Workplace dynamics are changing rapidly and organisations are keen to modernise their approach to both, the workplace and the workforce. We at Greyhound Knowledge Group are of the firm belief that the confluence of powerful devices, modern applications and intelligent networks have replaced the Knowledge Worker with the Connected Worker. This in turn is fuelling the Gig Economy. Per our estimates at Greyhound Knowledge Group, nearly 30% of the workforce across the globe will in some form or shape participate in the gig economy by 2020.
On June 20, 2017 Google announced the availability of its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Sydney. Per the company, this is their first GCP region in Australia and the fourth in Asia Pacific. This announcement comes in close heels of the company’s recently launched region in Singapore and an upcoming launch in Mumbai, India.
On March 2, 2017 Symantec announced the launch of Symantec Ventures – its latest effort to help startups by contributing capital, reducing expenses and accelerating time to market. Per the company, Symantec Ventures is the next step post its partnership with Frost Data Capital Partner in 2015. Initially while the company aimed to foster up to 10 Security and IoT Analytics startups per year, with Symantec Ventures it plans to further its investment in areas like Machine Learning and Security Analytics.
Let’s start by considering a data point from a recent Greyhound Research study titled Global Mobile Apps Outlook 2017. From the 300+ global app makers we interviewed, nearly all state focus on a MobileFirst strategy and further simplifying User Experience as their top agenda for 2017. Our ongoing tracking of the market confirms that this agenda is unequivocally endorsed by both consumer and business apps makers alike.
At Greyhound Research – the Technology & Innovation Research, Advisory & Consulting arm of Greyhound Knowledge Group – the year has started on a rather interesting note.
We’ve just closed our annual study, Global CLDO Priorities 2017, and the results are a mix of both, things that organisations will continue investing in and those that they intend to change. To give you a perspective, consider these findings – while 89% Chief Learning & Development Officers (CLDOs) plan to continue with end-to-end Learning Outsourcing to a single Learning Services provider, 70% are considering using mobile devices as the mainstay for disseminating learning courses to their employees.
On January 4, 2017, IBM India named Karan Bajwa as the new Managing Director. He takes over the reigns from Vanitha Narayanan, who has now been appointed as the Chairman. Per the announcement, this change is effective immediately; both Karan and Vanitha will report to Randy Walker, Chairman, IBM Asia Pacific.
At Greyhound Research we believe while the company is in great hands with both Karan and Vanitha at the helm, significant challenges lie ahead for them and the broader management team at IBM India. Here’s why.
In today’s time, while leading with Digital is evident, who owns this transformation still remains a bone of contention. This journey needs to be co-owned by those who will be impacted first – the CXOs. Having said that, the starting point of this journey is an understanding of why this matters to CXOs.
It’s past midnight. Rick and Nina sit glued to their laptops, waiting to hit the ‘Buy Now’ button. The online Pre-Christmas sale will start any minute and they are hoping to buy their favourite gadgets at less than half the price.
Rick and Nina are not alone. In fact they are a part of a current clan of over 1.5 billion online shoppers across the globe (per latest Greyhound Research estimates). As steep discounting online sales, especially around the holidays and festivals, continue to become a global trend this number is expected to cross 2 billion by 2020.
On 1st September 2016, Reliance Industries Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, announced details of the Reliance Jio launch in the company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting
Per the company it will start offering services from 5th September but the commercial launch will be on 31st December, 2016. While the company has stated an altruistic objective for Reliance Jio, that of putting India on the global map for mobile broadband Internet access, there is no denying that this announcement has jolted the country’s telecom sector.
While the latter is yet to make any announcement on this topic, the former announced its new Data Centre in Pangyo, South Korea on 25 August 2016. Per IBM’s official statement, this is the company’s 9th Data Centre in the Asia Pacific including Japan (APJ) region (part of its Global network of 47) and an outcome of its collaboration with SK Holdings C&C.
On 15 August, 2016 IBM and Workday announced a multi-year partnership wherein Workday will use IBM’s Cloud for its internal Testing and Development environment.
