Sustainability Technology and Services
Enterprises in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are consuming cloud at a faster rate than in other geographies. But as the cloud adoption frenzy cools, enterprises will need to realign their cloud journeys to address the unique challenges of the APAC market.
In this webinar, Everest Group’s experts will provide buyers and service providers insights into the latest developments, emerging patterns, and potential opportunities of the APAC cloud landscape.
Our speakers will discuss:
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The next evolution of technology is upon us, and business leaders are racing to understand new concepts like Web 3.0 and Metaverse – both generating strong reactions from hype acceptance to extreme cynicism. Regardless, organizations that explore the business benefits, experiment early, and work with the right partners are bound to see the full potential of both.
In the coming years, we expect to see business adoption of Web 3.0 and Metaverse in some form or another, as they evolve and expand business boundaries.
Watch this on-demand webinar as our experts deliver their perspectives on Web 3.0 and Metaverse and provide actionable insights to enterprises, service providers, and technology vendors.
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Most Important Supplier Performance Areas for Enterprises’ 2021 Business Priorities
There’s a mind-numbing alphabet soup of C-level titles in today’s enterprises. Beyond the standards, there’s also Chief Digital Officer, Chief Robotics Officer, Chief Automation Officer, Chief Cognitive Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Chief Experience Officer, and so on.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of course, is the one on whom the organization most depends, as “the buck stops there.” Historically, the CEO typically engaged with the Chief Finance Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Operating Officer. The CEO set the long term strategy, and the organization executed it. And the CEO was considered great if he or she could be the face of the organization to drive broader strategy, business development, and market leadership.
But digital disruption is driving massive transformation in the shape and flavor of the CEO’s role. While expected outcomes continue to be largely the same, today’s CEO must be technologically savvy, and must possess a techno-centric business view, not only to be the champion of digital transformation but also to take along the other C-level executives.
As digital transformation shrinks “front-to-back” processes, the CEO needs to understand the newer, shorter value chain, and how it makes the enterprise more competitive and relevant. Understanding this new world will also assist the CEO to be the best judge of digital transformation in the organization, rather than completely relying on business consultants.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are doing the opposite of what is needed. They are creating layers between the business and CEO by creating titles that serve as the “channel” to the CEO or the ear of the CEO. While this worked before digital disruption started creating havoc, innovation can now come from any part of the organization, and the CEO needs to be connected to that part.
Indeed, the CEO should ideally be the driver of digital transformation. Therefore, if the CEO does not understand Twitter, he/she can’t proactively suggest that as a channel to the HR team. If the CEO does not understand mobility, he/she can never outthink disruption or reimagine the business model. Of course, the CEO would have business leaders driving such change, (e.g., the HR head or CTO), but without the CEO’s proactive involvement and understanding of these fundamentally disruptive models, the enterprise won’t be able to derive business value.
What enterprises really need is a new CEO – a Chief Everything Officer. This is a C-level executive who understands everything in the digital landscape…the market, competition, customer, and, of course, technology. This CEO directly understands how digital disruption can impact different parts of the organization in order to create a vision for the enterprise that cannot be obtained from reliance on other C-level executives. Sure, the CEO would have a lot more bandwidth if other C-level executives were driving digital adoption. But that bandwidth would be valueless as the organization would be set up to fail. The reality is that digital transformation is not a project, but rather a business in and of itself. And the CEO must drive it in order to create meaningful value.
Is your company’s CEO the “Everything” he or she needs to be to enable the enterprise to compete and thrive in the midst of digital disruption?
But in performance rankings, TCS, Cognizant, HCL, Accenture and L&T Infotech are honored for creating best ‘overall experience’ for clients
Despite large-scale investments by service providers, 48 percent of enterprises surveyed by Everest Group are not satisfied with their service provider’s performance. In particular, service providers are performing poorly as “strategic partners” for enterprises and score an average rating of five on a scale of one to ten.
There are also significant gaps in enterprises’ expectations and service providers’ performance with respect to innovation, creative engagement models and day-to-day project management.
“Most service providers are perceived to be technically competent, but technical expertise and domain expertise are considered ‘table stakes’ by enterprises across industries,” said Chirajeet Sengupta, partner at Everest Group. “Enterprises now expect their service providers to move beyond day-to-day delivery and focus on larger strategic business issues. Unfortunately, service providers still have a long way to go to meaningfully engage clients and become strategic partners, and that is a significant concern for the industry. This research signals the wake-up call and offers service providers guidance on how to strategize their engagement approach and prioritize investments to meet mounting customer expectations.”
In general, enterprises believe that mid- and small-sized service providers bring considerably more innovation and engagement flexibility than their larger counterparts. In fact, enterprises believe some large service providers have become lethargic and complacent and are indifferent to client requirements.
