Tag Archives: Forrester

Forrester : We need our customers more than they need us


The Power Of Putting Customers At The Center Of Your Business

November 06-07, 2012 in London

We’ve entered a new era that Forrester calls the age of the customer — a time when focus on the customer matters more than any other strategic imperative.


To make the leap from incremental improvements to breakthrough transformation, companies must routinely perform a set of sound, standard practices. These practices fall into six high-level disciplines:

  • customer experience strategy;
  • customer understanding;
  • design;
  • governance;
  • measurement; and
  • culture.

How To Profit From The Outside-In Perspective On Customer Experience

Customer experience leads to profits . . . but not because it makes your customers feel warm and fuzzy, and not if it’s just a slogan. Customer experience leads to profits . . . if you treat it as a business discipline. In fact, customer experience is the greatest untapped source of both decreased costs and increased revenues in most industries — but only if you take the time to understand what drives it and how you can benefit financially from improving it.

I particularly like the Fidelity case study from the Outside In book.  The competition for share of the High Net Worth individual wallet is intensifying. The quality of Wealth and Asset Management services are key brand differentiators in the Financial Services industry.  An increase of four and a half times in individual investments is truly stellar.

Kerry makes the point that Internal Shared Services functions [HR, Finance, Procurement, IT] must also take an Outside In approach.  Typically the guiding principles of these back-office capabilities is to hold the Business captive because they firmly believe that there is no alternative.  This level of arrogance will not be tolerated by the Business who will choose to spend their budget elsewhere. Outcome based services are delivered by 3rd Party Providers who have built their brand on delivering on their promises to the customer.


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Is Reshoring the way to increased World Competitiveness?

Professor Stéphane Garelli is my favourite Economist. He is an authority on World Competitiveness and also the director of the IMD’s World Competitiveness Center: his research focuses particularly on how nations and enterprises compete on international markets

On 31st May IMD announced the findings of its annual World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY). The WCY rankings measure how well countries manage their economic and human resources to increase their prosperity.

Here are the summary results for the UK and the US.

2012 Ranking




 Overall Competitiveness



 Economic Performance



 Government Efficiency



 Business Efficiency






Report Finding 28. From Service to Re-industrialization

“Service competitiveness and the ability to integrate and manage a global business model were at the core of the competitiveness of Europe and the US. However both regions have lost 20% of their industry in 20 years, thus creating a higher level of permanent unemployment.

Companies reassess extreme outsourcing and delocalization. “Reshoring” and re-industrialization become an economic and political priority. There is no competitiveness without a sound manufacturing base”.

Harry Moser is the founder of the Reshoring Initiative


So like Manufacturing jobs will Information Technology Outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing jobs reshore?

Outsourcing Service Providers have been landing staff in the US and the UK for years.  What has changed is that the Visa Entry Criteria has been turned up a few notches on the dial.  Individuals must have niche skills which are in short supply.  This does not explain the hundreds of staff at one Retail Bank who are providing commodity Testing Service onshore.

Stephanie Moore is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research

She serves Sourcing and Vendor Management Professionals.

“Forrester clients should act now to help solve this problem. Encourage your vendors to hire local for local positions and invest in training those locals. This will solve your context and requirements problems, your visa problems and the improvement in productivity will make up for any price increase related to local labor”.

Reshoring of ITO and BPO jobs is already a major issue in the US presidential election debate.  Political will is setting the agenda for increased investment in job creation.  

The Indian Pure Plays, IBM, Accenture etc. will all have to invest in more positions being based locally at client site.

At the end of March 2012, the BBC reported that “the UK economy will contract in the first three months of 2012, taking the country back into recession, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)”.

Given the UK Economy reliance on Services jobs it appears that we are in need of a shot in the arm to kick start growth. 

Reshoring technology and knowledge worker jobs back to the UK may not make a material difference to the position of the UK in the WCY Ranking for 2013 but it feels like the right thing to do.  

Investing in Training and Career Development of graduates with intellectual firepower must be more important than chasing alpha / mammon.

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Forrester’s “Forrsights”

It is important to keep up with the latest research and predictions from the leading analysts.  With this in mind I have selected three contributions from Forrester.

