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Posts from the ‘SaaS Early Adopter Research’ Category

Predicting Enterprise Cloud Computing Growth

69% of enterprises who have separate budgets for cloud computing are predicting spending increases this year and into 2014.

This is one of several key take-aways from a research study published today by TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research.  TheInfoPro Wave 5 Cloud Computing Study is based on research completed in the first six months of 2013, and relies on live interviews with IT management and primary decision-makers in midsize and large enterprises in Europe and North America. You can view details of TheInfoPro Cloud Computing Overview Program and methodology here.

Additional key take-aways from the study include the following:

  • The worldwide cloud computing market will grow at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2016, reaching a market size of $19.5B by 2016.
  • 38% of enterprises surveyed break out cloud computing budgets, while 60% include cloud-related spending as part of their enterprise-wide IT budgets.  TheInfoPro asserts that cloud computing’s benefits of greater business orchestration and reduced time-to-market have led to a change in budgeting approaches.
  • The median enterprise cloud computing budget is $675,000 and the mean enterprise cloud computing budget is $8,234,438.  The study found the largest enterprise cloud computing budget at $125M.  The following graphic provides a distribution of cloud computing budgets by range.

cloud-computing-budget

  • Internal Private Cloud (35%), Cloud Provider Assessments/Strategy Planning (33%), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) (31%) and Software-as-a-Service (30%) are the top four cloud computing-related projects enterprises are working on right now.  Cloud Provider Assessments/Strategy Planning have seen the largest increase, attributable to more enterprises looking to better support strategic plans with more agile, efficient IT organizations.

top-challenges-graphic2

  • 83% of enterprises face significant roadblocks that hold them back from moving beyond cost reduction to faster time-to-market and better orchestration of their businesses. Respondents mentioned that politics, budget, time and staff are the main sources of roadblocks to getting more value out of their cloud computing investments. The majority of these roadblocks are not related to IT.  They include lack of clarity regarding organization and budget (37%), resistance to change (16%) and lack of trust (visibility and reliability) (15%).  The following graphic illustrates the enterprise cloud journey as defined in TheInfoPro Wave 5 Cloud Computing Study.

deciphering-the-cloud-journey

  • Consistent with many other enterprise cloud computing surveys, security is the biggest pain point and roadblock to cloud computing adoption (30%).  Migration and integration of legacy and on-premise systems with cloud applications (18%) is second, and lack of internal process (18%) is third.  The following graphic shows a rank ordering of cloud computing-related pain points.

cloud-related-pain-points

IDG Cloud Computing Survey: Security, Integration Challenge Growth

cloud computing survey 2IDG Enterprise recently published Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report, showing how enterprises continue to struggle with security, integration and governance while finding immediate value in collaboration and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

IDG’s methodology is based on interviews with 1,358 respondents, stratified across CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld, and Network World websites, in addition to respondents contacted via email, and LinkedIn forums.  58% of respondents are from executive IT roles; 17% from Mid-level IT; 14% from IT professionals; 8% from middle-level business management and 3% non-manager roles were represented in the study.  High tech industries are the dominant industry represented with 18% of respondents, followed by financial services, government and manufacturing (each accounting for 10% of respondents).  Education (9%) and telecommunications & utilities (6%) are the other industries represented.

Key take-aways from the survey include the following:

  • 49% of executive-level management see cloud computing as transformational to their business strategies.  40% are currently having their IT staff investigate the potential of cloud computing contributing to their businesses, 5% don’t see cloud as an option and 6% aren’t sure.
  • Amazon (32%), Microsoft (23%) and Google (20%) are most often considered thought leaders in the field of cloud computing by respondents to the IDG survey.
  • Enabling business continuity (43%), greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions (40%), speed of deployment (39%) and improving customer support or services (38%) are the top four drivers of investment in cloud computing technology according to the survey.  The following graphic provides an analysis of each driver by level of relative importance.   This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

  • Accelerating business value by providing access to critical business data and applications (56%); serving as a catalyst of IT innovation (56%); enabling greater employee collaboration (54%); and enabling greater levels of IT agility (54%) are the top four benefits enterprises are gaining from cloud-based applications.  The following graphic provides an analysis of how cloud computing technology is impacting each of the areas shown in respondent’s enterprises. This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

  • Financial Services and high tech companies are projected to have the largest cloud computing budgets based on the survey.  Enterprises are expected to invest an average of $1.5M in cloud-based services during the 2013 – 2014 timeframe.  IDG projects that large companies will spend $2.8M relative to small and medium-sized businesses investing $486K on average.
  • Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) (35%) are the hardest to convince regarding the value of cloud computing, followed by the board of directors or equivalent (24%), the CEO (24%), and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) (16%) third. Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) are the easiest to convince, with just 6% of respondents mentioning this group of executives being a challenge to convince regarding the value of cloud computing.
  • The percentage of organizational IT budgets allocated to SaaS increased from 8% in 2012 to 13% in 2013 according to the last two IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing surveys.  Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) increased to 10% of overall IT budgets, up from 7% in 2012.  In aggregate, 44% of IT budgets are spent on cloud computing today, increasing to 51% by 2015 in the base of enterprises interviewed for the study.
  • Enterprises continue to migrate applications to the cloud that increase collaboration and enhance customer relationships first.  Collaboration and conferencing solutions (38%), e-mail and messaging (35%) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Sales Force Automation (SFA) (27%) are the top three applications being migrated to the cloud in the enterprises surveyed.  The following graphic shows which applications are moving to the cloud today and the plans for migrating applications in the next 12 months, and over the next 1 to 3 years.  This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

