ability to successfully close new multi-cloud deals and upsell multi-cloud solutions into their sizeable installed base helped deliver the best quarterly results in its history. Service Cloud, Tableau, MuleSoft, and Government sector customer wins also contributed to a strong FY Q1, 2022. The following is the Salesforce Q1, FY22 Financial Summary from their Financial Update Q1 FY22 Presentation.

 

Salesforce Sees Surge In $1M+ Deals Powering Record Q1, FY22 Results

Key takeaways from their Q1, FY22 results include the following:

  • Q1, FY22 revenue is up 23% year-over-year to $5.96B. Operating margins reached 5.9%, with non-GAAP operating margins reaching 20.2% in Q1. Salesforce successfully capitalizes on its customers’ urgency to transform their businesses while providing them with proven, well-integrated apps and platform strategies to help them build new digital businesses. Salesforce is also well-positioned to increase revenue based on the growing interest in analytics apps, combined with strong demand for mobile and social apps and multi-cloud integration. Combining proven apps and platforms with their ongoing R&D work in machine learning, AI, and predictive intelligence shows Salesforce is well-positioned for long-term growth in an increasingly multi-cloud enterprise world.
Salesforce Sees Surge In $1M+ Deals Powering Record Q1, FY22 Results
  • Successful multi-cloud sales strategies are propelling double-digit growth in the platform side of the business. Five of the ten $1M+ deals Salesforce signed in Q1 included MuleSoft. The Platform business is the fastest-growing segment of Salesforce today, attaining 28% year-over-year growth. Marketing and Commerce are next at 25% year-over-year revenue growth, driven by many Salesforce customers digitally transforming their selling and service strategies online. The latest quarters’ financial results by product area show how well-integrated and revenue-generating the ExactTarget, MuleSoft, and Tableau are turning out to be today.
Salesforce Sees Surge In $1M+ Deals Powering Record Q1, FY22 Results
  • Salesforce will reach $50B in revenue by 2026, supported by their Total Available Market (TAM), reaching $204B by CY2025. During the Q1, FY22 earnings call, Marc Benioff predicted Salesforce would nearly double in size in four years, reaching $50B from $26B, which is the projected FY22 revenue target. During the earnings call, Marc Benioff also said, “but I’ll tell you that it’s awesome to see not just be number one in CRM, but we’re going to be the number one enterprise software applications company in the world passing SAP.”  The seven core product areas Salesforce compete are combining to create a TAM growing at an 11% CAGR between 2021 and 2025. 
Salesforce Sees Surge In $1M+ Deals Powering Record Q1, FY22 Results

The Most Innovative Companies of 2021 According to BCG

The Most Innovative Companies of 2021 According to BCG
Apple Headquarters, Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. 
  • Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, and Tesla are considered the five most innovative companies, according to BCG’s analysis of the 50 most innovative companies of 2021. 
  • Abbott Labs, AstraZeneca, Comcast, Mitsubishi, and Moderna join the top 50 most innovative companies for the first time this year.
  • The fastest movers include Toyota, who jumped from 41st to 21st; Salesforce, who jumped from 35th to 22nd; and Coca-Cola, who jumped from 48th to 28th.
  • 90% of companies that outperform on innovation outcomes demonstrate clear C-suite ownership of the innovation agenda.

These and many other insights are from the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) 15th annual report defining the world’s 50 most innovative companies in 2021. BCG surveyed 1,500 global innovation executives and found a 10% point increase, to 75%, in executives reporting that innovation is a top-three priority at their companies today. That’s the most significant year-over-year increase in the 15 global innovation surveys BCG has conducted since 2005. BCG’s Most Innovative Companies 2021: Overcoming the Innovation Readiness Gap is available for download free here (28 pp., PDF).  This years’ report methodology focuses on identifying the factors causing a large innovation readiness gap between the world’s most innovative companies and their peers across industries. Please see page 23 of the study for the methodology.