  • There is a growing expectation gap between IT and the consumer
  • Key forces and challenges are driving the need to Transform IT 
  • The need for speed is accelerating – and IT isn’t keeping up

Matt Brown – Vice President serving CIOs

What we are witnessing is a growing expectations gap where consumer technology markets are moving so fast that IT is having a hard time keeping up.

Work is getting separated from place with more and more remote work.

Eveline Oehrlich (Hubbert) – BrightTalk webinar 31 May

+1 617-613-8803  –  eoehrlich@forrester.com  –  Blog: blogs.forrester.com/eveline_oehrlich

 Transform Your IT Organization With Process-Based Service Management

LINK to Webinar.  It is straightforward to register

My thanks to Eveline for sharing her presentation materials with me

There are three sets of forces shaping business demand

  1. Business Ready, Self Service Technologies are on the rise
  2. The number of empowered self-sufficient, tech-savvy workers is rising
  3. The Business Environment will be radically more complex

Key Challenges

  • An increasing IT capability gap
  • Technology tribes
  • Engineer-to-order
  • Lack of control with what processes and tools they work
  • Pace of change/complexity
  • Only 4% said that Business and IT were fused together

 These challenges require a shift to a modern IT (process based)

  1. A “changed” IT organization
  2. An effective understanding of key business services and how IT supports them
  3. Managing the IT supply chain as a service catalyst
  4. Adoption of best practice framework(s) 


  1. Think service from the outside in.  Is your service desk a service catalyst?
  2. Look at how you work with your Development Team – what is the communication, how could that be improved?
  3. Evaluate your change management process end-to-end.  Is there an opportunity for improvement?
  4. Reboot Service Management

 The stand out quote for me was – “ITIL is not a religion, don’t be a religious fan”

Sharyn Leaver – Vice President serving EA Professionals

It is easy to register to Forrsights – here is the LINK

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Revolutionising Applications for more Effective Engagement

Geoffrey Moore

Managing Director, TCG Advisors

Systems of Record are evolutionary whereas Systems of Engagement are revolutionary.

We are now living digitally mediated lives.

The structure of Business has changed from old hierarchal organisations to Business networks of specialised enterprises.

Use Systems of Engagement to create differentiated moments of engagement.

CIOs Must Plan Now For New Systems Of Engagement

by Ted Schadler (above), John C. McCarthy [Forrester]

“By 2016, smartphones and tablets will put power in the pockets of a billion global consumers. Mobile is not simply another device for IT to support with a shrunken website or a screen-scraped SAP application. Rather, mobile is the manifestation of a much broader shift to new systems of engagement. These systems of engagement help firms empower their customers, partners, and employees with context-aware apps and smart products. To remain vital in this business technology reformation, CIOs must step up and work with other executives to establish an “office of the chief mobility officer” to implement an enterprisewide mobile strategy. This team will coordinate the business and technology investments under a “design for mobile first” mantra that delivers four immediate benefits:

  1. fuel profitable growth with stickier offerings and mobile self-service;
  2. move faster along the mobile learning curve;
  3. aggregate mobile project budgets to fund needed engagement technology; and
  4. grow from an IT group focused on systems of record to a business technology group focused on systems of engagement”.

Operate efficiently to Innovate effectively.

Next Generation Applications have the power to drive innovation

IT is gridlocked in Operating instead of Innovating

Revolutionalising how you manage your Applications

Applications are measured and managed based on Business priorities

We live in an era where Business and Technology are one and the same always on and always connected and applications are at the centre of it.  A new era calls for a new approach.


Systems of Engagement are revolutionary and create differentiated and compelling consumer interactions online.

Heretofore Systems of Record Applications, for example SAP have processed large data sets (Big Data) and made the management of information more challenging.

New Systems of Engagement Applications will be dependent on the customer granting permission to use their personal data.  

An example of new Systems of Engagement are applications developed to interact with a persons wearable device in an earpiece, glasses or clothing.

This functionality has been available for use by the military and is already on the CIO radar.

If your organisation does not have the capability to Manage Next Generation Applications you will have no choice but to turn to an External Service Provider. 

So this means that the Technolgy capability needs to think more creatively about what is required in order to support the engagement of all stakeholders / external customers. 

“Every generation needs a new revolution.”

Thomas Jefferson

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Journey from IT to Empowered Business Technology

The Brightalk folks organised another set of super Wednesday webinars.

The subject that caught my eye was entitled “The new normal for IT Management” and was presented by Forrester analyst Eveline Oehrlich.

Here is the LINK but please note that you may have to register in order to view the webinar.

The key messages that I took away from her presentation were as follows:

Clients are buckling up on IT Consulting spend which is down from 11% last year to 6%

The Business is bypassing IT and building their own Shadow IT capabilities.

Shadow IT is the BYOD [Bring Your Own Device], on demand software applications and customised services that sit outside the control of the traditional IT organization.

This means that collaboration between the Business and internal / external service providers is critical to success.

We are on a journey from IT to empowered Business Technology innovation.

What is Empowered Business Technology?

The empowered era has brought about a paradigm shift for IT organizations. Employees and customers are no longer relying on IT to provision and manage technology. They are using social, mobile, cloud, and video technologies to bypass IT.

Forrester believes that these changes bring a unique opportunity for CIOs to step up and transform their IT organizations into influential and critical business partners. The voyage will not be easy for many CIOs, and it will require a completely different mindset, organizational competency, governance model, and sourcing strategy.

How CIOs can enable an empowered Business

Forrester sees three forces reshaping IT by 2020: the explosion of business-ready, self-service technologies; the growing influence of a tech-savvy, self-sufficient workforce; and a radically new business market shaped by emerging economies that will soon dwarf the established ones. These may not sound like IT concerns, but they will profoundly affect how IT is viewed.

In the past, when new waves of technology swept into our businesses-beginning with PCs in the 1980s and continuing to today’s self-service technologies-the reaction has been a pendulum swinging between centralized, industrialized IT and decentralized, embedded IT.

Businesses must move to a model we call Empowered Business Technology (BT), which embeds enabling technology innovation into the business while providing just enough centralized coordination and oversight to meet enterprise wide goals and control costs.

Empowered BT lets businesses pursue opportunities with grassroots solutions while still balancing enterprise concerns.

Key to success is the interplay between four new meta-roles:

  • Visionaries, who look for new tech-enabled business opportunities;
  • Consultants, who provide on-demand expertise to turn these ideas into reality;
  • Integrators, who connect innovative solutions to each other and to core systems; and
  • Sustainability experts, who ensure solutions are scalable and sustainable in the enterprise.

These roles are combined with a new operating model based on guidelines, mentoring and inspection. Each business organization will fill these roles in their unique way.

What does this mean to CIOs?

First, work with your business colleagues to determine how radical a change your company envisions so you know what priority to place on transforming IT. Then work with the innovators in your company to craft a firm-specific vision and begin working toward it. To do this right, IT needs to embrace business ownership of technology decisions. As CIO, you should be poised to help your company profit from the massive change that’s afoot in the business climate.

Alex Cullen and James Staten are vice presidents at Forrester Research.

Beyond alignment a road map for business centric CIOs

by Nigel Fenwick with Khalid Kark, Lauren Blackburn

Extracts from the Full Article

Forrester characterizes the change in how CIOs must think about the emerging role of IT as part of the customer-value ecosystem as a move toward “empowered business technology.”

CIOs have successfully implemented any one or more of a wide range of frameworks, methodologies, and practices such as ITIL, COBIT, ISO 17799, CMM, PRINCE, MSP, PMBOK, Balanced Scorecard, and Six Sigma.

Yet despite all of these frameworks to run IT (or in some cases perhaps because of them), business units within our organizations continue to feel that IT cannot respond fast enough to needs of the business.


The successful CIO in the age of the customer will possess equal measures of business competency and technical understanding; will be a skilled communicator and a passionate leader, equally comfortable meeting customers and executives; and will be obsessed about customers. For tomorrow’s CIOs, an MBA will provide a stronger educational foundation than a degree in computer sciences.