In contrast to these sentiments, five predominantly large service providers received the honor of creating the best “overall experience” for clients, based on client commentary and weighted aggregate ratings given by interviewed enterprises on key assessment dimensions.
These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report: “Customer (Dis)Satisfaction: Why Are Enterprises Unhappy with Their Service Providers?” The research summarizes over 130 interviews conducted with enterprises across the globe regarding the capabilities of their service providers with respect to applications, digital, cloud and infrastructure services. The report also details the technology investment priorities of enterprises and opportunity areas for service providers.
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While enterprises that correctly embrace digital stand to gain great rewards – not the least of which is survival – Everest Group research shows that the road to success is not a straight shot.
As an organization begins its digital journey, its initial investments are focused on streamlining the existing IT landscape to prepare for future digital initiatives. During this phase, enterprise IT generally focuses attention on traditional internal-to-IT success measures (cost, control, and compliance), and there is little need for redesign, nor much involvement from the broader organization. As a result, perceived barriers to adoption are few, and enterprises feel confident about the outcome of their technology investments – the journey looks clear and easy.
But just as the enterprise thinks it is on a clear path to digital nirvana, it hits a speedbump that threatens to wreck its transmission and send it spinning off the road. Once the initial streamlining work is done, the next phase requires the IT and business functions to work together to achieve digital goals, which requires significant change.
Suddenly, what seemed easy becomes much more complicated, requiring the enterprise face challenges such as:
And lest you think you can find an alternative path to avoid this barrier, beware: our research indicates that nearly half – 43 percent – of North American enterprises are caught in this murky area we call the “Digital Trough.”
What should you do when you’ve hit the Digital Trough?
Just as failure to address problems with your car’s undercarriage can lead to erosion of your transmission, failure to address problems in the Digital Trough can lead to erosion of executive support for your digital transformation.
Here are a few strategies you can use to continue your digital adoption journey and reap the longer-term rewards of digital transformation:
The last point addresses the necessity for a pervasive approach to digital adoption (see our So You Think You’re Digital blog) as the benefits of a converged, end-to-end digital strategy significantly outweigh those of an isolated, piecemeal approach.
Once past the Digital Trough, our research suggests that the path to digital success is smoother…and well worth the trip.
To learn more about digital adoption patterns in North America, check out our just released research report, North American Digital Adoption Survey – How pervasive is your digital strategy.
Our readers are also very interested in hearing about your experiences with digital adoption. Are you suffering the impacts of the Digital Trough? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.
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For some time now, large companies have shied away from corporate venturing, unsure of returns and/or efficiency of capital usage. Enterprises have seen their venture initiatives fail, and many give up hope quickly after initial enthusiasm. Even corporates that have managed to run successful funds have struggled to monetize their leveraged investments as they scale up. Given these challenges, it’s not surprising that enterprises with large, under-utilized cash piles chose to maintain the status quo, rather than invest in an emerging startup economy.
However, we’re starting to see a significant change in the funding landscape. This week, Google announced plans for a new operating structure that effectively makes the eponymous search engine giant a subsidiary of a new holding company, Alphabet. One of the main driving rationales for this decision was to delink Google from other ventures in which the parent organization is involved, and give it more room to experiment with new ideas. After all, Google has diversified into areas including life sciences, drone delivery, space research, and home automation.
Last month, Workday, the enterprise SaaS poster boy, announced Workday Ventures, the company’s first strategic fund focused on identifying, investing, and partnering with early to growth stage companies that place data science and machine learning at the core of their approach to enterprise technology. In June 2015, Intel Capital led a US$40 million Series D investment in Onefinestay, best described as a luxury Airbnb competitor. And other corporate venture funding efforts have figured prominently in the recent hyper-competitive boom in the deals landscape.
Corporate venture funding has taken a new lease on life, and aroused widespread interest, notably in The Economist and Harvard Business Review. This is not without reason. AMD, Dell, and Google are technology giants with early venture funds, and firms such as Microsoft and Salesforce made similar moves later. A CB Insights study on corporate venture investment trend found that corporate venture capital activity witnessed a significant uptick in 2014, with deals by corporate venture arms jumping 25 percent YoY and funding rising 76 percent. The most active corporate venture investors in 2014 among technology companies were Cisco, Comcast, Google, Intel, Salesforce, Qualcomm, and Samsung, underscoring the attention being paid to this route.