  • 59% of enterprises are still identifying which IT operations are the best candidates for cloud hosting.  33% have identified all IT operations that they are comfortable having hosted in the cloud, given the current security of cloud infrastructure and application design.
  • The three most important factors in selecting a SaaS application provider include the ability to configure and customize the cloud application to meet specific business needs (40%), consistent cloud application performance and availability (38%) and security certification and practices of the SaaS provider (34%).
  • 61% of enterprises have at least one application that is cloud-based in their organizations today.  This increased from 57% in 2012.  24% of enterprises are planning to implement cloud applications in the next 12 months and 15% are planning to between 1 to three years from now.
  • In enterprises with less than 1,000 employees, CEOs (52%) are the most influential role in cloud purchasing, followed by the CIO (39%) and IT/networking staff (33%).  In enterprises over 1,000 employees, the CIO (60%), followed by the IT/networking management (47%) and CTO or IT network architect (45%) are the three most influential roles in the cloud purchasing process.
  • 42% of cloud-based projects are eventually brought back in-house, with security concerns (65%), technical/oversight problems (64%), and the need for standardization (on one platform) (48%) being the top three reasons why.
  • The top three challenges to implementing a successful cloud strategy in enterprise vary significantly between IT and line-of-business (LOB).  For IT, concerns regarding security (66%), integration stability and reliability (47%) and ability of cloud computing solutions to meet enterprise/industry standards (35%) challenge adoption.    The following table compares the perceptions of IT and line-of-business leaders.  This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

Roundup Of Small & Medium Business Cloud Computing Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2013

Small & Medium Business cloud computing What sets apart the fastest-growing small businesses is their an innate strength at turning data and information into results.

It’s becoming easy to spot a smaller business who is going to break out and grow quickly.  They often have these qualities:  they highly value knowledge, expertise and speed over seniority or cronyism; they have successfully managed a geographically distributed supply chain, production and service operations early in their history; and long before they reach $20M in sales they have learned how to balance domestic and international customer demands.  In short, they learned fast how to compete and win business globally.

Over the last several months research firms and enterprise software vendors have released studies on cloud computing adoption in small & medium businesses (SMBs).

The following are the key take-aways from these studies:

  • Forrester forecasts that channel partners will increase their reliance on cloud software and services from 22% to 27% from 2013 to 2014.  The majority of this growth will be in SMBs. For additional details please see the free reprint of the report, Cloud Channel Trends, 2013 To 2014 by Tim Harmon and Jonathan Silber, February 28, 2013.  You can download the reprint here (no opt in required): http://www.forrester.com/pimages/rws/reprints/document/90001/oid/1-LMIK8X
  • 61% of SMBs who responded to a recent survey are using cloud-based solutions today, with an additional 5% planning to add cloud services in the next six months.  69% of SMBs with fewer than 20 employees and 55% of SMBs with 250 to 999 employees are using cloud-based applications today. North American SMBs are more likely to use cloud-based applications co these services than EMEA (64% compared to 56%). Source: State of SMB IT 1H 2013 Semi-Annual Report On Small And Midsize Business Technology Plans & Purchase Intent (Opt-in required): http://www.spiceworks.com/marketing/state-of-smb-it/ The following is a graphic from the report:

figure 1 smb cloud adoption

  • SMB spending on cloud solutions will grow by almost 20% over the next five years, with 3 in 10 midsize firms adopting public cloud solutions.  IBM is offering a free download of the IDC report, Cloud Computing in the Midmarket: Assessing the Options in 2013 (no opt-in required): http://idcdocserv.com/995  IDC’s graphical definition of how their Primary Market and Secondary Market IT Product Taxonomy maps to the NIST Taxonomy is shown below:

figure 2 smb cloud adoption

  • Cisco predicts the U.S. SMB commercial-services market addressable by service providers will grow to more than $200B by 2015. Also included is an analysis of how fundamental differences in business segments drive IT behavior, as the following table illustrates. Source: What Do SMBs Want from Commercial-Services Providers? Insights from Cisco’s U.S. Research on SMB Services Delivery  Link:http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac79/docs/sp/SMB-Cloud-Survey.pdf. Please click on the image to expand it for easier reading.

figure 3 smb cloud adoption

  • Hosting and cloud services provider Parallels projects that the worldwide SMB SaaS applications market was $14.5B in 2012 today and will grow to $33.8B by 2015, attaining a 32% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).  Please see the following illustration of a breakdown by region over the forecast period.  Source: Profit from the Cloud 2013 Global Parallels Global SMB Cloud Insights  Opt-in required, Link:  http://www.parallels.com/fileadmin/parallels/documents/smb-reports/2013/2013_SMB_Brochure_Global_web.pdf.  Please click on the image to expand it for easier reading.

