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    Forward View - April 2011 issue Forward View - April 2011 issue Document Transcript

    • FORWARD VIEW Private circulationTECHNOLOGY INSIGHTS FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESS LEADERS April 2011New focus areas formidsize busiNessesGrowth,innovation &customer value Data management: tapping your most valuable asset Making the smarter planet a reality for midsize businesses Start small, get big results with business analytics ®
    • FORWARD VIEW a shift in focus from APrIl 2011 cost cutting to Growth,innovation and customers IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Express Advantage, Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other dear readers, companies. recently, ibm studied midsize businesses to understand where If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information they are investing and why. ibm surveyed 2,112 business with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols and technology leaders across more than 22 nations to understand indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was the purchasing patterns, business issues and technology published. Such trademarks may also be registered challenges that affect the investment and innovation strategies of or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the midsize organizations. Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Other company, as you’ll read in our cover story, the study’s findings reveal that product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. The information contained the strategic mindset for midsize businesses has dramatically in this documentation is provided for informational shifted during 2010 from operational efficiency and cost reduction purposes only. While efforts were made to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information to a greater emphasis on growth, customers and innovation. contained in this documentation, it is provided Today, 70 percent of these companies are looking to analytics “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In addition, this information is based on solutions to improve operational efficiency and gain insights about their customers. IBM’s current product plans and strategy, which another 66 percent are adopting or planning to adopt cloud solutions to optimize costs are subject to change by IBM without notice. IBM shall not be responsible for any damages arising and redundancy while increasing uptime and scalability. These and other iT priorities out of the use of, or otherwise related to, this are supported by a strong iT budget growth outlook, with more than half of midsize documentation or any other documentation. Nothing businesses expecting a budget increase in 2011. To advance these priorities, more than contained in this documentation is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, creating any warranties 70 percent are seeking a more consultative—versus purely transactional—relationship or representations from IBM (or its suppliers or with their primary iT provider. licensors), or altering the terms and conditions of the applicable license agreement governing the use of IBM software. © 2011 IBM Corporation. The study shows differences in iT barriers across different countries. in mature market All rights reserved. countries, cost is cited more frequently as a key inhibitor (59 percent). countries in growth markets are more likely to point to skills and resource challenges, as well as an inability to demonstrate a return on their iT investments, as key inhibitors. You are welcome to download the study results and complete an assessment of your own company’s position using an online tool found here: http://www.ibm.com/in/mmittrends This issue also includes inputs on how an organization, using business analytics, can enhance opportunities for profitable growth, optimize resources and capital, and proactively manage risk. i hope you enjoy this issue of forwardView and i look forward to hearing from you. regards, Jyothi satyanathan VP — mid-size businesses & inside sales ibm india/sa2 FORWARD VIEW
    • FORWARD VIEW contents APrIl 2011 4 COVEr STOrY Growth, innovation and customer value Where are midsize companies investing—and why?7 14 Data management: Tapping your most valuable assetData management:tapping your most 7 Big Questionsvaluable asset UC to becomeWhy information backbone ofmanagement is critical businessesfor any company ForwardView’s Q&A with Venkatraman VA doctors office takes an x-ray of a knee. On seeing the results, the physician decides to small, get big results Start with business analytics9 11send the image to a specialist. Rather than packing the film into an envelope and sendingit by courier, as was common practice only a few years ago, the office transmits theHow does your organization makeimage digitally. In the process, both medical offices add a large image file to their stored decisions? Do you go with businessdata. a "gut feeling" because you lack accurate and complete data? Or do you have visibility into yourOn todays smarter planet, similar scenarios involving connected companies occur every performance, offerings processes,day. It doesnt matter that an organization may have only a few dozen or a few hundred and customers to support smart, fact- based decisions?employees. The data a midsize business generates can grow disproportionately to theMaking the And when a midsize business generates terabytes of data a year,With business data today growing atorganizations size. Start small,smarter planetinformation, extract insights and put it to use becomes a exponentialtorates, theanalyze andisusefinding a way to access a increasing gather, need also get big resultschallenge.reality for mid- data wisely. In a highly with businesssize businesses "Data volume is doubling every two years for the average world, business analytics instrumented, interconnected andAs IBMs Anita Chung notes, intelligent analyticsFind out what smarter data mustyour midsize organization achieve valuablewho servesbuild competitive strengths.organization, and a lot of that can help be managed for years." Chung, insights and as Enhancing growthplanet means forWorldwide Market Segment Manager, Database Server Go-to-Market Strategy, Using business analytics, a smart organization can enhance opportunities for profitable growth, by using businessmidsize organizations all optimize the allocation and their core of resources and capital, and proactively manage risk. A cancontinues: "Organizations of sizes need to rely on deployment assets, which include company using business analytics is not overwhelmed by today’s vast amounts of data and instead analyticsbusiness data—and there is always the need for better performance and higher service turn that data into a business advantage.levels at lower costs." January 2011 3 But where does a company begin?In todays highly instrumented, interconnected and intelligent world, organizations often Know when youre readylook to business analytics to gain the insights and performance they need from data. But