Key insights from BCGs’ most innovative companies of 2020 include the following:

  • Creating a new COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year, inventing test kits in weeks to protect public health, and redefining online shopping and safe home delivery reflect the versatility of the world’s most innovative companies in 2021. Pzifer, Moderna, and Merck & Company’s innate ability to innovate gave everyone a decade of their lives back. Delivering a vaccine in a year when the initial projection was a decade reflects the innovative efficiency of these companies. 2021 is the first year Abbott Labs, who invented and scaled the production of COVID-19 test kits, is included in the 50 most innovative companies worldwide. Amazon and Walmart’s logistics and e-commerce expertise helped ensure safe online shopping and fast home delivery was available to millions of people under stay-at-home orders.
The Most Innovative Companies of 2021 According to BCG
  • Five factors most differentiate the most and least innovative companies. The basis of BCG’s methodology to identify the 50 most innovative companies in 2021 centers on their innovation-to-impact (i2i) framework. The framework is designed to help companies measure the readiness of their innovation programs to operate at a consistently high level of efficiency and effectiveness. The BCG i2i scoring system identified five factors that most differentiate innovative company leaders and laggards. The five factors that best indicate how innovative a company has the potential to be are shown in the following graphic:  
The Most Innovative Companies of 2021 According to BCG

  • Lack of collaboration between sales, marketing & R&D is the major obstacle to innovation.    31% of all companies surveyed see poor collaboration between marketing and R&D as the most significant obstacle to improving the return on their innovation investments. According to BCG, the collaboration between marketing, sales, and R&D is the most challenging in the Pharmaceutical industry, where 42% of respondents say it’s the biggest hurdle to achieving more significant returns on innovation.
The Most Innovative Companies of 2021 According to BCG
  • Digital transformation of the core business is now a top priority for 75% of CEOs, and 65% of firms are doubling down on their plans for transformation with renewed urgency. BCG identified six success factors that together—and only together—flip the odds of digital transformation success from 30% to 80%. Those six success factors are close integration of digital strategy with the business strategy, commitment from the CEO through middle management, a talent core of digital superstars, business-led and flexible technology and data platforms, agile governance, and effective monitoring of progress toward defined outcomes.

Conclusion

Companies that know how to collaborate quickly between customer and R&D teams have an inside edge on being innovation leaders. The world’s most innovative companies also have senior management teams committed to the long-term success of nascent, unproven programs. There’s greater tolerance for risk, more of a focus on customers first and innovating around their needs, and an intuitive sense of how to close innovation gaps that hold other companies back.  

Gartner Predicts Public Cloud Services Market Will Reach $397.4B by 2022

Gartner Predicts Public Cloud Services Market Will Reach $397.4B by 2022
  • Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 23.1% in 2021 to total $332.3 billion, up from $270 billion in 2020.
  • Garter predicts worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will jump from $242.6B in 2019 to $692.1B in 2025, attaining a 16.1% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
  • Spending on SaaS cloud services is predicted to reach $122.6B this year, growing to $145.3B next year, attaining 19.3% growth between 2021 and 2022.  

These and many other insights are from Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 23% in 2021.  The pandemic created the immediate need for virtual workforces and cloud resources to support them at scale, accelerating public cloud adoption in 2020 with momentum continuing this year. Containerization, virtualization, and edge computing have quickly become more mainstream and are driving additional cloud spending. Gartner notes that CIOs face continued pressures to scale infrastructure that supports moving complex workloads to the cloud and the demands of a hybrid workforce.

Key insights from Gartner’s latest forecast of public cloud end-user spending include the following:

  • 36% of all public cloud services revenue is from SaaS applications and services this year, projected to reach $122.6B with CRM being the dominant application category. Customer Experience and Relationship Management (CRM) is the largest SaaS segment, growing from $44.7B in 2019 to $99.7B in 2025, attaining a 12.14% CAGR. SaaS-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are the second most popular type of SaaS application, generating $15.7B in revenue in 2019. Gartner predicts SaaS-based ERP sales will reach $35.8B in 2025, attaining a CAGR of 12.42%.
  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is predicted to grow 67% in 2021, followed by Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) with a 38.5% jump in revenue. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is the third-fastest growing area of public cloud services, projected to see a 28.3% jump in revenue this year. SaaS, the largest segment of public cloud spending at 36.9% this year, is forecast to grow 19.3% this year. The following graphic compares the growth rates of public cloud services between 2020 and 2021.  
  • In 2021, SaaS end-user spending will grow by $19.8B, creating a $122.6B market this year. IaaS end-user spending will increase by $22.7B, the largest revenue gain by a cloud service in 2021. PaaS will follow, with end-user spending increasing $13.1B this year. CIOs and the IT teams they lead are investing in public cloud infrastructure to better scale operations and support virtual teams. CIOs from financial services and manufacturing firms I’ve recently spoken with are accelerating cloud spending for three reasons. First, create a more virtual organization that can scale; second, extend the legacy systems’ data value by integrating their databases with new SaaS apps; and third, an urgent need to improve cloud cybersecurity.