figure 4 smb cloud adoption

  • The latest research note from Bain & Company predicts revenue growth for SaaS companies will triple between 2011 and 2014.  The note also includes a revenue projection by category and is shown below. Source: The cloud reshapes the business of software by Ravi Vijayaraghavan http://www.bain.com/Images/BAIN_BRIEF_The_cloud_reshapes_the_business_of_software.pdf.  Please click on the image to expand it for easier reading.

figure 5 smb cloud adoption

  • SMEs overwhelmingly prefer to buy or acquire  these critical systems (43%) rather than lease or pay for use (23%) in an SAP-sponsored survey by Oxford Economics.  The study found that the tools most commonly used by SMEs are business management software (48%), mobile (46%), and analytics (44%). Cloud computing adoption is expected to jump from 35% to 47% in three years. An infographic summarizing the results is below. You can get the survey results here: http://cdn.news-sap.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/SAP-SME-analysis-presentation.pdf . Please click on the image to expand it for easier reading.

figure 1a smb cloud adoption

North Bridge Venture Partners Future Of Cloud Computing Survey: SaaS Still The Dominant Cloud Platform

6-19-2013-4-19-15-AM-300x223North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research released the results of their third annual Future Of Cloud Computing Survey today, providing a glimpse into cloud computing adoption trends, inhibitors and drivers of long-term growth.

This year’s survey included 855 respondents selected across business users, IT decision makers and cloud platform and application vendors.  North Bridge and GigaOM Research report that a third of respondents are C-level executives in their organizations.

You can view a copy of the report results here from SlideShare.

The following are key take-aways from the report:

  • Cloud adoption continued to rise in 2013, with 75%  of those surveyed reporting the use of some sort of cloud platform – up from 67% last year. That growth is consistent with forecasts from GigaOM Research, which expects the total worldwide addressable market for cloud computing to reach $158.8B by 2014, an increase of 126.5% from 2011.  The survey also shows significant growth is yet to come in SaaS adoption for business systems and IT management.

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  • 63% of those surveyed report Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is in use in their companies, growing 15% over 2012.  45% are using Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) today, attaining a growth of 29% from last year.  Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is expected to grow the fastest over the next five years, with 72% of respondents saying they expect to use PaaS in their organizations.
  • The survey results also included cloud segments and overall growth analysis forecasts from 451 Research Market Monitor Report.  The graphic showing CAGRs by IaaS, PaaS and SaaS is shown below, with comparisons of 2012 results and 2016 market forecasts.

  • 52% of organizations are using cloud-based applications to advance business priorities, compared with 36% that use applications that advance IT initiatives.
  • CRM, marketing (including marketing automation) social business & collaboration and file sharing cloud-based applications are in use by more than 50% of all organizations in the sample.
  • North Bridge Venture Partners reports that cloud investments by venture capitalists totaled $1.6B in 2010, increasing to $2.4B in 2011.  Investments in 2012 dropped to $1.8B and through May, 2013, venture-based investments in cloud computing application and services providers totaled $281M.  Subscription fee-based business models dominate with 77% of cloud vendors relying on this strategy.
  • Gaining greater business agility (54.5%), scalability (54.3%) and cost (48%) are the three main drivers of cloud adoption today according to the survey results.  Mobility was mentioned by 25% of respondents as a major driver for adopting cloud applications and platforms, behind cost.
  • Security concerns (46%), vendor lock-in (35%), interoperability (27%), concerns over reliability (22.3%) and complexity (21%) are the top inhibitors to cloud adoption.  Regulatory compliance (30%) and privacy (26%) are he next most frequently mentioned inhibitors to cloud computing adoption according to the survey.
  • 39% expect to increase training, and 17% expect to hire outside resources as a result of increased cloud adoption.
  • Amazon (14.3%), Microsoft (10.96%) and Google (7.88%) are the three most used cloud platforms by the organizations who responded to the survey.

10 Ways Cloud Computing Is Revolutionizing Manufacturing

manufacturing floorThe best manufacturers I’ve visited this year all share a common attribute: they are obsessed with making themselves as easy as possible to work with from a supply chain, distribution and services standpoint.  Many are evaluating cloud-based manufacturing applications including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and several have adopted cloud-based applications across their companies.

With so much interest, there is much confusion as well.  I recently spoke with Cindy Jutras, founder and CEO of MintJutras.  Her firm has recently completed a survey of SaaS adoption in manufacturing, distribution and other industries.  She found the following:

  • 49% of respondents in the manufacturing & distribution industries do not understand the difference between single- and multi-tenant SaaS architectures.  Overall 66% of respondents to the survey did not know.
  • SaaS-based applications are 22% of all manufacturing and distribution software installed today, and will grow to 45% within ten years according to MintJutras.
  • The three most important characteristics of a SaaS solution in manufacturing and distribution include giving customers a measure of control over upgrades, consistent support for global operations and allowing for rapid and frequent upgrades.

Cindy Jutras Research May 8 2013

Why Manufacturers Are Looking To Cloud Computing  

Manufacturers are under constant pressure to increase accuracy, make process speed a competitive force, and capitalize on their internal intelligence and knowledge to make every supplier, distributor and service interaction count.  The manufacturers spoken and visited with to gain the following insights are in the high tech, industrial and aerospace and defense industries, where rapid product lifecycles and short time-to-market schedules are commonplace.

Cloud-based strategies give these companies the chance to bring their own innate intelligence and knowledge into every sales situation.  While on-premise systems could also do this, cloud-based systems were quicker to roll out, easier to customize and showed potential to increase adoption rates across resellers.

One manufacturing manager explained how during a new product launch the speed and volume of collaboration was so rapid on between suppliers and distributors that an allocation situation was averted.  That he said, made senior management believers.  These epiphanies are happening daily in manufacturing.

Based on my visits with manufacturers, here are the ten ways they are using cloud computing to revolutionize manufacturing:

  • Capturing and applying company-wide intelligence and knowledge through the use of analytics, business intelligence (BI), and rules engines.  For the many manufacturers who rely on build-to-order, configure-to-order and engineer-to-order strategies as a core part of their business models, using cloud-based platforms to capture knowledge and manage rules is accelerating. A key part of this area is mobility support for analytics, BI and rules engine reporting and analysis.
  • Piloting and then moving quickly to full launch of supplier portals and collaboration platforms, complete with quality management dashboards and workflows.  Among the manufacturers visited, those in high tech are the most advanced in this area, often implementing Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and demand management applications that deliver real-time order status and forecasts.
  • Designing in services is now becoming commonplace, making cloud integration expertise critical for manufacturers.  From simplistic services integration on iPhones to the full implementation of voice-activated controls including emergency assistance in the latest luxury cars, adding in services integrated to the cloud is redefining the competitive landscape of industries today.  Revising a product or launching an new product generation with embedded services can mitigate price wars, which is why many manufacturers are pursing this strategy today.
  •  Accelerating new product development and introduction (NPDI) strategies to attain time-to-market objectives. Using cloud-based platforms in high tech manufacturing is growing today as time-to-market constraints are requiring greater collaboration earlier in design cycles.
  • Managing indirect and direct channel sales from a single cloud platform tracking sales results against quota at the individual, group and divisional level is now commonplace across all manufacturers visited.  Dashboards report back the status by each rep and for sales managers, the profitability of each deal.
  • Using cloud-based marketing automation applications to plan, execute and most important, track results of every campaign.  Marketing is under a microscope in many manufacturers today, as marketing automation applications have promised to deliver exceptional results and many manufacturers are still struggling to align their internal content, strategies and ability to execute with the potential these systems promise.
  • Automating customer service, support and common order status inquiries online, integrating these systems to distributed order management, pricing, and content management platforms.  Manufacturing industries are at varying levels of adoption when it comes to automating self-service.  The cost and time advantages in high tech are the highest levels of adoption I’ve seen in visiting manufacturers however.
  • Increasing reliance on two-tier ERP strategies to gain greater efficiencies in material planning, supplier management and reduce logistics costs.  Manufacturers are also using this strategy to gain greater independence from a single ERP vendor dominating their entire operations.  Several manufacturers remarked that their large, monolithic ERP systems could not, without intensive programming and customization, scale down to the smaller operational needs in distributed geographic regions.  Cloud-based ERP systems are getting the attention of manufacturers pursuing two-tier ERP strategies.  AcumaticaCincomMicrosoftNetSuite and Plex Systems are leaders in this area of ERP systems.
  • Reliance on cloud-based Human Resource Management (HRM) systems to unify all manufacturing locations globally.  This often includes combining  multisite talent management, recruiting, payroll and time tracking.  Contract manufacturer Flextronics uses Workday to optimize workforce allocations across their global manufacturing centers for example.

Bottom Line:  Using cloud-based systems to streamline key areas of their business, manufacturers are freeing up more time to invest in new products and selling more.

2013 CRM Market Share Update: 40% Of CRM Systems Sold Are SaaS-Based

CRM-Market-Share-Analysis-Image-2012Last year, four out of every ten CRM systems sold were SaaS-based, and the trend is accelerating.

In the recent Gartner report  Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2012 published April 18, 2013 the authors provide insights into why the worldwide CRM market experienced 12% growth in 2012, three times the average of all enterprise software categories.  Gartner cites demand they are seeing from their enterprise clients for CRM systems that can help acquire customers, analyze and act on customer behaviors, and increase all-channel management performance.  Big data inquiries are also increasing in CRM, driven by the interest enterprise clients have in getting more value from social network data and interactions.

Key take-aways from the report include the following:

  • The CRM worldwide market grew from $16B to $18B attaining a 12.5% growth rate from 2011 to 2012.
  • 80% of all CRM software in 2012 was sold in North America and Western Europe.    North America CRM sales grew 16.6% from 2011 to 2012.  The highest growth regions of CRM sales between 2011 to 2012 included Greater China (26.9%) and Latin America (24.3%).
  • Salesforce.com is the world’s leading CRM software vendor with 14% market share in 2012 ($2.5B in sales), surpassing SAP (12.9%, $2.3B in sales), Oracle (11.1%, 2.01B in sales), Microsoft (6.3%, $1.1B in sales), IBM (3.6%, $649M in sales) and all others.  The top ten vendors worldwide generated $10.9B in sales alone in 2012.