    • STORYCOVEr New focus areas for midsize businesses Growth, innovation and customer value A cross the globe, IT priorities and investment decisions for midsize businesses are changing. According to the IBM study “Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective,” IT is no longer a back-office function, but a driver of growth and a way for businesses to add value. This study canvassed the planning processes of busi- nesses and their IT decision makers across several industries such as banking, retail, consumer products, wholesale, transpor- • • Increased flexibility/nimble enterprise Collaboration While juggling these priorities, firms that understand the deeper potential of technology as an enabler of change will gain competi- tive advantage, according to the study. The study closely exam- ined how midsize businesses are planning, implementing and tation, industrial products and insurance—and captured the most considering the costs of IT improvements, and how they intend to current observations of IT decision makers in many countries use IT resources to help realize business goals. While investment across the globe, including India. considerations are vital to decisions about adding or upgrading IT infrastructure, the study found that companies that recognize Among the 2,112 midmarket leaders who participated in this the benefits of business analytics and cloud computing would be global survey, 100 were from India. Their responses reveal how in a better position to add value to their stakeholders by increas- business priorities influence IT investment decisions. Many firms ing efficiency and lowering operational costs. are trying to strike a balance between short-term cost contain- ment and investing in solutions that grow revenue and create Take an online assessment strong customer relationships. Over 70 percent of firms in India Can you spare a few minutes to take an online assessment are pursuing analytics solutions to improve decision making and of how your IT planning compares with other companies operational efficiency. throughout the world? Visit www.ibm.com/in/mmittrends to see how Indian and global midsize businesses approach IT. Fifty-three percent of the respondents anticipate an IT budget increase in 2011 versus only 20 percent in the 2009 survey. This Midsize businesses in India and elsewhere think differently from planned increase is 10 percent or more higher than their 2009 IT large businesses and startups. Even with their great potential, spend. Companies in growth market countries are planning more midsize businesses also have limitations that can present chal- IT spending than their counterparts in mature market countries. lenges during periods of growth. However, careful strategic plan- In China, Brazil, India, Korea and Singapore, 7 out of 10 midsize ning can help them make the best use of limited resources. For businesses plan to increase IT spending. example, many Indian companies are now upgrading their exist- ing IT setups. As the IBM study notes, an emphasis on imple- The order of the list of most critical priorities for 2011, according menting infrastructure improvements tops the list of ongoing IT to the study, is as follows: focus areas for Indian companies. • Cost reduction/improved efficiencies • Improved customer services As economic recovery takes hold in many countries, midsize • Increased employee productivity companies are becoming the real drivers of growth, which has • New ways to reach customers exposed them to new challenges. Their focus has shifted to • Optimizing key business processes growth, innovation and customer value. Making better use of • Increased insights for better decision making information and other resources to increase productivity, attract 4 FORWARD VIEW
    • STORY COVEr Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective – India Report Shift in strategic mindset for Indian midsize businesses reveals greater through upgrades or by adding new emphasis on customers and innovation technology solutions. This increased IT spending is directly aimed at increas- Strategic Mindset Percentage Change from 2009 ing customer service, which is recog- Operational efficiency nized as a critical business priority by -31 pts and cost reduction many midsize companies. Compared to other countries, about 9 out of 10 Revenue Growth - 10 pts respondents in China, Brazil and Mex- ico put cost reduction and increased employee productivity high on their Customer Focus 7% 19 pts agendas. Optimizing key business processes was top priority for Italy, Current Mindset Innovation 7% 22pts BeNelux and New Zealand. 2009 Mindset 0% 20% 40% 60% Globally, 73 percent of respondents prioritized enhancing customer ser-Note: 2009Question in 2009 asked differently than2010. Percents pulled directly from 2009directly from Note: questions were different from 2010. Percentages were pulled WW Comprehensive Reportthe1 2009 WW Comprehensive report. January 2011 © 2010 IBM Corporation vice and 67 percent prioritized pros- pecting for new customers. Amongand retain customers, and improve competitive positioning is all countries, Canada, UK, Germany and Poland focused morebecoming a central strategy for midsize businesses. They pur- on improving service and customer relations. About 66 percentsue cost-effective business models to implement these strategies of Indian respondents adopted or plan to adopt cloud solu-on a continuous basis. About 79 percent of survey respondents tions to optimize costs and redundancy while increasing uptimelisted customers, innovation and growth as their priorities, while and scalability.21 percent gave highest priority to reducing costs and increasingefficiency. For Indian businesses, 70 percent put cost reduction China is leading the world in finding new ways to reach