C-Level Business Executives Are Playing A Bigger Role In Tech Spending, But CIOs Still Remain Dominant

Andrew Bartels

Tech buying in business and governments is clearly shifting from the sole or primary control of the CIO and the tech management organization and into the hands of business leaders.  But how much is this happening? Anecdotal comments and surveys – including Forrester’s own Business Technographics surveys – suggest that most tech purchases are now controlled by business executives.  However, in our just-published report, “C-Suite Tech Purchasing Patterns,” Forrester’s analysis shows that the shift of tech buying from the CIO to business executives is much less dramatic, with just 5% of all new tech purchases fully controlled by business by 2018.  Moreover, this shift varies dramatically by C-level executive. CMOs and eCommerce heads have the highest proportion of new project spending under their control, but CFOs, COOs, supply chain heads, and heads of customer service are much less likely to go it on their own.

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Data is the perimeter, defend it that way

Chase Cunningham

Data is the perimeter, defend it that way

Unless you have been living under a rock or possibly hiding in the mountains of Montana with a giant beard and eating way too many government issued MRE’s you probably heard about the nuclear bomb of a ransomware attack that kicked off last week.  Welcome to the post apocalypse folks.  For years, many of us in the cybersecurity industry have been jumping up and down on desks and trying to get the world (writ large) to pay attention to managing and patching outdated systems and operating systems that have been running legacy software, to no avail.  Now that Pandora’s box has been opened and the bad guys have use the NSA leaked tools as weapons platforms all the sudden everyone gives a dang.  I caught no less than 17 talking heads on the news this morning stating that “this is the new reality”, and “cybercrime is a serious threat to our way of life.”  Duh, also water is wet and fire is hot.  Thank you news.  

Regardless of all the bad that is bouncing around the news and everywhere else today (and as I type this I can literally see a pew pew map on CNN that looks like a Zika Virus map showing the spread of WannaCry dominating the screen behind the anchor team) the reality around this “massive hack” and “global attack” is that if folks didn’t suck at patching their systems and followed basic best practices instead of crossing their fingers and hoping that they didn’t get hit the “end of days malware” would be basically ineffective.  The “hack” targets Windows XP systems, an old, outdated, unsupported OS that should have been pulled from use eons ago.  And if the legacy system running that OS couldn’t be pulled, IT SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST BEEN PATCHED.  Problem solved, or at least made manageable. 

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Landscapes, Portfolios, And Point Solutions (Oh, My!)

Rusty Warner

If you’re a marketer struggling to decipher the complicated marketing technology landscape of more than 5,000 vendors – and show me a marketer who isn’t – then I have some good news for you. It won’t be as easy as following the yellow brick road, but you can begin to make sense of today’s seemingly infinite array of enterprise marketing technology (EMT) offerings.

Two of my research areas at Forrester are Cross-Channel Campaign Management (CCCM) and Real-Time Interaction Management (RTIM). I field myriad inquiries on both, as they are critical, confusing, and conflated in terms of technology and vendor overlap. While CCCM primarily focuses on automating marketing-driven campaign strategies for outbound channels, and RTIM primarily focuses on next-best-action strategies for customer-initiated interactions via inbound channels, both rely heavily on systems of insight (customer data and analytics) and systems of engagement (automated content and interactions). And both cover multiple inbound, outbound, digital, and offline channels.

CCCM is evolving as marketers strive to align highly personalized marketing campaigns with customer-initiated interactions to drive deeper levels of engagement throughout the customer life cycle. I addressed this evolution in The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q2 2016, which featured 15 leading vendors. Since the CCCM space is much broader, earlier this year I also published the Vendor Landscape: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, and it adds a further 32 vendors to the mix, categorizing them as enterprise, small, or regional players, and reviewing capabilities such as vertical expertise or content management.

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AI Is Not An Exception – Technology Has Always Taken Jobs

Mike Gualtieri

Yes, AI will take jobs away from many workers - our relatives, friends, and neighbors. So too have all technologies created throughout human history. We invent things to make things easier and the impossible possible. The invention of the wheel made transport easier. Gutenberg’s printing press put lots of monk’s out of business. The chainsaw saw a reduction in the number of sawyers (lumberjacks). Modern medicine created a sharp decrease in snake oil charlatans. The Wang word processor annihilated typing pools. The list goes on. Technology changes how and who performs work, but it also enables new work that no one ever imagined. AI is but another technology in a long list of technologies dating back to the blunt club.

The culprit is gray matter

It is human intelligence. There is nothing that can stop it. But, it is that same gray matter that finds a way – a way for humanity to flourish – at least statistically. If life is precious, then the last hundred years have seen a dramatic increase in life expectancy. According to the National Institute On Aging, the most dramatic and rapid gains have occurred in East Asia, where life expectancy at birth increased from less than 45 years in 1950 to more than 74 years today.

AI will short-term replace workers just as all technology has, but longer term it will raise wages as human workers become exponentially more productive because their efforts are augmented by intelligent machines – non-human servants.

We can go back or we can go forward. Let’s go forward.

Massive Ransomware Outbreak Highlights Need For A Digital Extortion Decision Tree

Jeff Pollard

5/12/2017 might be another day of cyber-infamy based on malware as hospitals and critical infrastructure providers are locked out of their machines due to what appears to be a new variant of ransomware dubbed WannaCry spreading through corporate networks. Like the ransomware outbreaks in mid-2016 here in the US, NHS hospitals are experiencing patient care issues as a result of the malware, with some shutdown completely as of 11:37 AM Eastern time.

Early analysis indicates the malware spreads via SMB protocol, possibly using a vulnerability published by Microsoft on March 14th, per CCN CERT National Cryptologic Center. This same exploit mechanism appeared to be in use by ETERNAL BLUE, included as part of the Shadow Brokers dump. Patching and update information from Microsoft is located here. For the specific list of affected systems, along with CVE Number, specific MS patch details, and alternative mitigation techniques check here.

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NIST Is Jealous That PCI (Still) Matters More Than It Does

Jeff Pollard

The summary of the new Executive Order is a bit of a letdown:

Government agencies must complete a risk management report within 90 days. The risk report should align with NIST.

Outside of those with a risk fetish, this new EO probably isn’t that exciting from the perspective of any near-term cybersecurity transformation. That said, there are some aspects worth mentioning:

  • Cybersecurity is now a multi-agency public policy issue driven by the Executive Branch. The Department of Homeland Security, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Labor, and Office Personnel Management are all mentioned in the order.
  • The government wants to go shared services – including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services. The President requires a specific report on the costs related to modernizing government IT and cybersecurity by utilizing shared services.
  • Cybersecurity, services, and innovation are tied together with the order placing the Director of the American Technology Council as one primary stakeholder for the report modernizing IT and cybersecurity.
  • The order emphasizes workforce development as a key component of the United States cybersecurity advantage. Within 120 days the order requires the President receive a report on how to support the growth and sustainment of cybersecurity education.

Does the order change much? Not really.

Is it worth getting excited over? Absolutely, for those that felt the government had too few reports and committees.

For security practitioners? Probably not, but we are a cynical bunch by trade. It isn't transformative, but it does show incremental improvement by existing.

Then again, cybersecurity requirements for accepting credit cards are still tougher (and more enforceable) than ones for providing electricity....

Energy Is Embracing Zero Trust, All Industries Should Too

Stephanie Balaouras

I recently heard a segment on WBUR (a public radio station in Boston) on the emergence of microgrids and I was amazed at how much the concept of microgrids closely aligned with the concept of microperimeters within our Zero Trust model of information security. Zero Trust is a conceptual and architectural model for how security teams should redesign networks into secure microperimeters, increase data security through obfuscation techniques, limit the risks associated with excessive user privileges, and dramatically improve security detection and response through analytics and automation. Zero Trust demands that security professionals move away from legacy, perimeter-centric models of information security - which are useless for today's digital businesses no longer bounded by the four walls of their corporation - to a model that is both data and identity centric and extends security across the entire business ecosystem.