And not all of today’s IT employees will feel comfortable moving toward empowered BT. Some roles, like business relationship managers, will evolve into more pivotal roles for IT’s success, while others, such as application development and operations have already started moving out of IT. While IT will still develop applications within an empowered BT environment, and operations will still maintain server farms and networks, more and more of these roles will shift toward vendor-provided solutions and services.

So what is my take on the journey from IT to Empowered Business Technology.

If you look back to any Investment Banking Trading Floor a few years ago you will have found a myriad of very high specification personal computer hardware sitting under peoples desks.  These configurations allowed the analyst to have full access and control of their custom applications and data.

About 5 years ago Hedge Funds needed more raw compute power for their Algo / Quants Trading so the Business would order in more blade servers and storage required to gain a competetive edge.  The IT folks would only find out about the new kit when it arrived on-site.

These are but two examples of old school “Shadow IT”.

What is different about the new normal is that the Business can now purchase and consume complete end to end solutions.  For example Salesforce CRM or Workday “Software-as-a-Service”.  This means that the portfolio of services that IT provide is being eroded and there is a real risk that IT will be left running legacy applications (Keep the Lights On / Keep the Show On the Road}

I definitely agree that the Business Relationship Manager or Business Partner role is a pivotal one.  The role is described in the ITIL 2011 Edition Service Strategy Core Volume.  

Going forward all IT organisations will need the BRM to sit at the intersection between Business and Technology.  This means that the BRM must be involved in Investment decisions and the prioritisation of Business projects.  Please note that there is no such thing as an IT project there are Business projects with Technology components.    

The immediate challenge we face in making the journey from IT to empowered business technology is to define, agree and implement just enough centralised co-ordination and governance oversight.  

I recommend that you look to COBIT5 for guidance on how to define Enterprise and IT related goals in order to stay relevant. Link to the Reference Guide.

Finally let’s hear what Forrester has to say about the age of the customer and the need to focus on customer facing processes / customer data.

Sharyn Leaver spends much of her time advising CIOs and firmly believes that the CIO can drive innovation because they are able to take a cross functional view

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Is it possible to predict the future of the Service Desk?

On Wednesday 18th January the good folk at BrighTalk arranged a Service Desk Summit.

I have selected two presentations from the day which resonated with me.

Future of the Service Desk – Get Social, Stay Relevant

Crystal Miceli (first 13 mins) & Bill Riley

Social Service DeskAdding social media channels to self service

Today, it’s about serving your customers across different channels, whether it’s web-based, online chat, mobile, social media like twitter or email because they are unlikely to pick up the phone.

New Service Desk Model attributes –

multi channel support

RSS feed subscription, forums, chatter

open lines of communication

collaborative knowledge capture and dissemination

and voice of the social customer drives new service development.

Service Desk 2.0

Brightalk webcast

Presentation Slides

James Finister (TCS)

A workforce that works seamlessly across platforms and that blurs the divide between private and corporate IT.

  • wants IT delivered on its own terms
  • will informally leverage social media and web based services to reduce their own workload

The goal of support is to provide value by helping customers to use services to do their jobs.

Self service and peer support become the default support mechanisms.

Tools will have to facilitate greater communication with other products.

Things we need to unlearn:

• SD activity targets

• The language of ITIl

• The importance of process

• Service Desk as SPOC

• The SD has all the answers

To what extent did the Brighttalk – Service Desk Summit provide a look into the future?

For me, these two presentations soared to the mountain peak whilst others remained in the safe environment of base camp.

Crystal Miceli and James Finister know what good looks like.  They are prepared to raise their heads above the parapet and provide a distinctive point of view.

So what other viewpoints are out there?

The Future Of The Service Desk Requires A “Customer-Savvy” Approach

John Rakowski – Forrester

Service desk professionals now operate in a business environment in which their end users or customers are “tech savvy.” This leads to a potential conflict spark point where IT customers believe that they have more IT know-how than the service desk.

The service desk and IT as a whole has to focus on becoming “customer savvy” to embrace these pressures.  Customer savvy starts firmly with the soft skills of I&O professionals. Simply, it is the ability to listen to your users/customers and to take on board their IT service suggestions.  Secondly, it is then the ability to apply your IT knowledge and experience to these suggestions from a risk, cost, and potential competitive perspective.