outand improved efficiencies at the top of the list of priorities. to customers. China is using social media aggressively to add new customers.Focusing on customersCompared to 2009, IT decision makers today now focus more on According to the study, there is a strong correlation betweenrevenue growth, customer relationships and innovation. By shift- a company’s business priorities and focus areas. For exam-ing from a cost-reduction emphasis, these companies can focus ple, retail, transportation, consumer product companies andon forward-looking aspects of their businesses. This revised banking sectors are focusing on customer relationship man-thinking is paving the way for breakthroughs at some companies. agement, Web 2.0/social media and business analytics to better understand, reach and service their customers.To develop strong customer relationships, midsize companies arepaying more attention to current and prospective customers. Many Many survey respondents agreed on the need for increased ITaffordable applications are available to help midsize companies spending in 2011. Indian firms are implementing a wide rangeexpand their customer outreach. Some of these applications include of projects for unified communications, cloud, software as a ser-Web 2.0, social media and mobility solutions, which can be highly vice and knowledge management. Top IT projects in India undercost-effective vehicles for reaching out and extending collaboration implementation or planned are:capabilities. Tools such as business analytics are helping compa- • Mobility and unified communicationsnies gain insights from customer data. • Cloud computing • Software as a Service (SaaS)Going forward, about 30 percent of respondents in the study • Knowledge management/human capital managementrevealed their plans to increase market share and revenues by • Green ITgoing to greener pastures globally. • IT infrastructure improvements • Business performance management (BPM)Increasing IT spending • Disaster recovery/business continuityNo matter what their growth strategy, most of the midsize com- • Supply chain managementpanies surveyed planned to increase spending on IT operations • Virtualization April 2011 5
    • STORYCOVEr cloud computing, with 66 percent Current Stage of IT Focus Areas Implementation in India of Indian companies adopting or planning to adopt it. Busi- nesses are taking advantage of virtualized and shared archi- tectures to ensure IT investments are more efficient while simul- taneously maximizing customer relationships. Partnering for growth To implement new IT strategies, over 70 percent of Indian midsize businesses are seeking a consulta- tive relationship with their primary IT provider. In addition to cost con- siderations, product reliability and performance are the main factors in primary IT vendor choice. Moreover, • Web 2.0/social media Indian midsize businesses look for an IT provider that can help • Regulatory compliance make the necessary changes needed to support innovative busi- • Collaboration ness strategies. • Customer relationship management (CRM) • Information management Eliminating barriers to address top IT priorities • Security management Despite understanding the need for improved and up-to-date IT • Business analytics/intelligence solutions, businesses face some difficulties in implementing them. • Financial management /finance operations Cost is a key inhibitor in mature market countries—but 51 per- • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) cent of Indian respondents felt that cost was an adoption barrier, compared with a global average of 58 percent. The inability of IT While there are many common areas for all geographies, there vendors to demonstrate returns on investment is a major factor are priorities specific to some countries. For example, ensuring in China, Korea, Singapore and the Czech republic. In Japan, the future viability of currently operating core IT systems is criti- nearly 7 in 10 midsize businesses cited cost as a top barrier to cal for companies in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Spain, France, skills and resource challenges. respondents in China and Korea South Africa, Poland and Germany. Disaster recovery and busi- mentioned cost and an inability to demonstrate short-term ben- ness continuity are top priorities in russia, New Zealand, Singa- efits as their main IT challenges. pore and Mexico. Financial claims automation, risk simulation and compliance are key areas for businesses in Brazil, South Africa Conclusion and New Zealand. Cost is still a top consideration for global respondents (58 percent) and Indian respondents (51 percent). But Indians do not mind IT Taking advantage of business analytics spending if it cuts business costs and improves efficiency. Busi- To determine the right strategies and execute them, many com- nesses are either investing or planning to invest in cloud computing, panies are turning to business analytics and information man- business analytics and unified communications among others.     • agement solutions. About 70 percent of the Indian companies surveyed have already started implementing analytics strategies or plan to do so in the current year, based on the huge volume of ever-increasing data. Implementing cloud computing Cost efficiency, rapid provisioning, flexibility and efficiency are the major drivers for midsize businesses to turn to 6 FORWARD VIEW
    • feaTuRe STOrYdata management: tapping your most valuable assetA doctor’s office takes an X-ray of a knee. On seeing the results, the physician decides to send the image to a specialist. rather than packing the film into an envelope and sending it by courier, as was common practice only a few years ago, the office transmits the image digitally. In the process, both medical offices add a large image file to their stored data. Marketing at IBM, “and if you do a great job on the foundation, it makes everything that you would want to put on top of it that much easier to erect. And so it all begins by choosing a database that is powerful enough and yet simple enough that it can support your business requirements.” Other data systems also may be in place, typically including an On today’s smarter planet, similar scenarios involving connected accounting system, customer service and support, enterprise companies occur every day. It doesn’t matter that an organization resource planning, customer relationship management and, if may have