• 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)

  • Three Reasons Why IBM Needs to Fire Ginni Rometty

    [IanInsights] – Nucleus Research called for Microsoft to oust CEO Steve Ballmer in 2010 as part of our predictions for the coming year. In fairness, we knew the board would take more time before ultimately removing him. It’s too bad they waited three years to realize the need for a new direction. You have to wonder if Microsoft might have had a chance in the mobile device market had Ballmer left sooner. Succeeding CEO Satya Nadella has turned the Redmond giant around fairly quickly and made Microsoft highly relevant again. Dare I say that Microsoft is starting to lead? At least in some areas.

    Sadly, another iconic tech pioneer is hanging onto a struggling leader rather than making a clean cut to quickly correct the ship. This time it’s IBM and CEO Ginni Rometty. It’s time for her to go before she takes the whole ship down with her. (read more)

  • ADP’s Sudden Payroll Cloud Conversion: True Faith or Smoke Screen for Proxy War?

    [IanInsights] – It’s been at least 15 years since a vendor migrating its products to the cloud has been newsworthy. At the beginning of the adoption cycle, it was interesting and the industry watched intently. Since then, nearly every software category has made the transition, including cloud laggard ERP. Cloud migration has long since been settled and those vendors that have not embraced it have mostly fallen into obscurity.

    Yet here we are in late 2017 with a vendor announcing it will finally migrate its product line to the cloud. And it’s newsworthy, but for all the wrong reasons. (read more)

  • Cloud Laggard ERP Leapfrogs Other Apps, Gets Vertical

    [IanInsights] – Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the central system of record for many enterprise businesses, enabling companies to collect and manage data ranging from sales and finance to human resources and marketing. Yet despite the fundamental role ERP plays, it has been an absolute laggard for two of the most important trends driving business for the past decade – cloud computing and verticalization.

    The transition to the cloud has been slow due to a very lengthy ERP lifecycle that is, in some cases, just now catching up to the cloud. Large enterprises that had invested millions and sometimes even billions in ERP systems prior to 2002 did not rip out those hefty investments to shift to the cloud. They understood the CapEx vs. OpEx benefit, but since they’d already made the capital investment, they opted to leave the on-premise solution in place to depreciate over time. These big businesses simply couldn’t write off the significant investments they’d made – at least not without creating a shareholder revolt. (read more)

  • What is the Value of a Case Study? Just Look at Amazon!

    [IanInsights] – How exactly did Amazon transition from upstart online bookseller to the third largest retailer in the world? Many give credit to Jeff Bezos and his audacious vision. Others point to the tightly managed supply chain, creating new efficiencies. Of course both are right.

    But what really set Amazon apart from the very beginning was something far more obvious – customer reviews. Without the ability to actually touch or hold a product, many customers were hesitant to buy online. Let’s face it, company photos and product descriptions lack credibility. Amazon overcame this hurdle by allowing other customers to post their experiences and this drove people to push the order button — a lot. (read more)

  • How Microsoft Got Its Groove Back (and Is Putting Apple in the Rearview Mirror)

    [IanInsights] – Back in 2010 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stood before a packed crowd to unveil what he called the new ‘Slate PC.’ (He never was known to be a branding genius.) In the much anticipated announcement, Ballmer highlighted ‘new form factors that are coming this year’ (Video) while holding a mock HP unit for all to see. But as we all know, Microsoft squandered this lead and watched Apple launch the iPad three months later. A market Apple continues to dominate – for now. (read more)