Conclusion

CIOs and the organizations they serve are prioritizing cloud infrastructure investment to better support virtual workforces, supply chains, partners, and service partners. The CIOs I’ve spoken with also focus on getting the most value out of legacy systems by integrating them with cloud infrastructure and apps. As a result, cloud infrastructure investment starting with IaaS is projected to see end-user spending increase from $82B this year to $223B in 2025, growing 38.5% this year alone. End-user spending on Database Management Systems is projected to lead all categories of PaaS through 2025, increasing from $31.2B this year to $84.8B in 2025. The following graphic compares cloud services forecasts and growth rates:

Which ERP Systems Are Most Popular With Their Users In 2021?

Which ERP Systems Are Most Popular With Their Users In 2021?
  • Sage Intacct, Oracle ERP Cloud, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP are the three highest-rated ERP systems by their users.
  • 86% of Unit4 ERP users say their CRM system is the best of all vendors in the study. The survey-wide satisfaction rating for CRM is 73%, accentuating Unit4 ERP’s leadership in this area.
  • 85% of Ramco ERP Suite users say their ERP systems’ analytics and reporting is the best of all 22 vendors evaluated.

These and many other insights are from SoftwareReview’s latest customer rankings published recently in their Enterprise Data Quadrant Report, Enterprise Resource Planning, April 2021. The report is based entirely on attitudinal data captured from verified owners of each ERP system reviewed. 1,179 customer reviews were completed, evaluating 22 vendors. SoftwareReviews is a division of the world-class IT research and consulting firm Info-Tech Research Group. Their business model is based on providing research to enterprise buyers on subscription, alleviating the need to be dependent on vendor revenue, which helps them stay impartial in their many customer satisfaction studies. Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Sage Intacct, Oracle ERP Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP, Acumatica Cloud ERP, Unit4 ERP and FinancialForce ERP are most popular with their users.  SoftwareReview found that these six ERP systems have the highest Net Emotional Footprint scores across all ERP vendors included in the study. The Net Emotional Footprint measures high-level user sentiment. It aggregates emotional response ratings across 25 questions, creating an indicator of overall user feeling toward the vendor and product. The following quadrant charts the results of the survey:
  • 80% of Acumatica Cloud ERP users say their system helps create more business value, leading all vendors on this attribute. How effective an ERP system is at adapting to support new business and revenue models while providing greater cost visibility is the essence of how they deliver business value. The category average for this attribute is 75%. Of the 22 vendors profiled, 12 have scores at the average level or above, indicating many ERP vendors are focusing on these areas to improve the business case of adopting their systems.
Which ERP Systems Are Most Popular With Their Users In 2021?
  • 86% of Sage Intacct ERP users say their system excels at ease of implementation, leading all vendors in the comparison by a wide margin. Implementing a new ERP system can be a costly and time-consuming process as it involves extensive training, change management, and integration. Ease of Implementation received a category score of 75% across the 22 vendors, indicating ERP vendors are doubling down investments to improve this area. Just 11 of the 22 ERP vendors scored above the category average.
Which ERP Systems Are Most Popular With Their Users In 2021?

LinkedIn Best Companies To Work For In 2021 Dominated By Tech

  • Four of LinkedIn’s top ten companies to grow your career in 2021 are tech leaders.
  • Amazon is the highest rated company, followed by Alphabet (2nd), IBM (6th), and Apple (8th).
  • 15 of the 50 top companies in the U.S. are in the tech industry, including Oracle, Salesforce, and SAP.