only a few dozen or a few hundred employees. The data you’re doing business on the web, online sales systems. Chung a midsize business generates can grow disproportionately to the cautions, however, that midsize business should pursue solutions organization’s size. And when a midsize business generates tera- that are both within their current capabilities and scalable enough bytes of data a year, finding a way to access information, extract to allow for growth. “Most midsize organizations don’t have their insights and put it to use becomes a challenge. own onsite database administrator or a fully staffed application development team. They buy solutions. And they need to deploy As IBM’s Anita Chung notes, “Data volume is doubling every two an information management solution set they can manage with years for the average organization, and a lot of that data must limited resources.” be managed for years.” Chung, who serves as Worldwide Market Segment Manager, Database Server Go-to-Market Strategy, con- Matching management to capabilities and needs tinues: “Organizations of all sizes need to rely on their core assets, A key step, therefore, is to assess what you have, what you which include business data—and there is always the need for need, what you can do and what you want to do. But don’t hold better performance and higher service levels at lower costs.” yourself back. In today’s highly instrumented, interconnected and intelligent “There’s variety in midsize business,” says Wozniak. “Some are world, organizations often look to business analytics to gain the a little bit more stable in terms of their business focus and some insights and performance they need from data. But business ana- really have jewel-like, perfect IT. And there are others at the point lytics isn’t a starting point—you can’t just jump in without laying where they need to make a list—they don’t even know what they the right groundwork. You need a foundation of information man- don’t have.” agement applications and processes in place first. An error common to midsize companies, however, is that they sel- Beginning with a database—and growing from there dom realize how much their company might grow—or how much Your midsize business may have some of the necessary founda- their data will grow even if the company remains the same size. tion already established—a database, for example. “The data- Explains Wozniak: “Companies often think that their IT require- base is the foundation of all information management,” notes ments are only going to expand as the business does, and that Richard Wozniak, Program Director, Information Management the business isn’t going to be four times bigger any time soon.7 FORWARD VIEW April 2011 7
    • STORYFEATUrE But what a lot of companies are seeing is that they need to A holistic view, however, also can yield specific benefits—cost drive increased profitability, increasing automation and reduc- savings, for example. “The cost savings in the database realm are ing the amount of time that vital employees spend on non- amplified,” says Wozniak, “because it goes through that whole productive tasks.” data life cycle from design and deployment all the way through archiving and eventual retirement of data.” In other words, they’re seeing the need to drive both the internal processes and the externally facing customer experience of busi- Using information to drive business success ness by managing business information. In the end, it’s the usability of information that is important. “There is really no time to be working with unreliable data,” says Achieving the benefits of holistic data management IBM’s Chung. “No matter what the economic conditions are, it is Business analytics can indeed provide valuable insight that important for businesses and organizations to be smart. There is helps organizations achieve the goals Wozniak cites. But other just no margin for error if an organization wants to survive, much key steps should take place first. To set the stage for business less compete.” analytics, the organization should establish a firm foundation of databases, information management processes for effective and A solid foundation for information management therefore becomes secure data storage, data warehousing for categorizing and seg- critical for any company, whether it is planning to move to business menting data so it’s usable in its different pieces, and enterprise analytics or not. Information and its management, says Chung, content management for determining whether data should be “is going to drive your business performance, your service level archived or readily available at various stages of its life cycle. improvements, and ultimately competitive differentiation.” • Taking advantage of all of these capabilities can give an organi- zation a holistic perspective on its data that will make information more available and more useful in all its various forms. Ultimately, the company can achieve the ability to truly analyze its data and to gain insights across the different types of data and the different areas of the business—discovering what the data is revealing, where gaps occur and how the organization can use it more effectively for making business decisions. Where does India stand regarding IT trends? Test your understanding from the cover story 1. What area of IT focus is most important for midsize Indian 4. Which businesses are investing more in customer relationship companies? management? A: IT infrastructure improvements A: IT companies B: Cloud computing B: retail, transportation, consumer products and banking C: Security management C: Manufacturing sector 2. What is the most critical business priority for India’s midsize 5. What is the main challenge in implementing improved IT companies? solutions in mature market countries? A: Improved customer service A: Cost B: Cost reduction/improved efficiencies B: Inability of the IT vendor to demonstrate short-term benefits C: Collaboration C: lack of skills to work with improved IT solutions 3. What technology tops the list of IT focus area implementation in India today? A: Mobility/unified communications B: Web 2.0/social media C: Security management Answers on page 15 8 FORWARD VIEW
