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Datapoint: IT Research That Matters

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Datapoint: IT Research That Matters

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

The CNET Networks B2B research team keeps you tuned in to the latest findings from our in-house efforts using proprietary research tools such as BT Trax and IT Priorities. Viewpoints from the independent analyst community that matter to an enterprise-level decision maker are also covered. But it's not a forum just for our thoughts on what we think is important, so please comment, link, and let us know what you think too!

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Gartner bearish on on-demand services

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p>The growing popularity of software-as-a-service vendors like Salesforce.com, and recent moves, like Oracle's <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=24" target="_self">acquisition</a> of Siebel, are indicators that the software industry is tilting toward an on-demand future. But don't expect it to take off so fast says a recent Gartner <a href="http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=485817" target="_self">report</a> (client reg. req.).  <strong>Despite the hype, on-demand services are likely to account for less than 10 percent of business application use through 2010</strong>, according to the research firm. The reason why, says Gartner, is that the on-demand model is not suitable for complex business uses like logistics support and order handling, and for large complex companies requiring business process support.  But the "complexity constraint bar" will rise over time since on-demand vendors can add functionality easily, said the report.   </p>
<p>Among the cases when on-demand services should be considered, according to Gartner, are to; <strong>bypass IT</strong> when it stands in the way of the business for any number of reasons; serve as a <strong>temporary innovation fix</strong> if functionality is not available from a large suite vendor; and when the <strong>underlying process is outsourced</strong> such as call center support applications.</p>
<p>Avoid on-demand services when you are dealing with <strong>transactional-intensive</strong> applications such as in a warehouse management system; when data is <strong>exceptionally sensitive</strong>, and when on-demand service providers don’t have the <strong>deep functionality</strong> or provide the level of <strong>customization </strong>required, said the report </p>
<p>Gartner defines business applications on demand as, "the delivery of preconfigured business applications form a remote location over an IP network on a subscription-based outsourcing contract." </p>
<p>Meanwhile, a great angle at how disruptive technologies like on-demand are wreaking havoc on traditional software licensing schemes comes from <strong>Infoconomy</strong>. A <a href="http://www.infoconomy.com/pages/strategy-column/group110081.adp" target="_self">column</a> starts off by quoting Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft, as saying "<strong>My head hurts…my head hurts a lot when I think about that problem</strong>," in response to questions about software licensing at a press briefing in London recently. The ensuing issues covered capture well a situation going seriously pear-shaped…</p><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=265&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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What is hot now on TechRepublic