The announcement adds to the existing IBM and Workday partnership which includes IBM’s global Workday Consulting Services, IBM’s acquisition of Workday services provider Meteorix (in 2015) and IBM’s own use of Workday’s Human Capital Management (HCM) for its global workforce.
On 9 August, 2016, IBM India announced the renewal of its partnership with Vodafone India.
Building on an 8-year-old relationship between the two organisations, IBM India will help Vodafone transition into IBM Hybrid Cloud. Expected benefits of this partnership includes enhanced customer experience, cost optimisation, scalability of IT infrastructure and overall improvement in efficiency of network operations.
On 1 August 2016, Microsoft announced the joining of Anant Maheshwari as President, Microsoft India from 1 September 2016.
Anant will be replacing current Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik who has held this position for over five years. This announcement comes in close heels to another big ticket departure of Karan Bajwa who recently quit from his post of Managing Director of sales and marketing at Microsoft India to join IBM India to lead strategy.
On 25 July 2016, Verizon Communications confirmed its plans of acquiring Yahoo’s operating business for USD 4.83 billion.
The sale includes Yahoo’s content offerings in News, Sports, Finance, Yahoo Mail, Brightroll (programmatic advertising technology), Flurry (mobile application analytics solution) and Gemini (search and native advertising solution) among others.
On 12 June, 2016 Symantec announced its agreement to acquire Blue Coat for USD 4.65 billion.
As a result of this acquisition, the company will now have 385,000 customers, a vast repository of data sources and over 3,000 researchers and engineers worldwide. Post this acquisition, Symantec will have USD 4.4 billion in combined revenue (on pro-forma, non-GAAP basis) in FY16. By the end of FY18, Symantec expects to realise USD 550 million in run-rate cost savings. In addition, the combined entity will have access to vast Security and Threat Intelligence data sources including Telemetry gathered from 175 million protected endpoints; more than 2 billion emails scanned per day; 1.2 billion web requests monitored per day across 55 languages; 12,000 Cloud applications monitored and controlled.
On Tuesday, 28 June 2016, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the launch of its sixth Asia Pacific (APAC) Region in Mumbai, India.
The new AWS Mumbai Region consists of two separate Availability Zones at launch. This news is part of the company’s plan to expand its Asia Pacific footprint wherein it announced the launch of its South Korea (Seoul) Region barely six months ago. It is important to see this announcement in light of other investments that AWS is making broadly in India including technical support centres, investments in partner network among others. Of all key investments, one that is important to note is the 3rd AWS Point of Presence (PoP) in Delhi (after Mumbai and Chennai) for its Content Delivery Network (Amazon CloudFront) and DNS service (Amazon Route 53).
On Friday, 24 June 2016, Britain faced a decisive moment when the majority of its population (51.9%) voted in favour of moving out of the European Union (EU).
In a recent research note we highlighted a key trend about Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) piloting and implementing Workforce Empowerment Systems (WES) to win the war for talent. This trend was noted in our recent Greyhound Research study titled Global CHRO Priorities 2016, where we spoke to 750+ CHROs from across the globe.
On June 13, 2016 Microsoft announced the agreement to acquire LinkedIn for USD 26.2 billion. Important to note that this is the first big deal under Satya Nadella’s leadership and LinkedIn will continue to operate as an independent company. Albeit this (in theory) will allow more room for innovation, let’s put this announcement in perspective:
While Business Intelligence (BI) is fast becoming a top priority for most businesses, achieving Return on Investment (RoI) through BI implementation still remains a big challenge for CIOs. Though many CIOs plan to invest in BI going forward, most of them fear BI failure.
Digital disruption is allowing customers to engage with organisations through new-age customer touch points like mobile devices, app stores and online communities. Traditional go-to-market channels like retail stores are being replaced by new-age digital channels such as mCommerce and eCommerce and eroding traditional business models.