    • feaTuRe STOrYmaking the smarter planet areality for midsize businesses Ed Abrams is currently the Vice President of Marketing, IBM Midmarket. In this role, Ed is responsible for leading a diverse team that supports IBM’s business objectives with small and midsize businesses by developing, planning and executing offerings and go-to-market strategies designed to help midsize business grow. In this role Ed works closely and collaboratively with our sales and channels teams and our agency partners to deliver high-quality and effective marketing strategies, offerings and campaigns. Ed joined IBM 16W years ago and has held a number of roles within the IBM marketing organization in that time.e hear a lot these days about how our planet is becoming smarter. demanding today than they have been in the past. They haveBut what exactly is a smarter planet, and what does it mean more choice than they had in the past.for midsize organizations? To try to answer these questions,ForwardView spoke with Ed Abrams, Vice President of Market- Now, because midsize businesses tend to be more nimble anding for Midmarket at IBM. In his role, Ed works closely with IBM tend to be able to react to customer needs more effectively, theyinitiatives that help midsize clients benefit from the growing can grow their businesses faster and in different areas than theystrengths of a smarter planet. may have ever thought before.ForwardView: ForwardView:To begin, can you explain what the smarter planet is and why this Are we talking about fine tuning the way they’re doingis relevant for midsize companies? business or about something that’s fundamentally changing theEd Abrams: business model?A smarter planet is what is happening to the world that we all live Ed Abrams:in today. There is technology in everything that is out there. We We can actually be talking about both. There are things on aare seeing that, with instrumentation and interconnectivity, much smarter planet that companies in the midmarket can do from amore intelligence is coming out of the world. very tactical and practical perspective in terms of basic CrM and ErP-like solutions, but we are also talking about bringing togetherThat’s not something that’s gated by customer size or by business technology and business strategy to find new and different wayssize. The smallest businesses in the world and the largest busi- to exploit a business.nesses in the world can use information as a competitive weapon.And that’s what we’re seeing many, many times in companies like It can be as simple as changing the way they think aboutMoosejaw Mountaineering, a small retailer out of the West Coast point-of-sale solutions to provide a more rich customer experi-who has created a new business model and expanded their cus- ence. But it can also be changing the whole supply chain andtomer set globally by using customer information to better provide strategic delivery mechanisms to grow their business and totheir customers with the products and services they’re looking for. leap-frog competition.ForwardView: ForwardView:It sounds like one of the advantages of the smarter planet is that It sounds like the impact is both internal and external.it levels the playing field. Ed Abrams:Ed Abrams: One of the things that a smarter planet is doing is that it’s allow-It does level the playing field. But the challenge that it presents ing companies to build much more customer loyalty. By havingto midsize businesses is that they’ve got to find new and different access to better information on customer wants and needs, andways to serve their customers. Their customers are much more on customer opportunities and areas for growth, companies are April 2011 9
    • STORYFEATUrE able to better support them and better provide them with what empower their teams to make better decisions? What are they they need. doing to provide and identify the key insights that will drive growth and success? It’s not all about big, giant organizational change. A good example of that is a company like Performance Bicycle where IBM and our Business Partners have worked ForwardView: together to give them a much better CrM capability and What are some of the steps a company should take to position solution to allow them to ensure that they can anticipate what it is themselves to participate in the smarter planet? that the bicycling enthusiast is really looking for during different Ed Abrams: times of the year—and ensure that they’re delivering that through One of the first things is to talk to their IBM Business Partner or their catalog and e-catalog business in a way that preempts com- talk to IBM directly—and not just about what their technology petition and allows them to more effectively provide value. goals are. Those are conversations we all have all the time. But what they should really be doing is thinking about what their busi- Then from the internal perspective, I think what you’re seeing is ness goals are. What are they aspiring for their organization to that there is the opportunity for companies to be far more effi- become? Are they using information and analytics effectively in cient and effective with their own operations and really be able to their organization? reduce their IT infrastructure costs and their IT infrastructure labor and burden and to reinvest it to grow their businesses. ForwardView: Of course, these will vary from company to company, but have A good example of that is a company out on the West Coast, you found some common areas? Sun World, where because they were able to streamline their IT Ed Abrams: environment and get better data out of the system at the same What we see is that business analytics is a starting point. Are time, they were able to better manage their inventory, reduce companies able to unlock the information that they already have inefficiency and waste, and get a much greater yield out of their inside their organization and pull the key insights out? perishable product line. This is actually allowing them to sell more of the produce that they harvest, lower their operating costs and Another is, as they look at their IT environment, have they been as grow their business. cost-effective as they can? Are they leveraging things like virtual- ization and other technologies to ensure that they are getting the ForwardView: most out of their existing IT environment before investing more? What do you see in the future then for these internal and external processes? And then finally, are they doing things in cloud computing that Ed Abrams: really are allowing them to branch into new and different applica- Specific to the midsize business, we really are seeing cloud tion areas and get better insights into how to grow their business? computing become a reality. There was a period of time where most midsize companies were a little hesitant to think about put- ForwardView: ting different aspects of their business into the cloud. And what How has IBM helped make the smarter planet a reality for we’re seeing now is that a lot of these businesses have recog- midsize companies? nized that cloud computing and the capabilities that exist around Ed Abrams: cloud really free them up to be much more real-time reactive to One of the things that we can absolutely point to is the relation- marketplace needs. ships that we have with our Business Partners. We’ve got some phenomenal Business Partners with tremendous amounts of ForwardView: industry and IT skill that can help our customers approach their We’re talking about something big—a planet. What can an indi- business and their business problems and apply IT to solve them. vidual do to make the planet smarter? We’ve enabled those partners with some very strong solutions Ed Abrams: and product offerings such as our Cognos offerings which provide The reality is, while we do talk about a smarter planet, it really outstanding business analytics and business insight capabilities. starts with smarter individuals. And what an individual in a mid- Continued on page 12 size business can do to start to take advantage of a smarter planet and drive change inside their organization is to just think about and challenge themselves on how they are using informa- tion differently inside their organization. What are they doing to 10 FORWARD VIEW
    • feaTuRe STOrYstart small, get big resultswith business analyticsHow does your organization make business decisions? Do you go with a “gut feeling” because you lack accurate and completedata? Or do you have visibility into your processes, performance,offerings and customers to support smart, fact-based decisions?With business data today growing at exponential rates, the need Start small, get b with business an How does your orga business decisions? a "gut feeling" becau accurate and comple you have visibility inalso is increasing to gather, analyze and use data wisely. In a processes, performanhighly instrumented, interconnected and intelligent world, busi- and customers to sup based decisions?ness analytics can help your midsize organization achieve valu-able insights and build competitive strengths. With business data t exponential rates, thUsing business analytics, a smart organization can enhance increasing to gather, data wisely. In a highopportunities for profitable growth, optimize the allocation and instrumented, intercodeployment of resources and capital, and proactively manage intelligent world, burisk. A company using business analytics is not overwhelmed by most impact. midsize organization achieve valuable insights and build competitive stre can help your Many companies find the greatest return on invest-today’s vast amounts of data and instead can turn that data into ment in business productivity and processes, with additional ben- Using business analytics, a smart organization can enhance opportunities for profitablea business advantage. efits in technology operations. optimize the allocation and deployment of resources and capital, and proactively manag company using business analytics is not overwhelmed by today’s vast amounts of dataBut where does a company begin? A recent data into a Aberdeen Group found that among top-per- turn that study by business advantage. forming consumer products and retail companies who use busi- But where does a company begin?Know when you’re ready ness analytics, 57 percent employed it to improve operationalIn business planning and operations, a common question relationships youre ready distributors, and 50 percent used it in Know when with their retail In business planning and operations, a common question is: "What should we be doingis: “What should we be doing?” The same is true for business working with partner companies. Forty-three percent used busi- true for business analytics. A company considering a business analytics implementationanalytics. A company considering a business analytics ness analytics in working it should be doing with its data. provid- early in the process what with logistics and transportationimplementation should ask early in the process what it should be ers, and 35 percent used it in working with materials and partsdoing with its data. suppliers. keep an eye onlythesmall number of analyzing data "Always Significantly, on a business goal: top performing to achieve usefu information." companies—21 percent—used it only for internal purposes.Usually, the answer is threefold: create an information-driven Usually, the answer is three-fold: create an information-driven business culture that colbusiness culture that collects and analyzes data, present infor- The same study found that the greatest number of U.S. insight, and empower actions analyzes data, present information in a way that enhances compa-mation in a way that enhances insight and empower actions that nies deploy business analytics81 percent of the most accountingcompanies—20 to 25 resources with decisions. Some in their finance and successful than average or underperforming companies—say they have a plan that makes these thalign resources with decisions. Some 81 percent of the most departments. Other areas of significant use include: 49 percent in possible.*successful companies—20 to 25 percent more than average or customer service and in the sales process; 41 percent in informa-underperforming companies—say they have a plan that makes tionif your answer includes any or all of these goals, youre ready to get started with bus So technology; and 35 percent in product marketing.these three goals possible.* Implement your solution appropriately Follow key steps for success with analytics your company, youll need t Once youve determined that business analytics can benefitSo if your answer includes any or all of these goals, you’re ready Wherever you deploy business analytics, however, there are key greatest return on in area where it will have the most impact.. Many companies find theto get started with business analytics. steps to productivity first processes, withexamine your analytical business follow. The and is to carefully additional benefits in technology operations. needs—from data sources to data users, including how peopleImplement your solution appropriately use data, why they use it and how quickly they need analysis.Once you’ve determined that business analytics can benefit your This will lay the foundation for an analytics strategy that supportscompany, you’ll need to identify the area where it will have the a data-driven company. April 2011 11
    • STORYFEATUrE Early and sustained attention to data, quality and governance operational and transactional. It should provide both man- are important. So are regular and ongoing internal and external aged and ad hoc reports—and export information in stan- reviews of processes and metrics. dardized formats that are useful in the context of business, even when they draw on information generated by heteroge- But always keep an eye on the business goal: analyzing data neous technologies. to achieve useful, actionable information. Your implementation • The solution should be modular, enabling the organization to should empower non-technical users with information delivery, start with the functions it needs, whether reporting, querying, reporting and visualization capabilities they can employ on a analysis, visualization, planning, budgeting or forecasting. self-service basis. • It should be easy to use, reducing the time required for train- ing and enabling non-technical staff to perform complex Also keep an eye on your implementation rate. You don’t need an tasks such as drill-downs and dashboard creation. Ease extensive data warehouse to reap benefits. In fact, starting small of use will support rapid adoption—and the creation of an is the best approach for the midsize business. While you should information-driven business culture. plan future ways to use your analyses and ways to expand into • Functionality should be preconfigured not only to reduce different areas of your business, you can, as the Aberdeen Group deployment time for IT but to support self-service among study found, achieve considerable success on the departmental users. Simplified implementation and management can or functional level. reduce the burden on IT staff. Ongoing administration by non-IT staff can increase your return on investment. An incremental strategy that builds on small successes lets you start with the types of reports, analysis or planning func- Ultimately, the analytics that these capabilities make possible can tions you need first. In finance, for example, business analyt- drive an information agenda that fuels business optimization and ics can address cash flow, balance sheets, or profit and loss. drives growth. A modular approach can give you the functionality For your workforce, it can address salary planning, project you need when you need it, and let you grow your analytics capa- management or resource planning. In customer relations, it bilities with the business. • can address profitability, marketing effectiveness and customer churn. *IBM Institute for Business Value, Business analytics and optimization for the intelligent enterprise (PDF 393KB), Choose a solution with broad, easy-to-use capabilities December 2009. t’s obvious that business analytics can produce a lot of results. To get those results, you’ll need a solution with a comparable range of capabilities. You’ll want a solution that takes you far beyond the limited capabilities of the spreadsheets that many companies use to analyze metrics. Consider the following when choosing a solution: • A business analytics solution should have broad capabili- ties for a wide range of uses—from financial to production, Continued from page 10 different cloud-based solutions as well as a set of purpose-built solutions for midsize businesses as part of our Smarter ForwardView: Business Solution Portfolio. These solutions are going to What’s coming in 2011 that will be especially helpful and be designed specifically to help midsize businesses with appealing to midsize companies? everything from desktop virtualization to collaboration to docu- Ed Abrams: ment management. And we’re committed to making sure that This year we’re going to be very focused on ensuring that we these are effective solutions delivered through our Business are delivering against the needs that I spoke of earlier from Partners that solve the problems or challenges of our midsize a cloud perspective. We’re working very hard on a series of business customers. • 12 FORWARD VIEW
    • April 2011 13
    • VenkaTRaman VQ&A 7 big Questions from workflow to conference calls uc to become backbone of businesses UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS (UC) IS GOING TO CHANGE THE WAy THE MOBIlE WORKFORCE IS OPERATING TODAy. MOBIlE WORKERS WIll BE ABlE TO CARRy THEIR UC-ENABlED VIRTUAl OFFICES WHEREVER THEy GO. UC WIll FIND A PlACE BEyOND THE COMMUNICATIONS AND BECOME PArT OF THE BUSINESS PrOCESS ITSElF. IBM GlOBAl TECHNOlOGY SErVICES IS ASSISTING ClIENTS AROUND THE GlOBE TO ExPlOIT THE CONVERGENCE OF VOICE, VIDEO AND DATA, SAyS VENKATRAMAN V, COUNTRy MANAGER—ENTERPRISE SERVICES OFFERINGS AS PART OF GlOBAl TECHNOlOGy SERVICES AT IBM INDIA. ForwardView: What are the key necessity, a new generation of workers Corporate demand for interoperability and trends that you foresee in the has a new expectation for IM as the the maturing of industry standards will workplace enabled by Unified preferred method of business interaction. force unified communications providers Communication (UC)? This will fuel more rapid adoption of to embrace interoperability. Converged, Venkatraman V: The virtual workplace unified communications as traditional aggregated and rich presence will allow will become the rule. No need to leave the IM becomes the core extension point businesses and individuals to better find office. Just bring it along. Desk phones for multi-modal communications. and reach the appropriate resources, and desktop computers will gradually removing inefficiencies from business disappear, replaced by mobile devices, ForwardView: What level of UC processes and daily lives. including laptops that take on traditional integration do you foresee with office capabilities. Social networking tools line-of-business applications? ForwardView: What new and virtual-world meeting experiences Venkatraman V: Beyond phone calls collaboration models are likely will simulate the feeling of being there in to collaborative business processes, to emerge? person. Work models will be changed companies will go beyond the initial Venkatraman V: New meeting by expanded globalization and green capabilities of IM—like click-to-call and models will emerge. Hang up on routine, business initiatives that reduce travel and online presence—to deep integration with calendared conference calls. The encourage work at home. business processes and line-of-business definition of “meetings” will radically applications, where they can realize the transform and become increasingly ForwardView: Which new greatest benefit. ad hoc and instantaneous based on generation of collaboration context and need. HD video and audio tools is now becoming adopted ForwardView: How much of technologies will significantly influence in the workplace? interoperability we can expect online corporate meeting experiences Venkatraman V: Instant messaging from various UC vendors? to deliver more life-like experiences (IM) and other real-time collaboration Venkatraman V: Interoperability and demanded by the next-generation tools will become the norm, bypassing open standards will tear down proprietary workers who will operate more efficiently e-mail. Just as e-mail became a business walls across business and public domains. in this familiar environment. 14 FORWARD VIEW
    • ForwardView: How is in training engineers, consultants business strategy. Think through theIBM assisting its clients and services professionals in IBM UC capabilities that best support yourin adopting UC? industry-leading Global Services business objectives. Catalog the UCVenkatraman V: large-scale Method and reference Architectures, capabilities your organization alreadyadoption of IBM’s unified communications which have been applied to thousands has in place. Avoid the temptation toand collaboration platform and services is of engagements. incorporate all the available bells andgrowing. IBM Global Technology Services whistles if they are unnecessary.is assisting clients around the globe to ForwardView: What are yourexploit the convergence of voice, video key recommendations for Third, lay out a roadmap. Makeand data. IBM is providing the services, organizations looking to sure you are leveraging your currentassets and skills to deliver consulting, adopt UC? investments as appropriate, even asdesign and architecture implementation; Venkatraman V: First, focus on the you take advantage of new technologies.thereby, seamlessly integrating the business view. What aspect of human Develop an implementation plan solution into the existing environment. latency are you trying to address? Outline driven by your business priorities.The IBM investments will address clients’ your business priorities, operational Stage your rollout to get the highestrequirements for integration of multi- constraints, regulatory requirements and rOI first.platform environments and multiple budget considerations. These will be verynetwork equipment providers, while key in prioritizing the what, where and Finally, establish an ongoing approachmasking the complexity of delivering how of implementing UC solutions. to re-evaluating new technologiesthe solution with a proven reference and capabilities as they evolve toarchitecture to address mission-critical Second, develop your UC strategy continue to add to the benefits youbusiness needs. IBM is heavily investing and architecture based on your can get from UC.About Venkatraman VVenkatraman V is Country Manager—Enterprise Services Offerings as part of Global Technology Services at IBM India. An engineer/MBA, Venkatraman has over 27 years experience in the industry across sales and marketing channels and product managementIn his current role, Venkatraman is responsible for Offerings Management & Development for Enterprise Services Offerings, Global Technology Services for the ISA region. Enterprise Services covers the areas of networking, communications and security services.It includes attaining the financial targets, understanding the marketplace, and maintaining or exceeding IBM’s current market shareposition versus key competitors in the technology services market, as well as managing product life cycles.His focus in this role is to leverage assets and show differentiated value of IBM assets to its customers. Previously, Venkatraman wasthe Service Product line leader for Integrated Communication Services, which focused on networking and communication services. QUIZ ANSWErS 1: (A) IT infrastructure improvements 2: (B) Cost reduction/improved efficiencies 3: (A) Mobility/unified communications 4: (B) retail, transportation, consumer products and banking 5: (A) Cost April 2011 15
    • Midsize business resources Easy-to-use contacts and information: Call us: A newly enhanced Concierge service makesBusiness Solutions—IBM’s industry and technical expertise, plus it easier than ever to do business with us. One numberstrong products, services and Business Partner relationships, can gets you direct, guided access to the vast IBM networklead to successful business solutions such as customer relationship of people, Business Partners, products and services.management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM). Simply call 1-800-425-3333.Hardware—Combining technical innovation with built-inreliability, the IBM hardware portfolio for midsize companies is Visit IBm on the Web: If you’ve enjoyeddesigned to meet business and budgetary requirements. reading this magazine, you can find more information and resources to help your business atSoftware—IBM software products and industry solutions help www.ibm.com/smb/in/expressadvantagebusinesses innovate and become more flexible, while making themost of current resources and controlling costs. Send us your feedback: Suggest story ideas and k d bac tell us what you want to hear about in an upcomingServices—IBM services such as application management, Fee issue. Write to: editorfv@cybermedia.co.insecurity and training can help you reduce costs, increaseproductivity and develop technical resources. you r Get your copy: From Fear to Value: CIO Strategies atfinancing—A suite of IBM® Global Financing products and Get PY www.ibm.com/in/forwardview/forwardservices are designed from the ground up to be smart, simple, COcomplete and accessible. Join InfoBOOm!: Must-know people, ideasBusiness Partners—Our partners provide simple, customized and and opinions for midsize businesses. Advice andaffordable solutions in your locality—all with the backing of IBM. opinions from industry experts. Comments from like-minded peers. real insight that can change how you do business. http://www-07.ibm.com/businesscenter/in/infoboom/