These and many other insights are from the LinkedIn Top Companies 2021: The 50 best workplaces to grow your career in the U.S. published today. All 50 companies are currently hiring and have over 300,000 jobs available right now. LinkedIn’s analysis of the best companies to grow your career spans 20 countries, including Australia, BrazilCanadaChinaFranceGermanyIndiaItalyJapanMalaysiaMexico, the Netherlands, the PhilippinesSaudi ArabiaSingaporeSpainQatar, the UAE, and the U.K. 

LinkedIn is relying on a new methodology for the 2021 Top Companies Report. They’re basing the methodology has seven key pillars, each revealing an important element of career progression: the ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, gender diversity, and educational background. LinkedIn provides an in-depth description of how they built their methodology here.

The 10 Best Companies To Grow Your Career In 2021

  1. Amazon – According to LinkedIn, Amazon has built an innovative remote-onboarding system, and it has more than 30,000 openings now. The fastest-growing skills in demand at Amazon include User Experience Design (UED), Digital Illustration, and Interaction Design. LinkedIn’s analysis shows the most in-demand jobs are Health And Safety Specialist, Station Operations Manager, Learning Manager.
  1. Alphabet, Inc – Planning to add at least 10,000 jobs in the U.S. alone and investing $7B in data centers and offices across 19 states, Alphabet grew revenue 47% last year, reaching $13B.  According to LinkedIn, the most in-demand jobs are Digital Specialist, Field Sales Specialist, and Business Systems Analyst.
  1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. – JPMorgan now offers 300 accredited skills and education programs to its workers, and the bank has been boosting wages for thousands of customer-facing roles to $16-$20 an hour. The most in-demand jobs include Market Specialist, Software Engineering Specialist, and Mortgage Underwriter.
  1. AT&T – 2020 was a tough year for AT&T, increasing the urgency the company has to grow its wireless and WarnerMedia businesses. Due to the pandemic, the company had to close hundreds of stores. Fortunately, AT&T was able to help the employees affected by the closures to find new jobs. The most in-demand jobs are Service Analyst, Trading Analyst, and Investment Specialist.
  1. Bank of America – Bank of America rose to the challenges of 2020, quickly redeploying almost 30,000 employees to assist in its role facilitating the government-backed Paycheck Protection Program. The most in-demand jobs are Trading Analyst, Investment Specialist, and Financial Management Analyst.
  1. IBM – More than one-third of IBM’s revenue now comes from work related to cloud computing. The company’s Red Hat unit is a leading contributor to that growth, prizing skills such as Linux, Java, Python, and agile methodologies. IBM also is a leader in hiring autistic people through its Neurodiversity program. Most in-demand jobs include Back End Developer, Enterprise Account Executive, and Technical Writer.
  1. Deloitte –  Deloitte’s key activities span audit, assurance, tax, risk, and financial advisory work, as well as management consulting. It’s aiming to hire 19,000 people in the year ending May 29. Top recruiting priorities currently include cybersecurity, cloud computing, and analytics specialists.
  1. Apple – LinkedIn finds that Apple is committed to building an inclusive culture. Over half of its new hires in the U.S. represent historically underrepresented groups in tech — and the company claims to have achieved pay equity in every country where it operates—looking for an in? Apple has nearly 3,000 open jobs in the U.S. right now, ranging from its “genius” role at its retail stores to executive assistants and software engineers. 
  1. Walmart –  In February, the retail giant promised further raises to over 400,000 of its people and months later announced it would increase the share of its hourly store employees who work full-time to over 66% (up from 53% five years ago). Meanwhile, Walmart continues to think beyond the store as it ventures deeper into the e-commerce realm. Most in-demand jobs include Operational Specialist, Fulfillment Associate, and Replenishment Manager.
  1. EY – The accounting firm spent $450 million on employee training in 2020. And it is planning to hire over 15,000 people in the next year. With that much talent coming in, EY is focused on bringing in workers with diverse backgrounds, focusing on gender identity, race, and ethnicity, disability, LGBT+, and veterans. The most in-demand jobs include Strategy Director, Business Transformation Consultant, and Information Technology Consulting Manager.
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