• Newsflash: Blockchain Won’t Make You Sexier or Extend Your Lifespan

    [IanInsights] – So why all the overhype on this latest ‘break-through’ technology? 

    Imagine a technology so red hot that the mere mention of it during an earnings’ call drives the stock up sharply. VCs all but throwing unprecedented sums of money at unproven start-ups focused on it. Blue Chip corporations betting their very future and even a consumer beverage company refocusing its business around this new technology… (read more)

  • How to Cut Through Industry Analysts Opinions & Make Better Decisions: ROI

    [IanInsights] – The Numbers Don’t Lie. I left IDC 17 years ago completely frustrated with the softening of industry research away from hard numbers to opinion. Worse yet, I saw major analyst firms moving toward pay-for-play models where a big investment influenced results. Vendors that increase their budget significantly magically appeared in the Leader Quadrant, while those that did not ‘contribute’ enough risked being labeled a niche player.

    This practice taints the entire industry, undermining the very service we provide – objectivity. It’s like a study touting the health benefits of coffee, sponsored by Starbucks. In fact, the research may be sound, but do we really trust a coffee chain to be unbiased here?… (read more)

  • How Tech ROI is Showing Bigger Trends

    [IanInsights] – For the past few years we’ve seen overall ROI numbers starting to decline while average annual benefits continue to increase. That might seem contradictory at first, since strong ROI often corresponds to the actual monetary benefit realized. But what we are seeing reflected in recent ROI numbers are bigger industry trends at play.

    In fact, a macro-level view of ROI in aggregate reveals great insight into where the industry is now and where we are heading. Our annual Tech ROI Awards, now it its 16thyear, provide a good base-line for overall tech success and where the industry is heading. Several key trends stand out… (read more)

  • Trim the ‘Tech Averse’ or Die

    [IanInsights] – Like it or not, Millennials are entering the workforce en masse. Despite all the complaints and gripes about our first truly digital generation, they are already transforming the way we do business. Case in point – BYOD. They refused company-issued equipment and delivered unanticipated productivity using their own devices. That was eight years ago and their influence is only growing… (read more)

  • The Amazon-Walmart Battle Royale is All About Supply Chain (and Inventory Optimization)

    [IanInsights] – How did the supply chain become so sexy? Once the domain of just a few logistics specialists, it seems to have caught the public’s attention lately. That’s what a random stranger who caught the chairlift with me this weekend wanted to discuss. Not the fresh powder, perfect temperature and peak skiing conditions. He passionately made the case for how the supply chain can help him get new ski poles faster.

    The supply chain has certainly captured Wall Street’s attention too, when investors recently sent Walmart’s stock plummeting more than 10 percent following the Q4 2017 earnings report. That’s because the world’s largest company saw a major slow-down for e-commerce growth. Worse yet, it ran out of popular, common items during the December holiday. Meanwhile Amazon is estimated to have accounted for 50 percent of all online sales during that holiday period. (read more)

  • The Amazon HQ2 Race: The Overlooked Might Just Take the Prize

    [IanInsights] – Hats off to Amazon’s marketing strategy around the HQ2 decision. Big headlines for months from across the country as the competition heated up. 238 municipalities in total applied from nearly every U.S. states as well as from cities in Canada and Mexico. It kicked off a continental discussion of how technology could rejuvenate some stagnant markets. That alone made this exercise worthwhile. (read more)

  • IBM is NOT Back. One Quarter of Revenue Growth Does Not a Trend Make

    [IanInsights] – Last November I called on IBM to fire its CEO and Chair, Ginni Rometty to save what was left of Big Blue. I cited the lack of performance and particularly IBM’s 22 consecutive quarters of revenue decline as a main argument for changing leadership in Armonk. To my surprise, a majority of readers agreed, including many current and former IBM employees. A small group of Rometty supporters, however, were quite vocal in their opposition to my arguments.

    In fact, I’ve heard from a few of them since last Thursday when IBM announced a quarter of revenue growth during its earnings announcement. “HA! What do you have to say now?” wrote one status quo champion.

    I will admit that the news did surprise me, and I do indeed have something to say… (read more)

  • Breaking the Magic Spell in Making Technology Decisions

    [IanInsights] – In the age of analytics, metrics are increasingly driving business decisions. Well beyond total profit margin, revenue growth or even EBITA and EBITDA, we are getting more granular. Churn rates and cost-of-acquisition numbers are dynamic now. We assign KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to everyone and measure productivity down to the profit-per-employee level. Marketing activities are weighed against sales-close rates to see how many leads translate into revenue. (read more)

  • Shiny Object Syndrome Awareness Week — aka CES!

    [IanInsights] – It’s Shiny Object week, otherwise known as the Consumer Electronics Show or CES. That splashy Las Vegas display of all the exciting consumer tech toys that are poised to grab our attention and shake up the industry.

    For the rest of this week, gadgets, gizmos and tech concepts will dominate headlines. Just after we’ve all finished our New Year’s resolutions, we now get over-sized predictions of how computing, entertainment and our very way of life is about to radically change. A week of game-changer rollouts.

    But just like most New Year’s resolutions, nearly all announcements coming out of CES are 90% wishful thinking. Big ideas and themes to frame the discussion with little meat on the bones. Last year, for example, was supposed to be the year of self-driving cars, smart home devices everywhere and a tipping point for wearables. Except that it wasn’t! (read more)