In terms of exits by corporate venture investors, technology players again emerged on top, led by Google Ventures (OnDeck Capital, Hubspot, and Nest Labs), Intel Capital (Yodlee, [x+1], and Prolexic Technologies), and Samsung Ventures (Fixmo, Cloudant, and Engrade), and Qualcomm (Divide, MoboTap, and Location Labs). The marquee corporate venture deals in 2014 were Cloudera (US$900 million, led by Intel Capital), Tango (US$280 million, led Alibaba), and Uber (US$1.2 billion, led by Google Ventures). The chief areas of investment include Internet of Things, analytics, security, and platform technologies.
|Differences between corporate venture funding and conventional VCs|
Given improved macroeconomic confidence, there is a lot of “easy money” floating around the technology continuum. And this is beginning to result in a “perpetual investment bubble.” While this isn’t to say that doomsday is just round the corner, with everything and anything getting funded (does anyone remember Yo?), utility, monetization models, and future relevance seem to be the last things on investors’ agenda. More often than not, there is a fine line between a blunder and a brilliant bet. Everyone and anyone in this easy dollar-fueled utopia tend to be under the messianic illusion that the next multi-billion dollar bet is around the corner and will change the world. Most players tend to add incremental value over existing processes, systems, and interfaces, rather than changing them as we know it, which is the reality of investing.
Given their tremendous business acumen, corporate funds have talent, skill set, pedigree, and, ultimately, deep pockets to exist and thrive in a volatile knowledge economy as they look to identify and nurture a truly revolutionary idea beyond just incremental technology value. That said, there is likely to be significant churn once the rose-tinted glasses come off. Still and all, with the strategic depth and domain guidance large enterprises can provide, their portfolio companies are likely to be better positioned to ride the wave.
In many newspapers these days, one doesn’t have to read very far without tripping over the latest sensational article on a security breach. The black hat community conducting security attacks is incredibly well funded and incredibly sophisticated and our traditional firewall security precautions are woefully inadequate. The implications of this for companies are stark and robust. I think we must start with how we approach security.
The list of attacks is long and includes, for instance, Target’s customers, Anthem’s healthcare customer records, and the U.S. federal government apparently being penetrated by the Chinese. Behind all this is the frightening prospect of a highly sophisticated black hat community potentially funded by national governments in China and Russia and increasingly being in alliance with organized crime. The black hats are conducting security threats on a scale that is both mind boggling and deeply worrying – not only right now but even more so over times as the R&D effort of this community drives increasing levels of sophistication.
To date, we have approached security as a hygiene vehicle – one and done. We think about it in terms of firewalls securing our data center or making different layers of IT or technology architecture secure. We invest once to try to imbue our technology with a level of defense, and then we seek to spread that investment over the technologies; and we expect the cost to decrease as the learning curve goes down. The problem with this is that it cannot stand against the R&D effort and the rate of improvement in the black hat community.
Therefore, we must change our expectations and how we buy security. We must have a separate security tower in which the expectation is the cost will rise over time and we will invest ever more money and time into ways to counteract the growing black hat menace. The black hats are not constrained to attacking just one functional element of an organization’s service chain; therefore, businesses need an overarching security solution that secures everything. The consequences of not countering this threat are immense.
When we approach security as a hygiene vehicle, we ask for a component of security and monitoring in each technology function. Whether it’s a data center, applications, network, or other infrastructure, we use firewalls, encryption, or other tools and techniques to harden our environment and make it less vulnerable. That’s all well and good, and this should continue. However, this is woefully inadequate on its own with the increasing sophistication and threat from the black hat community. We cannot expect to be defended or even maintain our corporate responsibility if we assume that a hygiene approach is adequate.
It’s clear that we must also procure a different kind of security that is overarching and that matches the rapidly changing security landscape vulnerabilities uncovered and exploited by extremely well-funded and incredibly gifted black hats. We must realize that a hygiene approach to security will prove to be dramatically ineffective against the black hats’ innovation. And we must expect that the cost of an overarching security function will increase because of the need to constantly invest in our capabilities to innovate – and innovate faster – to counteract their threats.
We see the changing expectations starting to happen with the chief security officer in a role outside of technology and reporting directly to the CFO, CEO or board. But we have not seen the kind of budget and capability being invested into that function that are necessary to counteract the growing threat.
Furthermore, we have yet to see service providers providing a managed service to this new entity. The managed services they offer are based on the normal managed services principle of providing a constant service that will get cheaper over time as the learning curve and technologies mature. That’s the underlying theme of all managed services. That principle gets stood on its head in the context of security when the adversaries’ sophistication keeps rising exponentially. The cost of sophistication to counteract the adversaries must rise equally – which doesn’t work in the managed services principle.
Furthermore, no one firm can have the sophistication to take on the Russians, Chinese, organized crime mob, and the black hat ecosystem. That’s not a reasonable expectation for even the largest organizations. Therefore, organizations must turn to service providers that can aggregate customers in order to match the investment of the black hat community. The services industry must get together to defeat this massive threat to businesses, but managed service offerings are not the answer. We must innovate at the same rate at the black hats; thus a provider’s expectation of cost dropping over time is false because the learning curve will not go down.
Bottom line: The cyber attacks situation will get worse. All businesses – including service providers and their customers – must expect that their investments in security will increase to match the ever-escalating threats.
Photo credit: Flickr