After an interesting evening 6 months ago playing with all this stuff but never coming back, I am at last getting the blog started in earnest. Remarkable how it concentrates the mind to needto do something as opposed to just playing with it! On this site, I’ll air the issues, ideas, and opportunities of my new venture, IT Market Strategy. After leaving Forrester Research, where I spent 12+ happy years (including time at Giga Information Group), I’ve embarked upon the life of an independent technology analyst and consultant. It’s frightening and exciting. The outpouring of support from my colleagues, clients – and even competitors – has been amazing. I’m planning to tackle information technology issues with a focus on software, and more focused stiil on business intelligence, information management, and packaged software. It’s an adventure I anticipate with pleasure.
I undertake this campaign against the backdrop of a marketplace in turmoil. The IT industry – especially software – is going through one of its most significant change cycles ever. Fundamental economic models are being challenged as emerging cloud-based, software-as-a-service priced, and open-source community-developed and -supported products gain more traction daily. The disruptive influence of a massive economic meltdown is putting pressure on purchasers to acquire technology at lower cost, and avoid capital investment – just as software vendors are learning (at varying rates) to make their products available in a way that permits buyers to do so. The largest vendors hope to leverage the power of their portfolios to maintain momentum in high-growth categories that will sustain them through dips in the slow growth ones.
The power of a broad base and a strong balance sheet – like, for example, IBM’s – will allow such vendors to fill gaps in their portfolios at lower prices, spreading their risk further and offering more opportunities. Firms with clear expertise in integrating and leveraging acquired technologies and brands will be laying a strong foundation for the upturn when it comes. Others who have done less to leverage and promote acquired brands – HP comes to mind – may watch them continue to fall behind. The battle is joined, and fortunes are won and lost during difficult economic times. Tactics will change as the downturn continues. Pressure will be put on budgets, and the mix of investment will shift. Whose plan will succeed? IT Market Strategy will have a point of view and I welcome your input and discussion.