Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Some Ways To Get More Bang for Your IT Buck

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jan 25, 2012 10:09:18 AM

One of the major issues IT executives face is how to charge their departmental costs back to each part of the business according to their usage. It’s a touchy issue that can be the source of end-user disenchantment with the performance and contribution of the IT organization. Ultimately, charge-back friction can hobble IT’s ability to make necessary investments in new capabilities and become the primary cause of misallocated IT spending. The two risks are related: Unless an IT department can calculate the real costs of the services it provides to specific parts of the business and charge for them accordingly, it is almost impossible for line-of-business department managers to assign priorities to the “keep the lights on” part of the budget, so even low-priority maintenance or upgrade efforts can crowd out all but the most pressing needs. The issue of allocating IT department costs spills over to Finance, which typically handles the allocations in budgeting and profit calculations. As a first step toward establishing an effective means of funding the IT function, I believe the finance department must establish better methods of allocating IT costs. Eventually the proper allocation of IT costs also becomes an issue for senior corporate executives as well because it has a direct impact on how effectively a company uses information technology.

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Topics: Performance Management, ABC, Budgeting, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, CFO, Activity Based Costing, Allocations, CEO

Top Ten Best Practices Learned from 2011 Technology Market Chaos and Stupidity

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 31, 2011 8:58:16 AM

While we will wait until January to publish our recommendations for the new year, we can digest the lessons learned in 2011 within the technology markets and with Ventana Research right now. That’s appropriate, since we at Ventana Research are committed to helping you with solid information and education. We help thousands of organizations make a better, faster, safer, smarter and more cost-effective environment for leveraging technology to its fullest extent. Our benchmark research worldwide across thousands of organizations of all sizes and vertical industries has found there is a lot more room for improvement than most realize or are addressing.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Analyst Relations, Market Research, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, Chief Information Officer, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Chief Financial Officer, Industry Analyst, Technology

SAP Must Translate Technology Advances into Business Use

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 20, 2011 10:13:59 AM

At its annual Influencer’s Summit in Boston, SAP offered multiple perspectives on where the company’s strategy and products are heading. Overall, I was struck by the essential similarities to its message on its strategic direction a decade ago. The overarching objective in its roadmap now, as then, is to have information technology increasingly adapt to the needs of individual users and how they choose to execute established/repetitive or ad-hoc processes,  rather than forcing them to adapt to the limitations of the technologies they are using. Back then the idea was to create a comprehensive process framework – a closely coupled approach. Today, it’s essentially the opposite, as SAP products run on an architecture that enables flexibility – a loosely coupled approach – both in how the computing infrastructure is organized and how people execute their tasks. It seems to me that this reflects the impact of having choices between cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and on-premises systems and the need to enable access through a variety of devices (from desktops to mobile handhelds and tablets). Mobility is important both for people whose roles take them beyond the firewall (in sales, service and logistics, for example) and executives and managers who often find themselves managing by walking around. Tablets, smartphones and similar devices are attractive also because people consider them personal items and associate them with fun, whereas desktops and notebooks are corporate and work-related.

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Topics: Performance Management, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, ERP, GRC, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, In-memory, Mobility, Workforce Performance, finance, Risk, risk management, Financial Performance Management

Can We Trust Hewlett- Packard?

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 20, 2011 9:10:55 AM

Just when it seemed that Hewlett-Packard’s new management team led by CEO Leo Apotheker had a growing and solidifying technology agenda that included mobile computing, yesterday it all changed.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Android, Google, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Analytics, Apple, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, HP Touchpad

HP’s New World Order according to Leo Apotheker

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 23, 2011 9:00:23 PM

The new CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Leo Apotheker, has unveiled his vision of the future in the consumer and enterprise markets. His announcement carried some suspense after interviews in which he said “HP has lost its soul” and added that he will “get rid of cynics” inside HP who try to undercut his mission. Now Leo has defined what his company calls Everybody On, which is described as “seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world.” He intends that HP will reposition itself in providing a new generation of cloud services to interconnect its software and technology assets. HP of course is no small technology provider, with over $125 billion in revenue and a predominantly legacy and acquired software business worth over $6 billion. I want to provide some analysis of HP’s announcements in the context of what I see as the coming business technology innovations of this decade. My view overlaps with the HP vision. HP is expanding the territory of its business,  focusing less on the enterprise software business of database, middleware and applications and more on the management and security of cloud services and software.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Chief Information Officer, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance