Broadgate 2013 Predictions – how did we do?

Posted on : 30-12-2013 | By : richard.gale | In : Innovation

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In December 2012 we identified some themes we thought would be important for the coming year. Let’s see how we got on…

1. Infrastructure Services continue to commoditise – for many organisations, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is now mainstream. Technology advancement will continue to move the underlying infrastructure more towards a utility model and reduce costs in terms of software, hardware and resource.

This has happened and is continuing to grow, most organisations have the infrastructure in place to support IaaS with private clouds and virtualised environments. However, the flexibility and agility benefits have not always been realised as large organisation IaaS have sometimes been weighed down with the legacy change and build processes of the previous model. To circumvent this, many businesses are looking at public cloud for more flexible capacity. This will be the big growth area of 2014 especially with financial services organisations that, previously, have been hesitant in adopting public cloud solutions.

2. Application/Platform rationalisation – for many large firms there is still a large amount of legacy cost in terms of both disparate platforms, often aligned by business unit, and their sheer size/complexity. The next year will see an increase in rationalisation of application platforms to drive operational efficiency.

In 2013 the understanding and scale of the problem became more apparent but, with limited change/transformation budgets (in financial services mainly due to the burden of regulatory compliance requirements) not much action. Now these complex webs of legacy applications are starting to fail and seriously constrained business growth. 2014 will be a ‘crunch’ year when these expensive problems have to be tackled head on either through wholesale re-architecting or giving someone else the problem of running them whilst new solutions are built.

3. Big Data/ Data Science grows and market starts to consolidate – 2012 was the year that Big Data technologies went mainstream…2013 will see an increased focus on Data Science resource and technology to maximise the analytical value. There will also be some consolidation at the infrastructure product level.

In financial services we saw a fair amount of discussion, some large proof of concept projects focusing on consolidation (many seem to be targeting the risk and finance areas), but not the levels of take up we expected. MasterCard have come in with a big data restaurant review concept. We may have been slightly premature with this one. We think the understanding of Data Science is starting to go mainstream and, as with Cloud, the demand will come more from the business rather than IT architects in 2014.

4. Data Centre/Hosting providers continue growth – fewer and fewer companies are talking about building their own data centres now, even the very large ones. With the focus on core business value, infrastructure will continue to be hosted externally driving up the need for provider compute power.

 Many organisations either use external more flexible hosting solutions or have an excess of capacity in their existing data centres. This will continue and grow in pace in 2014.

5. More rationalisation of IT organisations – 2012 saw large reductions in operational workforce, particularly in financial services. With revenues under more pressure this year (and in line with point 1) we will see further reductions in resource capacity and relocation to low cost locations, both nearshore and within the UK.

In the financial services sector this may be at an end. There will be growth in demand for IT skills in 2014 but there will be some reductions particularly in the infrastructure/BAU space due to the continued commoditisation of technology and move to XaaS services.

6. Crowd-funding services continue to gain market share – there have been many new entrants to this space over recent years with companies such as Funding Circle, Thin-Cats, Bank-to-the-Future and Kickstarter all doing well. We see this continuing to grow as access to funds from traditional lenders is still hard. The question is at what point will they step in.

This one was an easy prediction as a low starting point combined with the banks reluctance to lend, low interest rates and increasing interest in the tech sector inevitably led to high levels of growth. 2014 will continue this trend but with a higher degree of regulation after the first high profile failure of a lending exchange…

7. ‘Instant’ Returns on investment required – growth of SaaS & BYOD is changing the perception of technology. People as consumers are now accustomed to an instant solution to a problem (by downloading an app or purchasing a service with a credit card). This, combined with historic patchy project successes, means that long lead-time projects are becoming harder to justify; IT departments are having to find near instant solutions to business problems.

Business users are leading IT departments on the adoption of SaaS in particular. IT is playing catch-up and the race will continue. We are not sure what 2014 will bring on this. It could be that IT departments regain control or, alternatively, are bypassed on a more frequent basis by impatient, IT savvy business users.

8. Technology Talent Wars – with start-ups disrupting traditional players in areas such as data analytics, social media and mobile payment apps, barriers to entry eroding and salaries on the rise we see a shift from talent wanting to join industries such as financial services and choosing new technology companies.

Relatively low demand from financial services firms (except for a few specific skills such as security) has deferred this. This is more likely to impact 2014 change and innovation programmes now.

9. Samsung/Android gain more ground over Apple – we already have seen the Apple dominance, specifically in relation to the Appstore, being eroded and this will continue as the potential of a more open platform becomes apparent to both developers and users of technology.

This has happened and will continue unless Apple can come up with some new magic. Phones/tablets are the new battleground, other operating systems such as Windows and potentially Jolla could disrupt the trend in 2014.

10. The death knell sounds for RIM/Blackberry – not much more to say. Most likely they will be acquired by one of the big new technology companies to gain access to the remaining smart phone users.

The only thing to add to this is that there may be a ‘dead-cat’ bounce for Blackberry in 2014.

 

Once again we hope you have enjoyed our monthly articles and have had a successful 2013. We wish you all the same for 2014!

 

The aggregation of marginal gains – what can we learn from the sport of cycling?

Posted on : 30-09-2013 | By : richard.gale | In : General News

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Sir David Brailsford is the major driver behind a revolution in the fortunes of British Cycling. The UK is now one of the most successful cycling nations with two successive Tour de France winners from Team Sky, a team that was put together barely 4 years ago. Fifteen years ago British cycling was languishing in the lower divisions, now it is riding high in the world rankings.

One of the most interesting techniques Brailsford has applied to cycle coaching is the “aggregation of marginal gains” the sum of analysing & making many small changes to an environment or training plan.  Many examples have been quoted such as heating bib shorts before use to keep the muscles warm, wiping tyres down with alcohol before the start of races to clean grit off and employing a chef to provide optimised meals for the riders.

One specific example of this is the Team Sky Bus. Every competitor has a bus but, before Brailsford and his team, none had thought about in the same way. Team Sky started from scratch and built it out to provide the perfect environment to support the riders on the tours. Every part of the rider’s routine was analysed and an environment was then designed to meet their needs perfectly. Riders need lots of clean, dry kit, the need lots of nutritious interesting food, they need somewhere private to discuss the days’ events and plan for the next one. So the bus included washing machines (muffled of course), meeting rooms, kitchen & sleeping areas customised for the riders.

The attention to detail (and an almost unlimited budget) showed through when two brand new Volvo coaches were torn apart and then 9000 man hours of kitting out took place. This process involved the coaches, riders and other staff with continuous feedback which refined the result into an additional pair of team members. Initially the rival teams dismissed the buses nicknamed “Death Stars” as just another bus (abet – expensive they ended up costing around £750k each)but as Sky’s daily results on the tours jumped up the leader boards they came to learn and respect the thought processes involved.

So what lessons can we learn on the Sky approach? Well the techniques they are using have been borrowed from business ideas but it is the consistent application of them which is making them work so well.

GB cycling & the Sky team have a similar philosophy based on the following core principles:

Setting ambitious goals

From a standing start in 2010 Brailsford said Team Sky would win the Tour de France within five years. This was seen as ludicrous by the cycling establishment. He disrupted conventional thinking by applying scientific methods to the sport and, with Bradley Wiggins victory in 2012, it actually took them three years.

We think this ‘shooting for the stars’ ambition can work for business just as well. Aiming for what could be done not what is being done changes the way people think within companies and, given the right environment, support, drive and that ambition does create winning organisations.

Focus on the end result

What is important? All around there is noise, interference and distractions so keeping the ‘blinkers’ on to aim for the end-game is critical. Saying that, blindly ignoring feedback or responses around you can be fatal too so ensuring you are aiming for the right end result is also critical.

Teamwork & Ensuring the whole team has one vision

All organisations have teams. Team GB & Sky have ensured the right mix of individuals form a team with a common, shared goal. This is something which is part directed, part in built and always reinforced. Everyone understands the obligations and rewards of having the single winning vision.

Analyse everything

Data is everything and unlocking its hidden value is another key to the team’s success. Everyone in the team understands the value of capturing as much information as possible and that data is analysed and replayed in as near time as possible. The Sky team sometimes forgo the glory of the ‘hands free’ roll over the finishing line to punch in the completion message on their bike computers.

Control & Discipline

There is a poster on the entrance to the team bus with the Team rules re-emphasises the importance of the vision and goals of the team. It does not spell out the penalties for infringement but a number of people have left the team after breaching rules either during or before their stint with Sky.

Grow the person

This is the aim of most businesses but both GB and Sky aim to get inside their team members’ heads to understand their motivations, desires and ambitions. This energy is then focussed in such a way to build and improve the team whilst maximising the personal objectives of the person.

Plan and plan flexibility

Team GB & Sky management and riders spend a large amount of their time planning for every eventuality including differing weather conditions, team strengths, rivals changing strategies and  any other factors that can influence the race. They then produce the strategic plan of the race, the day, the hour or the hill. The important piece is that any changing circumstances are fed into the plan to modify or indeed create a new plan as it is required. It is strong enough to hold up and work but flexible enough change and still be a success.

 

All these attributes can be applied to most business areas and it is the ability to plan and refine every detail which has provided British cycling and Sky with their continued success. Small continuous improvements bring marginal gains to both Sport and also Business teams.

What is also critical is that the strategy or ‘big picture’ is going in the right direction. There is no point bringing the right pillow if the bus is parked in the wrong town.

 

 

A look back at 2012

Posted on : 31-12-2012 | By : jo.rose | In : General News

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It’s been an interesting 2012 at Broadgate Consultants – we are now in our forth year and we continue to expand our services and client base in line with our business plan. We started just as the recession started and are still in one. Ironically, we actually believe that this has contributed to our success, making us more aware of fixed costs and focusing on agility and value for our clients.

Recently, one of the partners sent me a snippet from the Office for National Statistics showing that four in ten firms set up in 2008 have folded. All together nearly a million businesses have shut down! (and the survival rate is getting worse…). Not too bad then…

So what have we done in 2012? Here are a few highlights;

  1. We built on our four key service areas of PMO, Cloud Assessment, Business Intelligence and Security through successful client deployments
  2. We extended our client base further, from Retail Banking, Investment Management and Capital Markets into Energy, Insurance, Manufacturing and Media
  3. We ran the first Broadgate Innovation & Networking event in September, bringing together technology leaders and showcasing new, innovative companies in the areas of Big Data and Social Media Analytics
  4. We announced further cooperation with the Technology Start Up community through our partnership with TechMeetups which will run through 2013

And what about looking at our predictions for the year. Well, of the 10 that we published at the beginning of the year, I think we did really well at gauging the key themes. You can check for yourself here…but let’s pick out a few.

  • Cloud Computing Gathers Pace: this has certainly been a key attention area and one that we think will be seen to enter the mainstream from now on. Many organisations previously cautious or reticent to explore the cloud for delivery of technology services have changed their stance and are looking to further increase deployment within their operating model.
  • Mobility: we predicted an increase in the mobile payments area with new entrants increasing market share. Again, this has been a key theme for 2012. The large retail banks and card issuers have all further developed services, whilst mobile payment providers such as Monitise and Square have all had solid growth. Alongside this, the demand for BYOD support has accelerated together with an industry of new technologies supporting it.
  • Increased IT Commoditisation: this is an area which continues to be a part of the CIO agenda, with utility compute and particularly access to Infrastructure as a Service now reaching a level of maturity to instill confidence. The challenge, however, is one of both speed of execution and culture within large scale technology organisations.
  • Risk, Regulations and Compliance Spending Increases: well…in many organisations this is certainly the case and as a proportion of the discretionary budget, often these mandatory changes are the only ones seeing any significant level of funding.

2012 also brought with it a lot of turmoil within back office support organisations, particularly within financial services. With continued pressure on revenues and margins, costs came under an even more stringent analysis. As a result, we have seen large reductions in workforce, which is always difficult at a personal level.

However, we’ve also seen some exciting developments in the world of new technology. The traditional lifecycle of a company from inception through to IPO/acquisition has shortened dramatically. New innovations are brought to the market with incredible speed and success, challenging the larger applications and infrastructure vendors to think differently about the size and relative value of their products (or, of course join the queue of suitors….).

In our other article this month we will outline our predictions for 2013, along with the opportunity to join us for a very short survey.

We hope that all our readers have enjoyed our monthly articles and have had a successful 2012. We wish them all the same in 2013.

New skills for Project Managers: What is required in today’s environment?

Posted on : 27-06-2012 | By : richard.gale | In : General News

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Do project managers now need different skills to succeed?

In the last few years the skill-sets required of project managers have changed. The traditional hard-bitten, deliverable focused and sometimes blinkered project manager is still required (otherwise many projects would not get delivered at all) but there are new skills needed to match the faster changing business and technology environment. Agility, flexibility, creativity and all importantly the ability to collaborate are becoming critical parts of the project manager’s toolkit.

Traditional Project Structure

The traditional role of the project manager was to solve a specific problem by completing a project, to specification, on time and on budget. These were his success criteria generally within the framework of a set methodology such as Prince II.

After a few projects and a bit of training the execution of a project was relatively straightforward and also pretty much fixed in scope, time and cost. The traditional lifecycle was as follows:

  • Starting up a Project
  • Initiating a Project
  • Directing a Project
  • Controlling a Stage
  • Managing Stage Boundaries and Scope
  • Managing Product Delivery
  • Closing a Project

As projects progressed then requirements could change with a change request process with estimates of impact on time and cost and a change board or steering committee would help guide the project to success. Generally, though, projects finish as they start with the same objectives and goals, those that don’t generally don’t finish (successfully anyway)

Successful Project Manager Skills

So what makes a good project manager? Asking around several of our consultants and clients there are a few core characteristics that generally exist in successful PMs

  • Organisational ability
  • Discipline
  • Focus & Drive
  • People Skills
  • Communication
  • Openness
  • Pragmatism
  • Thick skin
  • Sense of humour…

In addition business knowledge of the delivery area is essential – not the detailed skills of the BA’s and technical teams but enough to be able to understand and talk coherently around the subjects.

Emerging Project Structures

The business world is changing and becoming more uncertain. Timeframes are being compressed, internal and external events are having bigger impacts on the running of organisations. This coupled with the social expectations and skillsets of the next generation of users means that that project managers require a new set of tools in their toolbox. Often a clear remit or scope on a project is not available or changes with events and time.

New Skills Required For Project Managers

To cope with these challenges additional skills are needed to be successful with a project:

Collaboration – the command, control and direct aspects of delivery are still critical but PM’s require the buy-in, co-operation and knowledge of a broad team (often not under the direct management of the PM) then collaboration and empathy/emotional intelligence become more and more important.

Agility – organisations and their environments are changing at a faster pace so the ability to take stock and the strength to change direction mid-flight is now a required skill. Blindly completing a project and marking it as a ‘success’ as the original (now defunct) deliverables have been completed on time, on budget are now not acceptable.

Creativity – is becoming more important as solutions and the desired outcome changes often. Creativity has sometimes previously been seen as a disadvantage in a project manager. It could be ‘distracting’ and mean the goals are not met. Identifying and executing creative solutions to tricky problems encountered on the path of a project some of most valued skills a PM could possess.

We have a team of project managers that, along with their battle scars and medals from successful previous projects and programmes also have the people and creative skills to deliver projects in the current and future environment. Please contact Jo and we can see how we might help.


How Much is Your Data Worth?

Posted on : 29-05-2012 | By : richard.gale | In : Data

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Data is like Oil,  sort of…

  • We are completely dependent upon it to go about our daily lives
  • It is difficult and expensive to locate and extract and vast tracts of it are currently inaccessible.
  • As technology improves we are able to obtain more of it but the demand constantly outpaces supply.
  • The raw material is not worth much and it is the processing which provides the value, fuels & plastics in the case of oil and business intelligence from data.
  • It lubricates the running of an organisation in the same way as oil does for a car.
  • The key difference between oil and data is that the supply of data is increasing at an ever faster rate whilst the amount of oil is fixed.

 

So how can data be valued and what exploration mechanisms are available to exploit this asset?