Jeff Weinstein (RightAnswers) adds – At the heart of a customer savvy service desk is the challenge for the team to really be on the pulse of its users and know how to address issues in proactive as well as reactive ways.

What Will the IT Help Desk of the Future Look Like?

John Paul Titlow

We’re already seeing clues about the future of the IT help desk today. The workforce is beginning to become more distributed and mobile, while the nature and number of devices people use day-to-day changes rapidly.

The trend toward socially infused customer support probably has only a limited relevance to company IT departments, whose “customers” are really internal staff.

Not only is the nature of the workforce itself becoming more mobile, but so too are the tools used by IT staff to fix problems. We’re already seeing really solid mobile and tablet apps for things like help desk software, remote desktop support, accessing servers via SSH or FTP and managing networks, to name a few. As smartphones and especially tablets become more ubiquitous and powerful, we can realistically expect to see even more robust administrative tools built for them

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21028044]

In the future, it may not just be tablets and smartphones, but other connected devices as well. As the Web continues to grow outside of its original desktop boundaries, the list of devices IT departments need to support could grow as well. Anything that connects to the Internet and has a potential professional use is something that IT staff will at least need to be familiar with, even if they’re not fully supporting it


Next Generation of BMC Remedyforce Goes Social with Chatter

“Since it was introduced at Dreamforce, Remedyforce has helped IT departments of all sizes achieve greater success using social, mobile and open, cloud technologies,” said George Hu, executive vice president, salesforce.com. “BMC and salesforce.com are helping to automate the social enterprise by providing the leading IT help desk app in the industry built on Force.com.”


Goodbye service desk, hello to the collaborative IT support

Matt Rigby

Social IT support – what is it and how does it work? –

While traditional IT support is built on a closed “one-to-one” communication between you and your service desk, social IT support is built on an open “one-to-many” communication between you and your community

It’s relatively easy to introduce social IT into your business.  Since most, if not all of your employees or colleagues will already understand the concepts of social media through their use of platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, all you need to do is enable these ways of working within the workplace.  There are a growing number of social IT service management platforms emerging, either built entirely on the concepts of social media, or integrating some of these concepts to enable organisations to embrace this new way of working.

Service Desk 2017

“Lots of interest in @sdi_institute up and coming paper on Service Desk 2017.

If you’ve a view of the future get in touch if I forgot to ask!” @howardkendall


Anatomy of the Service Desk

LANDesk & the SDI are compiling a new whitepaper for 2012 –

The paper will look at how ITSM professionals spend their time, biggest time drains, and levels of pressure, while suggesting ways to improve service desk time-management and productivity.

Can you hear me now?  The future of the Service Desk.

ITSM Weekly The Podcast (Episode 63) -Service Desk of the Future 1 Of 5

Chris Dancy, Matthew Hooper and Matt Beran (twitter #ITSMWP) if you have the stamina to sit through 5 episodes!

MyPredictions for the “Service Desk” of the future

Will there be a Service Desk in the future?

The current view of the service desk as a single point of contact for users will not endure.  There will be virtualised operations from multiple locations with no concept of a centralised function.  This formation will become the default model in the short term to achieve cost savings through less facilities overheads – Telephony, Buildings etc. 

Where required to do so, service personnel will be spread across geographies to provide Follow the Sun coverage.

The Service Desk will need to transform into a Customer Interaction Capability that maintains the channel of the customer’s choice with little requirement for human voice interaction.

Non-voice technology – multi-channels – will enable users / customers to communicate just as easily in any format as they do by voice.

In the future more and more customer interactions will occur on the go to help keep track of information from cradle to grave.

“Phablets” Smartphones / tablets will be aware when utility (fit for use) is sub-optimal and will communicate directly with the SaaS product in the Cloud     

The future is about the Customer Experience. So can the Customer Interaction Capability keep up with their demanding expectations for instant gratification?

What will the new Customer Interaction Capability be called?  

Mult-Channel Service Centre, Service Interaction Centre, Service Storefront… 

Have your say – @WDGLL or whatdoesgoodlooklike@gmail.com

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