Figure-1-Market-Share-CRM

  • Worldwide CRM software spending by subsegment shows Customer Service and Support leading all categories with 36.8% of all spending in 2012 ($6.6B), followed by CRM Sales (26.3%, $4.7B), Marketing (includes marketing automation) (20%, $3.6B) and e-commerce (16.9%, $3B).   The following chart shows the distribution of revenue by category:

CRM-Software-Subsegments

  • 40% of all CRM software sold in 2012 worldwide was SaaS-based.  Gartner states that they are seeing their enterprise clients seek out easier-to-deploy CRM systems compared to on-premise alternatives.  The report states that many enterprises are now replacing their legacy systems with SaaS-based CRM systems as well.  Enterprise clients also report that SaaS-based CRM systems are delivering net-new applications that deliver complementary functionality not possible with legacy and previous-generation CRM platforms.
  • Ten fastest growing CRM vendors as measured in revenue Annual Growth Rate (AGR) in 2012 include Zoho (81.2%), Hybris (78.6%), Teradata (70.4%), Bazaarvoice (56.2%), Marketo (54.3%), Kana (44.2%), Demandware (43.9%), IBM (39.4%), Technology One (37.1%) and Neolane (36%).
  • Communications, media and IT services were the biggest spenders on CRM in 2012 due to their call center requirements.  Manufacturing including Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) was second, and banking & securities were third.

Why Cloud Computing is Accelerating in the Enterprise

Cloud computing gaining in the enterprise Translating time into dollars matters far more to many CEOs I’ve spoken with versus what platform their applications are running on.

What matters most is getting all they can out of every hour their business is operating.  They are all focused on getting beyond the constraints that held their growth back in the past – everyone wants a growth accelerator today.  For manufacturers especially, this includes applications with depth of functionality that can be quickly deployed regionally, and in more cases than ever, globally as well.  Line-of-business leaders want applications that make an immediate impact on their entire value chain.

Just having a cloud strategy is not enough for any enterprise software company anymore. Owning the pain prospects and customers go through daily to get work done is all that matters.  Every application and platform component needs to contribute to the goal of reducing customer’s challenges of doing business.  In studying companies who excel at this, I’ve often used stock market indices to see how they compare to market averages and their competitors.

Charting Progress Using the Cloud Computing Stock Index

Creating and using stock indices to track the performance of specific industry and market sectors is a great way to cut through hype.  I’ve been using these for over a decade to track industries and markets of interest, and have built the Cloud Computing Stock Index. You can download the latest summary here.  If there are companies you think need to be included please let me know.  I deliberately left out IBM, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP as a prerequisite is that a firm derive at least 50% or greater revenue from cloud-based applications and services.

The graph below shows all-time performance of the Cloud Computing Index relative to Microsoft, Salesforce.com. NetSuite and Workday.

Figure 1 stock index

Key Take Aways

  • NetSuite posted a 62.6% increase in stock performance, followed by Workday (+20.57%), Salesforce (+4.23%) and the Cloud Computing Index (+4%) with Microsoft seeing a 8.18% decline in share price during the period.
  • NetSuite, Salesforce and Workday continue to gain new customers in the mid-tier and enterprise areas of the market based on depth of functionality, rapid application development (RAD), and increasing success creating alliances with system integration, selling and technology partners.
  • Workday’s expertise in Human Capital Management is accentuated by the depth of analytics and trend analysis and expertise in cloud-based integrations.  Their depth of functional expertise in these areas is leading to rapid growth.
  •  NetSuite is succeeding with its two-tier ERP selling strategy against long-standing ERP vendors including Oracle, SAP and others.

Bottom line:  Salesforce, NetSuite and Workday show how developing cloud-based applications designed for ease of use and speed of deployment are winning new customers in the enterprise – and driving up their stock price as a result.

Specifics on the Cloud Computing Stock Index

I used The Cloud Times 100 as the basis of the index, and included the 23 following companies, all of which are publically traded.  These include:

  • Akamai Technologies.
  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • ARM Holdings plc
  • CA, Inc.
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • EMC Corporation
  • F5 Networks, Inc.
  • Fusion-IO, Inc.
  • Intuit
  • Juniper Networks, Inc.
  • Keynote Systems, Inc.
  • NetSuite Inc
  • Qualys Inc
  • Rackspace Hosting, Inc.
  • Red Hat, Inc.
  • Riverbed Technology…
  • Salesforce.com, inc.
  • Symantec Corporation
  • Trend Micro Incorporated
  • VMware, Inc.
  • Websense Inc.
  • Workday Inc

 Note: I do not hold equity positions or work for any of the companies mentioned in this blog post or included in the Cloud Computing Stock Index.  