For example, AirBnB, a hospitality aggregator holds a valuation of USD 24 billion, ranking only 3rd after the Hilton and Marriott group of hotels.
The correlation between employee engagement and organisational success is a no-brainer. Over decades while Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) have automated processes that translate to improved employee performance, they continue to search better ways to motivate employees. The need to align their team to organisational goals and be counted as a strategic advisor to the management continue to be some of the long standing struggles of CHROs.
Cloud Computing as a service provisioning mechanism is graduating to become a mainstay option for organisations. Despite skepticism, CIOs are exploring, pilot testing or using in production Cloud offerings in some form or shape. Earlier touted to be only popular with startups and small and medium businesses, Cloud offerings now meet the criteria of enterprise IT and are also supported by traditional IT vendors like IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle among others.
In order to remain competitive and secure earnings growth, organisations are looking at both process automation and newer technology systems to redefine their supply chain. The Board of Directors in most organisations expect this change to be led by the Chief Operating Officer (COO).
The constant state of flux in world economies is changing the status quo for organisations; most importantly the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Per a recent Greyhound Research study titled, Emerging Markets CFO Priorities 2016, nearly 80% CFOs in the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) regions expect to investigate ways to turn asset-light over the next 12 months.
With organisations grappling with modest growth prospects, expectations from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has come under scrutiny.
In addition to sluggish growth in matured markets, CEOs are now faced with a new-world equilibrium where growth can be expected from emerging markets like India and China and newer technology-led incumbents are eating into the market share.
These incumbents are not only using latest technology systems to erode traditional business models but redefining customer experiences. This is adding pressure on traditional organisations to follow suit.
On September 22, 2015, Microsoft announced the launch of it’s new office, Office 2016. This is a significant announcement post the launch of Windows 10 which has been touted to be the company’s last official Operating System. Over and beyond the ongoing tracking of productivity suites, the Greyhound Research team has also spent time over the past month running pilots across different devices and operating systems. Below is a quick summary of our observations.
While Business Intelligence (BI) is fast becoming a top priority for most businesses, achieving Return on Investment (RoI) through BI implementation still remains a big challenge for CIOs. Though many CIOs plan to invest in BI going forward, most of them fear BI failure. It’s interesting to note that BI is just a reporting tool for most of these CIOs. Now business intelligence is good, but there needs to be a solid business case for such deployments to avoid risk of BI failure. A case in point is that the large number of BI projects that go over-budget due to failure to meet timelines.
The channel partner community in India has experienced significant growth in the last decade owing to establishment of more organised and sophisticated sales networks. The market conditions in B2B segment are rapidly evolving with more customers seeking enhanced value in purchases, end to end solutions and customised offerings.
The server market in India has always been dynamic and brewing with changes prompted by the emergence of new technologies. In 2014, there has been a greater need for integration, efficiency, automation, consolidation and reduced costs across verticals. Due to a complete shift in densification of servers, workloads and investments in data analytics and web applications, the server industry in specific has been most impacted.
Earlier this morning I was chatting with a CIO of a large manufacturing organization with presence across multiple continents. They are currently benchmarking Mobile Device Management (MDM) vendors to help secure their mobile environment and we are helping them with this activity. As part of our rigorous methodology, we put 5 key vendors – Mass360 (owned by IBM), MobileIron, Good, Microsoft InTune and AirWatch (owned by VMware) – through the Poodle Attack Vulnerability check and results were amusing. While all vendors passed this test, AirWatch couldn’t make it to the finish line and got an overall rating of F. See pictures below for more details. We had reported another similar test last week where we found Microsoft’s Office365 vulnerable to the Poodle Attack.
On a call earlier today (with an end-user client) I was discussing enterprise security norms around cloud-based productivity suite offerings. Like many IT Decision Makers who are taking the leap to the cloud, our client (based in the APJ region) is also currently evaluating cloud-based productivity suite options including both Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work. During our conversation I ran a quick Poodle Attack Vulnerability check (on www.ssllabs.com) and the results were worrisome. More below.