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Why You Are Getting Disrupted

Brian  Hopkins

The overriding theme of every disruption story I’ve ever heard is that firms thought they had more time than they did. So, I’ve been pondering the why. We can see disruption happening all around us, but why is it so difficult to get out in front of it?

Then I slogged my way through Ray Kurzweil’s Law Of Accelerating Returns and it hit me. Digital disruption is about the clash between exponential change and our brain’s wanting things to be linear. Here is what I mean:

  • The law of accelerating returns says that evolutionary systems, like information technology, produce exponential changes. This happens because one generation of technology builds on and accelerates the returns of past generations. Think of how the Internet led to cloud, accelerating mobile apps, which build on broadband wireless, etc.
  • Accelerating returns produce exponential curves in a system’s fundamental measures. This is what Ray proved mathematically in his law. In information technology that means the measures of power and speed tend to double at consistent intervals, while costs are cut in half. Think Moore’s law.
  • The law of accelerating returns implies that Moore’s law is not the exception, it's the rule. So, we should expect many Moore’s laws, and if fact, that is what we have seen — look up Gilder’s Law, Metcalf’s Law, Kryder’s Law, etc.
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The Missing Step To Maximizing Your B2B Content Marketing Investments

Daniel Klein

You hear this advice everywhere: B2B marketers need to do more with less. Nowhere is that more true than with your cornerstone content. Unfortunately, B2B marketers underutilize their cornerstone content studies such as whitepapers backed by data and ROI/business case analyses. 43% of marketers in North America and a staggering 69% of marketers in Europe who attended recent Forrester webinars said they create four or fewer content  assets from a single cornerstone study. This is a travesty. It is a lost opportunity to maximize the value you get from an existing content investment. Creating too few assets limits the reach of this important content, and your prospect base won’t find the content unless some of the key information is in a format they prefer to use.

Activating your cornerstone content using a range of formats that align with how your prospects want to consume it and how your organization can deliver it greatly extends its value and longevity. For example, let’s say you posted a report for download on your website based on a survey of 200 IT/LOB professionals about their digital transformation adoption priorities, challenges, and desired outcomes. Typically, we see marketers building some of the same data into a landing page, an infographic, and a webinar. But that only adds up to four content assets. The best practice among top marketers we work with is to repurpose cornerstone content into at least 10 or more different formats. Here’s a list of additional assets you can use to activate cornerstone content, with limited additional effort or expense:

  • Data points in executive keynote presentations.
  • Sales presentations.
  • Investor pitches.
  • Click fodder for online ads or social media.
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Forrester Projects US Tech Market Will Grow By Around 5% In 2017 And 2018

Andrew Bartels

Forrester has just published our updated forecast for the US tech market for 2017-2018 (see “US Tech Market Outlook For 2017 And 2018: Mostly Sunny, With Clouds And Chance Of Rain”). We are forecasting growth of 4.8% in 2017 and 5.2% in 2018 for US business and government spending on tech goods, services, and staff. This forecast assumes moderate US economic growth (2% to 2.5% real GDP growth, 4% to 4.5% nominal GDP growth). Considering  this economic outlook, our updated 2017 forecast is slightly less positive than our December forecast (4.8% vs. 5.1%) for US budget growth in 2017, with our new 2018 forecast pointing to a modest improvement next year.

Three main themes define our updated forecast:

1.    Steady US real economic growth will support moderate growth for US business and government spending. Despite the weak 0.7% real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017, economic forecasts have slightly improved since our post-election update, bolstered by renewed US business confidence. US consumer spending remains strong, as a result of reduced energy costs and low unemployment. We now think it unlikely that the Trump Administration's tax and spending policies in practice will lead to higher growth rates, nor that its actual trade policies will lead to lower growth. However, clouds in the economic outlook could emerge as the effects of rising interest rates, US housing vulnerability, weak US exports from the strong dollar, and anticipated cutting of US government spending take place.

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