How Cloud Computing Is Accelerating Context-Aware Coupons, Offers and Promotions

Retailers and marketers often face the challenge of getting coupons, offers and promotions delivered at the perfect time and in the right context to their customers.

The rapid advances in cyber foragingcontextual computing and cloud computing platforms are succeeding at revolutionizing this aspect of the retail shopping experience.  Context-aware advertising platforms and strategies can also provide precise audience and segment-based messaging directly to customers while they are in the store or retail outlet.

What makes context-aware advertising so unique and well adapted to the cloud is the real-time data integration and contextual intelligence they use for tailoring and transmitting offers to customers.  When a customer opts in to retailer’s contextually-based advertising system, they are periodically sent alerts, coupons, and offers on products of interest once they are in or near the store.  Real-time offer engines chose which alerts, coupons or offers to send, when, and in which context.  Cloud-based analytics and predictive modeling applications will be used for further fine-tuning of alerts, coupons and offers as well.  The ROI of each campaign, even to a very specific audience, will be measurable.  Companies investing in cloud-based contextual advertising systems include Apple, Google, Greystripe, Jumptap, Microsoft, Millennial Media, Velti and Yahoo.

Exploring the Framework of Me Marketing and Context-Aware Offers

A few years ago, a student in one of my MBA courses in international marketing did their dissertation on cyber foraging and contextual mobile applications’ potential use for streamlining business travel throughout Europe.  As a network engineer for Cisco at the time, he viewed the world very systemically; instead of getting frustrated with long waits he would dissect the problem and look at the challenges from a system-centric view.  The result was a great dissertation on cyber foraging and the potential use of Near Field Communications (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as sensors to define contextual location and make business travel easier.  One of the greatest benefits of teaching, even part-time, is the opportunity to learn so much from students.

I’ve been following this area since, and when Gartner published Me Marketing: Get Ready for the Promise of Real-Time, Context-Aware Offers in Consumer Goods this month I immediately read it.  Gartner is defining Me Marketing as real-time, context-aware offers in grocery stores. Given the abundance of data on transactions that occur in grocery stores, Gartner is predicting this will be the most popular and fastest-growing area of context-aware offers.  The formula for Me Marketing is shown below:

The four steps of the Me Marketing formula are briefly described as follows:

Me marketing framework for contextual coupons

 

  • Consumer Insight and Permission – The first step of the framework and the most difficult from a change management standpoint, this requires customers to opt in to receiving alerts, coupons, offers and promotions.  The best retailers also have invested heavily in security and authentication technologies here too.
  • Delivery Mechanism and In-the-Moment Context – The real-time offer engine is used to determining which coupons, offers and promotions are best suited for a specific customer based on their shopping patterns, preferences and locations.
  • Select Best Offer – Next, the real-time offer engine next defines a very specific product or service offer based on location, previous purchase history, social media analysis, predictive and behavioral analysis, and previous learned patterns of purchasing.
  • Redemption – The purchase of the item offered.  Initial pilots have shown that less frequent yet highly relevant, targeted offers have a higher redemption rate.  It is encouraging to see that early tests of these systems show that spamming customers leads to immediate opt-outs and in some cases shopping competitors.

A Short Overview of Contextual Advertising and the Cloud

Cloud-based systems and applications are necessary for retailers to gain the full value that contextual advertising can provide.  This includes the social context, with specific focus on aggregation and analysis of Social CRM, CRM, and social media content, in addition to behavioral analytics and sentiment analysis.  It also includes the previous browsing, purchasing, returns and prices paid by product for each customer.  Cloud-based integration architectures are necessary for making contextual advertising a reality in several hundred or even thousands of retail stores at the same time.

Geographical data and analysis is also essential.  RFID has often been included in cyber foraging and contextual advertising pilots, in addition to NFC.  As Global Positioning System (GPS) chip sets have dropped in price and become more accurate, companies including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are basing their contextual advertising platforms on them.  Finally the activity or task also needs to have a contextual definition.

Combining all three of these elements gives the context of the customer in the retail store.  The figure below is from Three-Dimensional Context-Aware Tailoring of Information.  This study also took into account how personas are used by companies building cloud-based contextual advertising systems.  The taxonomies shown in the figure are used for building personas of customers.

context aware technology

There are many pilot projects and enterprise-wide system tests going on right now in the area of cloud-based contextual advertising.  One of the more interesting is an application suite created entirely on Google App Engine, Android, and Cloud Services.  The pilot is explained in the study Exploring Solutions for Mobile Companionship: A Design Research Approach to Context-Aware Management.  The following figure shows a diagram of the suite.  This pilot uses Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) which is part of the Android API to link the Google App Engine server and Android client.  Google will most likely add more depth of support for C2DM as it plays a critical role in contextual system development.

context aware Google Ad Platform

Benefits of a Cloud-based Contextual Advertising Platform

For the customer, cloud-based advertising systems over time will learn their preferences and eventually impact the demand planning and forecasting systems of retailers.  This translates into the customer-centric benefits of products being out of stock less.  In addition, customers will receive more relevant offers.  The entire shopping experience will be more pleasant with expectations being met more often.

For the retailer, better management of product categories and more effective gross margin growth will be possible. Having real-time analytics of each coupon, offer and promotion will also give them immediate insights into which of their selling strategies are working or not.

For the manufacturer, the opportunity to finally understand how customers respond at the store level to promotions, programs including the results of co-op funds investment and pricing strategies will be known.  The manufacturers who partner with retailers using these systems will also have the chance at attaining greater product differentiation as their coupons, offers and promotions will only go to the most relevant customers.

References:

Me Marketing: Get Ready for the Promise of Real-Time, Context-Aware Offers in Consumer Goods Published: 24 December 2012 Analyst(s): Don Scheibenreif, Dale Hagemeyer

Tor-Morten Grønli, Ghinea, G., & Bygstad, B. (2013). Exploring Solutions for Mobile Companionship: A Design Research Approach to Context-Aware Management. International Journal of Information Management, 33(1), 227. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268401212001259

Tor-Morten Grønli, & Ghinea, G. (2010). Three-Dimensional Context-Aware Tailoring of Information. Online Information Review, 34(6), 892-906. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1896452

First Steps to Creating a Cloud Computing Strategy for 2013

Cloud computing strategy 2013 will be one of the most pivotal years for cloud computing because trust in these technologies is on the line.

Expectations are high regarding these technologies’ ability to deliver business value while reducing operating costs.  Enterprises’ experiences have at times met these high expectations, yet too often are getting mixed results.  Managing cloud expectations at the C-level is quickly emerging as one of the most valuable skills in 2013. The best CIOs at this are business strategists who regularly review with their line-of-business counterparts what is and isn’t working.  These CIOs who are excelling as strategists also are creating and continually evaluating their cloud computing plans for 2013.  They are focusing on plans that capitalize the best of what cloud computing has to offer, while minimizing risks.

CIOs excelling as strategists are also using cloud computing planning to punch through the hype and make cloud technologies real from a customer, supplier and internal efficiency standpoint.  Lessons learned from these cloud computing planning efforts in enterprises are provided below:

  • Cloud computing needs to mature more to take on all enterprise applications, so plan for a hybrid IT architecture that provides both agility and security.  This is a common concern among CIOs in the manufacturing and financial services industries especially.  As much as the speed of deployment, customization and subscription-based models attract enterprises to the cloud, the difficult problems of security, legacy system integration, and licensing slow its adoption.  There is not enough trust in the cloud yet to move the entire IT infrastructure there in the majority of manufacturing companies I’ve spoken with.
  • Reorganizing IT to deliver greater business agility and support of key business initiatives will be a high priority in 2013.  The gauntlet has been thrown at the feet of many CIOs this year: become more strategic and help the business grow now.  Cloud is part of this, yet not its primary catalyst, the need to increase sales is.  IT organizations will increasingly reflect a more service-driven, not technology-based approach to delivering information and intelligence to the enterprise as a result.
  • Recruiting, training and retaining cloud architects, developers, engineers, support and service professionals will be a challenge even for the largest enterprises.  There isn’t enough talent to go around for all the projects going on and planned right now.  State Farm Insurance has 1,000 software engineers working on their mobility applications for claims processing and quoting for example.  And they are hiring more.  Certifications in cloud technologies are going to be worth at least a 30 to 50% increase in salary in specific positions. This is very good news for engineers who want to differentiate themselves and get ahead in their careers, both financially and from a management standpoint.
  • Measuring the contributions of operating expense (OPEX) reductions is going to become commonplace in 2013.  From the cloud computing plans I’ve seen, OPEX is being tracked with greater accuracy than in any other year and will be a strong focus in the future.  The capital expense (CAPEX) savings are clear, yet OPEX savings in many cases aren’t. Cloud computing’s greatest wins in the enterprise continue to be in non-mission critical areas of the business.  This is changing as cloud-based ERP systems gain adoption within businesses who are constrained by monolithic ERP systems from decades ago.  Plex Systems is a leader in this area and one to watch if you are interested in this area of enterprise software.  SaaS is dominating in the area of lower application costs and high user counts, which is the Public Computing Sweet Spot in the following graphic:

Figure 1 Cloud Computing Planning Guide

Source: 2013 Cloud Computing Planning Guide: Rising Expectations Published: 1 November 2012 Analysts: Drue Reeves, Kyle Hilgendorf

  • Start building a SaaS application review framework including Service Level Agreement (SLA) benchmarks to drive greater transparency by vendors.  Gartner forecasts that the SaaS-based cloud market will grow from $12.1B in 2013 to$21.3B in 2015, with the primary growth factors being ease of customization and speed of deployment. CIOs and their staffs have SaaS frameworks already in place, often with specific levels of performance defined including security and multitenancy audits.  SLAs are going to be a challenge however as many vendors are inflexible and will not negotiate them. At a minimum make sure cloud service providers and cloud management platforms (CMP) have certifications for ISO 27001 and Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16, as this shows the provider is making investments in availability, security and performance levels.
  • Create a Cloud Decision Framework to keep technology evaluations and investments aligned with business strategies.  Business and application assessments and the vendor selection process need to take into account application requirements, role of external cloud resources, and how the RFI will be structured. These process areas will vary by type of company – yet concentrating in application requirements goes a long way to reducing confusion and forcing trade-offs in the middle of a review cycle.  The following is an example of a Cloud Decision Framework:

Figure 2 Sample Cloud Decision Framework

Source: 2013 Cloud Computing Planning Guide: Rising Expectations Published: 1 November 2012 Analysts: Drue Reeves, Kyle Hilgendorf

  • Mitigating risk and liability through intensive due diligence needs to become any cloud-based companies’ core strength.  Regardless of how the HP-Autonomy litigation is resolved it is a powerful cautionary tale of the need for due diligence.  And let’s face it: there are way too many SaaS companies chasing too few dollars in the niche areas of enterprise software today.  A shakeout is on the way, the market just can’t sustain so many vendors.  To reduce risk and liability, ask to see the financial statements (especially if the vendor is private), get references and visit them, meet with engineering to determine how real the product roadmap is, and require an SLA.  Anyone selling software on SaaS will also have revenue recognition issues too, be sure to thoroughly understand how they are accounting for sales.
  • Design in security management at the cloud platform level, including auditing and access control by role in the organization.  One manufacturing company I’ve been working with has defined security at this level and has been able to quickly evaluate SaaS-based manufacturing, pricing and services systems by their security integration compatibility.  This has saved thousands of dollars in security-based customizations to meet the manufactures’ corporate standards.

Bottom line: 2013 is the make-or-break year for cloud in the enterprise, and getting started on a plan will help your organization quickly cut through the hype and see which providers can deliver value.

Cloud Computing and Enterprise Software Forecast Update, 2012

The latest round of cloud computing and enterprise software forecasts reflect the growing influence of analytics, legacy systems integration, mobility and security on IT buyer’s decisions.

Bain & Company and Gartner have moved beyond aggregate forecasts, and are beginning to forecast by cloud and SaaS adoption stage.  SAP is using the Bain adoption model in their vertical market presentations today.

Despite the predictions of the demise of enterprise software, forecasts and sales cycles I’ve been involved with indicate market growth.  Mobility and cloud computing are the catalysts of rejuvenation in many enterprise application areas, and are accelerating sales cycles.  Presented in this roundup are market sizes, forecasts and compound annual growth rates (CAGRS) for ten enterprise software segments.

Key take-aways from the latest cloud computing and enterprise software forecasts are provided below:

  • Public and private cloud computing will be strong catalysts of server growth through 2015.  IDC reports that $5.2B in worldwide server revenue was generated in 2011 or 885,000 units sold.  IDC is forecasting a $9.4B global market by 2015, resulting in 1.8 million servers sold. Source:  IDC Worldwide Enterprise Server Cloud Computing 2011–2015 http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=228916 
  • IDC reports that enterprise cloud application revenues reached $22.9B in 2011 and is projected reach $67.3B by 2016, attaining a CAGR of 24%.  IDC also predicts that by 2106, $1 of every $5 will be spent on cloud-based software and infrastructure. Report, Worldwide SaaS and Cloud Software 2012–2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares, Link: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=236184
  • 11% of companies are transformational, early adopters of cloud computing, attaining 44% adoption (as defined by % of MIPS) in 2010, growing to 49% in 2013.  This same segment will reduce their reliance on traditional, on-premise software from 34% to 30% in the same period according to Bain & Company’s cloud computing survey results shown below.  SAP is using this adopter-based model in their vertical market presentations, an example of which is shown here.

  • The global Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market is growing from $900M in 2011 to $2.9B in 2016, achieving a 26.6% CAGR.  At this projected rate, PaaS will generate an average of $360M a year in revenue between 2011 and 2016.  Gartner projects that the largest segments will be Application Platform Services (aPaaS) which generated 35% of total PaaS spending in 2011, followed by cloud application lifecycle services (12.5).    Source: Market Trends: Platform as a Service, Worldwide, 2012-2016, 2H12 Update Published: 5 October 2012 ID:G00239236.

  • The three most popular net-new SaaS solutions deployed are CRM (49%), Enterprise Content Management (ECM) (37%) and Digital Content Creation (35%).  The three most-replaced on-premise applications are Supply Chain Management (SCM) (35%), Web Conferencing, teaming platforms and social software suites (34%) and Project & Portfolio Management (PPM (33%). The following graphic shows the full distribution of responses. Source: User Survey Analysis: Using Cloud Services for Mission-Critical Applications Published: 28 September 2012

  •  In 2011, the worldwide enterprise application software market generated $115.1B in revenue, and is projected to grow to $157.6B by 2016, attaining a 6.5% CAGR in the forecast period. Gartner reports that 38% of worldwide enterprise software revenue is from maintenance and technical support; 17% from subscription payments; and 56% from ongoing revenue including new purchases.  An analysis of the ten enterprise software markets and their relative size and growth are shown in the figure below along with a table showing relative rates of growth from 2011 to 2016. Source: Forecast: Enterprise Software Markets, Worldwide, 2011-2016, 3Q12 Update Published: 12 September 2012 ID:G00234766

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