The recent valuation of Facebook at ~$100B shows the value of data to the market. Facebook itself has tangible (accounts friendly) assets of around $8-10B but the potential value of its data and growth gives rise to the high price investors are willing to pay.

The Facebook and other social media IPO valuations has highlighted that calculating a company’s data worth or value has not built into most more established organisations price. The economic value of a firm’s information assets has recently been termed ‘data equity’ and a new economics discipline, Infonomics, is emerging to provide a structure and foundation of measuring value in data.

The value and so price of organisations could radically alter as the value of its data becomes more transparent. Data equity will at some point be added to the balance sheet of established firms potentially significantly affecting the share price – think about Dun & Bradstreet, the business intelligence service – they have vast amounts of information on businesses and individuals which is sold to help organisations make decisions in terms of credit worthiness. Does the price of D&B reflect the value of that data? Probably not.

Organisations are starting appreciate the value locked up in their data and are utilising technologies to process and analyse the Big Data both within and external to them. These Big Data tools are like the geological maps and exploration platforms for the information world.

Some of these tools were covered in our previous blog, but it is worth remembering the fundamentals which give rise to the Big Data challenge:

  • The volume of data is rising at an ever increasing rate
  • The velocity of that data rushing into and past organisations is accelerating
  • The variety of data has overwhelmed conventional indexing systems

Innovative technology and methods are improving the odds to finding and getting value from that data.

How can an organisation gain value from its data? What are forward thinking firms doing to invest and protect its data?

1. Agree a Common Language

Data is and does mean many things to different firms, departments and people. If there is no common understanding of what a ‘client’ or ‘sale’ or an ‘asset’ is then at the very least confusion will reign and most likely that poor business decisions will be made from the poor data.

This task is not to be underestimated. As organisations grow they build new functions with different thinking, they acquire or are bought themselves and the ‘standard’ definitions of what data means can change and blur. Getting a handle on organisation wide data definitions is a critical and complex set of tasks that need leadership and buy-in. Building a data fabric into an organisation is a thankless but necessary activity in order to achieve longer term value from the firm’s data.

2.Quality, Quality, Quality

The old adage of rubbish in, rubbish out still rings true. All organisations have multiple ‘golden sources’ of data often with legacy transformation and translation rules shunting the data between systems – if a new delivery mechanism is built it is often implemented by reverse engineering the existing feeds to make it the same rather than looking at the underlying data quality and logic. The potential for issues with one of the many consuming systems makes it too risky to do anything else. An alternative is to build a new feed for each new consumer system which de-risks the issue in one sense but builds a bewildering array of pipes crossing an organisation. With any organisation of size it is worth accepting that there will be multiple golden copies of data but the challenge is to make sure they are consistent and have quality checks built in. Reconciling sets of data across systems is great but doesn’t actually check if the data is correct, just that it matches another system….

3. Timeliness

Like most things, data has a time value. As one Chief Data Officer of a large bank recently commented ‘data has a half-life’ – the value decays over time and so ensuring the right data is in the correct place and the right time is essential and out of date/valueless data needs to be identified as such. For example; A correct prediction of tomorrow’s weather is useful, today’s weather is interesting and a report of yesterday’s weather has little value.

4. Organisational Culture

Large organisations are always ‘dealing’ with data problems and providing new solutions to improve data quality. Many large, expensive programmes have been started to solve ‘data’. Thinking about data needs to be more pervasive than that it needs to be part of the culture and fabric of the organisation. Thinking about data (accuracy, ownership, consistency, and time value) needs to be incorporated into organisations as part of the culture, articulating the value of data can help immensely with this.

5.Classification

Understanding what is important rather than having a blanket way of dealing with data is important. Some data doesn’t matter if it is wrong or not up to date because either not consumed (obvious question is – then why have it?) or irrelevant for process.  Other data is critical for a business to survive so a risk based approach to data quality needs to be used and data graded and classified on its value.

6. Data ownership

Someone needs to be accountable for and owner of data and data governance within an organisation. It does not mean that they have to manage each piece but they need to set the strategy and vision for data. More large organisations are now creating a Chief Data Officer role to ensure there is this ownership, strategy and discipline with regard to their data.

Data is the core of a business and there is a growing acknowledgement of its potential value.

As the ability to extract information and intelligence from data improves there will be some disruptive changes in the market value of firms that have  the sort of data which can improve the organisations market share, profitability and potentially traded.

Companies that have huge amounts of information regarding their customers: banks, shops, telecoms firms will be well positioned to take advantage of this information if they can manage to organise and exploit it.

 

The next phase of Investment Management outsourcing

Posted on : 27-02-2012 | By : richard.gale | In : Finance

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Many Investment Management (IM) firms have outsourced significant business functions: settlement, collateral management, accounting departments have been ‘lifted out’ of a significant number of IM companies and are being run as a service by a smaller number of specialised financial services organisations.

We think the next phase for outsourcing are the middle and some of the front office functions as focus for IM firms is on ability to out-perform, reduce time to market for new products and to reduce costs. Regulation is a key driver for this as the complexities of dealing with constant regulatory change is increasing costs and constraints on  IM firms ability to move into new, more profitable, markets. For example OTC derivatives are much more widely utilised in investment firms than, say, 5 years ago and there is an avalanche of regulation in-flight (Dodd-Frank, MiFIR & Solvency II to name a few)  to enforce reporting and risk management. This results in operational activities such as collateral management becoming much more complex than transacting with conventional securities.

Last month we discussed the future of middle office outsourcing with Maha Khan Phillips in January’s edition of Best Execution magazine and we want to expand on those thoughts here.

Another trend we see is how the Investment Banking industry is starting to look at outsourcing the non-value-add functions to reduce costs and help streamline their business areas. They are being impacted in a similar way to IM firms at the turn of the century in terms of reduction in income and focus on cost reduction.

 Outsourcing history and developments

The first phase of outsourcing often was a simple ‘lift-out’ where the back office was separated as a whole – people, systems, and processes  with a line drawn across the organisation splitting the remaining front/middle office from the outsourced back office. This was driven by a number of factors but cost reduction and the drive to better returns was core.

As an approach the lift-out worked and enabled the IM organisation to focus on its core business of investing money.  Over time as the industry matures, the limitations of this approach are becoming clear. The ability to be responsive to new business requirements can be reduced:  flexibility in the operating model to react to new changes such as business focus, new asset classes and volume variations are often slowed by split between organisations. The outsourcers will have a number of clients with differing requirements and a limited ability to change which can impact speed of delivery.

These factors have led to some operational challenges and frictions between the client and supplier the result of which has led to a reassessment of the services and relationship. The client has a number of choices available and, as the earlier contracts mature, firms are identifying this period as an opportunity to review the current state vs. alternative strategies. The choices are broadly:

  1. Insource. To undo the lift-out and bring services back in-house. Some organisations have done this with varying degrees of success but the underlying rationale for outsourcing and the business case underpinning this needs to be closely examined.
  2. Migrate to new outsourcer. This is potentially one of the more complex solutions but also a possibility to re-engineer the business. Often there are complex interactions between the client/supplier that exist because of the way the outsource was constructed historically. This ‘web’ of interfaces, processes and procedures will need to be cleaned and logically split to migrate. Also the level of complexity from moving from one (client) organisation to an outsource supplier goes to a new level when migrating suppliers.
  3. Stay with existing and work together to improve service, relationship and capabilities.
  4. A combination of the above not excluding outsourcing more functions of the client firm.

Assuming the client strategically does not which to insource the functions then one of the most important activities is to grow the client/supplier relationship into an aligned partnership. This is the time when parties need to work together to construct a roadmap to move to a more efficient, cost effective and flexible model to deliver optimised services and capacity to grow.

This trend is gathering pace as firms look to ‘smarter’ outsourcing which bundles up groups of functions and let someone else look after the day to day management whilst enjoying a consistent service and pricing. Significant middle office functions are in-scope and included in those are what are traditionally seen as front office capabilities such as deal execution and compliance monitoring.

Interestingly the Buy-side has led the way on outsourcing. Investment banks have previously been too busy ‘running’ to keep up – growing new business areas and have been wary of outsourcing as a brake on their flexibility and ability to expand. The focus has been on IT infrastructure, testing & development and creating ‘captives’ in lower cost areas for operations. Now cost and regulatory pressures are proving a heavy burden then banks are now spending more time and energy looking into outsourcing their non-propriety functions. We think this is one of the trend areas for the next few years.

Broadgate Predicts – Survey Results

Posted on : 26-01-2012 | By : jo.rose | In : Data, General News

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Last month we published 10 Technology Predictions for 2012. We asked for readers to send us their views and also distributed a survey to over 400 clients and associates.

Over 120 people responded, made up of CIO’s, COO’s, Procurement, Technology Change Managers and Subject Matter experts across industries on both the buy and sell side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the responses received, a total of 82% either “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” with the predictions. We received a total of 1203 answers to the questions and numerous additional comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The responses provided a great insight into the key strategy areas for the coming year. Some common themes were:

  1. Cloud Computing and the continued Commoditisation of IT scored highest in general agreement.
  2. Social Media and Cloud Computing generated the highest number of comments and continue to polarise opinion on the maturity and place, particularly within Financial Services.
  3. Many commented on the current financial constraints within organisations and the impact on the predictions. These were both positive in terms of driving efficiency and negative around funding any change.

If you would like to contribute or obtain a copy of the full report please contact jo.rose@broadgateconsultants.com.

 

 

Broadgate Predicts – 10 themes for 2012

Posted on : 22-12-2011 | By : john.vincent | In : General News

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As we end what has been an “interesting” year, we look forward to some technology themes for 2012.  These are our views, not analysts or market research firms, and in many cases not revolutionary, but what we have determined during our interactions with clients over the past 12 months and how we see the industry shaping. Let us know what you think.

  1. Cloud Computing gathers pace: as data security blockers reside, particularly in Financial Services, and organisations seek to do more with flat or reduced budgets, companies will look more aggressively to best execution venues for technology services.
  2. Cyber Security issues at the forefront: apart from the high profile incidents in 2011, there has in general been a significant rise in targeted malware attacks across all industries. As we enter 2012 the advanced and persistent nature of attacks will continue, with companies needing to stay vigilant and “one step behind” the cyber criminals.
  3. Commoditisation of IT: we see this a key area in 2012 as developments continue to allow more on demand and utility based compute.  One aspect that will require attention is the organisation as reality hits and companies seek to realign both operating models and the HR impacts of the evolution.
  4. Risk, Regulation and Compliance spending increases: no crystal ball needed for this one.  The impacts of MiFID II, Dodd-Frank, FATCA, Solvency II etc… will continue to drive technology investments higher as a percentage of the overall technology spend portfolio.  However, companies will need to monitor carefully the evolution and practicalities of each to ensure efficient allocation of scarce resources from an already depleted discretionary budget.
  5. Mobility: we will see significant growth both in the mobile payments area, with third party solutions providers increasing market share.  Also, both business and customer end-users will continue to drive the need for always-on data and applications through mobile channels and personal device access.
  6. Business Intelligence: users will require access to management information in a more agile and distributed manner.  A more federated approach to BI data in 2012 will drive improved, enterprise class architectures whilst still empowering users at the organisational “fringes”.
  7. Service Providers leverage PaaS: new offerings from the traditional outsource vendors and service providers will come too market as we see the race to gain market share in the Platform as a Service space. Vertical business solutions will be launched through partnerships with ISV’s and domain experts to leverage the increased demand.
  8. Data Management: we hear a huge amount about the issue of data, be it from a taxonomy, architecture, security, transformation, integration, cleansing, physical or logical perspective etc…  It won’t go away in 2012 and with continued pressure around efficiency it will be a key attention area for 2012.
  9. Portfolio Management: whilst on the agenda for several years, proper portfolio management within organisations has always been a challenge.  Along with the efficiency theme, companies will be seeking more value from technology investments, predictability of outcomes and a swifter remediation ( or cancellation ) of failing initiatives.
  10. Social Media: many organisations dipped their toe in the water in 2011 ( see our prevous blog ).  In 2012 we will see a wider embrace of social media as a channel for improved customer interaction, decision making and a closer tie to financial benefits.