The speed with which highly competitive markets now change and the proliferation of mobility devices such as smartphones and tablets are main factors driving the rise of mobile business intelligence, according to Dane Anderson, VP, research director & region manager, Forrester Research.
Stories by Jack Loo
Marcelo De Santis has been with food and beverage giant Kraft Foods since 2001, taking on a variety of management roles within IT. Last year, he became director, information systems, Asia Pacific, providing IT leadership to the multi-billion-dollar business reporting to the global CIO and managing some 100 IT staff across 12 countries. De Santis shares more details on his role in Kraft Foods.
The failure to meet customers’ needs due to lack of insight is one of the main reasons why product launches fail, according to a recent survey from outsourcer Capgemini.
The Collaborating for Innovation Study examines evolving trends in product and service innovation across the manufacturing industry. It is based on responses from 189 participants, primarily at management level, from companies based in 15 countries.
According to the report, about two-thirds of respondents stated that less than half the products launched in the past three years have been successful, despite increased support for innovation at an executive level for innovation projects.
The survey noted that even after companies have put marketing in the lead role for innovation, they struggle to understand customer needs and produce new products that effectively meet those needs. For many companies, R&D departments and internal priorities have too much influence as well.
Capgemini suggests that a more active use of collaborative technologies like Web 2.0, collaborative platforms, virtual worlds provide opportunities to address this challenge. In addition, more structured application of known and proven methodologies – like design-to-value and voice of the customer – can help improve success rates. In recent times, companies have adopted these key methods to improve their products and services, highlighted the report.
A total of 79 per cent of respondents said the use of IT innovation tools assisted in collaboration with external parties. The study found that many manufacturing companies are leading the way in using these new technologies, including social networking sites and virtual worlds, such as Second Life, to drive innovation.
The study reveals that companies are increasingly looking externally for help, with 50 per cent of respondents leveraging external experts to fuel the innovation process. Most companies surveyed said they were effectively carrying out a range of supplier collaboration activities.
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The use of social media by organisations when dealing with the public needs regulation to protect sensitive information from being divulged by blundering staff, according to Ovum.
"The financial services industry has already made it a requirement that communications through social media are recorded and retained. We think this needs to go a step further and that all organisations using social media to interact with customers should be regulated," said Aphrodite Brinsmead, an analyst with Ovum.
Research firm Ovum has predicted communications providers like AT&T, BT, Orange Business Services and Verizon Business would become major cloud providers in the coming months.
Researchers are saying these companies have made considerable progress in the arena in just over a year, and in terms of services, can now compete with established players from the IT industry.
When you first started out at F5, what were your marching orders?
We were about two thirds of the way through an enterprise resource planning (ERP) project that was in grave danger of not succeeding. And my marching orders from John McAdam, our CEO, were very simple: “Make sure that it does not fail.” So I spent my first eight months working with the vendors and the IT team.
CIOs need to drop their mentality of “battening down the hatches” and change to one that prepares them to support their company’s growth, according to a Frost & Sullivan executive.
“CIOs are cautiously optimistic that the economic downturn is waning, and that conditions will be more favourable for growth over the next six months,” said Craig Baty, global vice-president of IT practice, Frost & Sullivan, who spoke at the analyst firm’s TechStrategies 2009.
The market for software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) is estimated to grow from US$35 million in 2008 to US$193 million by 2012, according to Springboard Research.
Coupled with the low level of on-premise ERP applications penetration, the region is tipped to experience faster growth especially in the markets of China and India, pointed out Balaka Baruah Aggarwal, senior market analyst - emerging software at Springboard. The numbers were from the research firm's bulletin titled 'SaaS ERP in Asia Pacific: An Overview'.
When Eugene Lau Yuk Mun, senior vice president, DBS Bank, was considering virtualisation as a possibility for reducing IT costs, he realised it was just not feasible.
Firstly, his budget did not allow for additional investments. "You've got to invest in the software, and SAN so that it can act as local storage, plus high-powered machines," said Lau, who looks after the bank's infrastructure management services. Then there was the existing mixed OS environment in the bank, which makes running virtual machines difficult and raises the challenge of protectionism from the various business silos.
Worldwide malicious code activity reached alarming figures last year, said information security vendor Symantec.
Recognising the poor state of IT among healthcare non-government
organisations (NGOs), Lien Foundation, an NGO that specialises in
Early this year, international financial services group Credit Suisse kick-started its worldwide proactive information security strategy, called the Security Operations Centre (SOC) program.
Credit Suisse, which provides private banking, investment banking, asset management and insurance services worldwide, is active in more than 50 countries and employs about 50,000 people.
Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and US-based Rice University have successfully created a microchip that uses 30 times less electricity while running seven times faster than today's technology.
How important is IT to a nuclear power station?
IT has become vital, though originally of course nuclear power designs pre-dated computing as we know it. In fact the nuclear and the IT industries have grown up as distant cousins in parallel. Both started as military initiatives in the mid-20th century. Both have evolved into significant industries with impact. In the last 10 years, they have been increasingly intertwined in their destiny. Computer technology generally is intrinsic to the development and operation of nuclear facilities.
The Unified Communications (UC) services market in the Asia Pacific has been tipped to grow by 13.4 percent this year and clock revenues of US$2.94 billion, according to analysts firm Frost & Sullivan.
Asian enterprises are expected to adopt a cautionary approach towards IT investments in the next two years, preferring to spend on applications that can shift capital costs to operational costs and focus on growing top and bottom-lines. This is likely to work in favour of driving demand for hosted UC services which offer OPEX (operational expenditure) or utility-based pricing models, said Frost & Sullivan analysts.
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