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p><img alt="Trax" src="http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/z/200501/bttrax_icn2.gif" align="left" border="0" />A BT Trax analysis of sister site <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/" target="_self">TechRepublic</a> shows that over the last month, among the top-10 consumed resources, <strong>the most popular vendors were Microsoft, Google and Mozilla; the most popular product was Windows XP; and the most popular topic was security</strong> (VPN, DNS, patches). While that information alone may not be something to write home about, what makes TechRepublic a little different than our other B2B properties like ZDNet is that it has additional content types like discussion strings and Tech Q&A that we also track and determine the nuances between them for given topics and companies. </p>
<p>What we found when looking at the most-read discussions for the same time period is that the subject matter varied greatly and had little correlation with the top topics and companies among consumed downloaded resources. This is expected since this content is user-generated and not editorially-driven—although TechRepublic editors are at the liberty of starting their own discussions and participating in them. So looking at what TR members are writing and reading about, we see a <strong>thriving community comfortable discussing issues both great and small and often well outside the world of technology</strong>. </p>
<p>The following table shows the top-10 consumed downloadable resources and the most active discussion threads from September 4, 2005 through September 26, 2005. </p>
<table height="384" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" width="100%" border="1">
<tr>
<td><strong>Top-10 TechRepublic Resources</strong></td>
<td><strong>Top-10 TechRepublic Discussions</strong></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-1035-5845120.html">Ten things you should know about troubleshooting VPN connections</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=181004&start=0">Ben Stein is right!</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5705611.html">30 keyboard shortcuts for moving faster in Windows XP</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=6&threadID=180392&start=0">Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-10877_11-5630184.html">Delete Hiberfil.sys in Windows XP before defragmenting</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=180553&start=0">Where is the support for the US?</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5854750.html">Hack Google, release its hidden power, and find what you want on the Internet</a></td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11179-0.html?forumID=7&threadID=181805&start=0">Help managing a very brilliant employee</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5878531.html">10+ things you should know about troubleshooting a slow PC</a></td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=181265&start=0">Disaster Recovery - Hurricane</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5842115.html">Take control of Windows XP system properties during both startup and shutdown</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11193-0.html?forumID=4&threadID=181084&messageID=1845406">Several good points</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10877-5843496.html">10 Firefox extensions that will enhance your Web surfing experience</a></td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=181576&start=0">PROOF of climate change & Planet Destruction - WE'VE GONE TOO FAR</a></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-1035-5860650.html">Ten things you should know about securing DNS</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11183-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=181013&messageID=1844501">The Hot Button: Internet Explorer 7 could extinguish the re-ignited browser war</a> </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-1009-5851431.html">Master patch management of Windows systems with these best practices</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5247-6257-0.html?id=4212675">enrevanche@techrepublic</a> </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10878-5856635.html">Ten things you should know about managing IT projects</a> </td>
<td><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11193-0.html?forumID=4&threadID=180733&messageID=1842098">Bug hunters, software firms in uneasy alliance</a> </td>
</tr>
</table>
<p>Source: ZDNet Research, September 2005</p><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=266&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Latest IT Priorites data shows software making gains

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p><strong>October’s IT Priorities findings show that software infrastructure has reclaimed the second place position from hardware upgrades, which is now back as the no. 3 top priority among our approximately 500 respondents who take our survey each month.</strong> </p>
<p>Drilling down, we found that current spending on ERP projects averaged 25% of enterprise software spending in the last 12 months, but a slight drop in spending is predicted to 21% of all enterprise software spending in the next 12 months. Spending on CRM solutions is expected to remain at an average of 15% over the next 12 months while investment in directory services is expected increase to an average of 19% for the coming year.</p>
<p>Meanwhile, wired & wireless networking projects, which account for the greatest proportion of responses in our data, averaged 16% of IT spending in the last 12 months, on par with networking spending during the previous year. Spending for networking solutions is expected to increase over the next 12 months, reaching an average of 24% for the coming year, with well over a quarter of that amount slated for VoIP solutions.</p>
<p>Over in hardware upgrades, server projects averaged 47% of hardware spending in the last 12 months, with 24% of spending on storage projects for the same time frame. Looking ahead, spending for server solutions is expected to decrease 4% over the next 12 months, while spending on storage projects is expected to reach an average of 24% for the coming year. </p>
<p>Within security, the number four top IT priority, we found that initiatives to counter cyber threats averaged 40% of security spending in the last 12 months, but that it is expected to decrease over the next 12 months, reaching an average of 27%. In contrast, authentication/encryption spending is expected to increase to an average of 23% of security spending for the coming year from just 15% currently. </p>
<p>The table below shows the ranking of all nine 12-month planned technology categories we track.</p>
<p><img title="ITP.GIF" alt="ITP.GIF" hspace="5" src="http://blogs.zdnet.com/images/ITP.GIF" align="bottom" border="0" /></p><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=267&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Wired-up Africans reach 100 million? ingenious uses abound

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p>While we in the U.S. sit back and weigh in the convenience of owning one of Apple's new video iPods or being able to bridge Yahoo and MSN’s instant messaging clients next year, across the Atlantic, <strong>millions of Africans in the world's poorest countries are making one giant leap to 21st century wireless communications, and in the process finding ingenious solutions to everyday problems</strong>. An Associate Press article, found <a href="http://www.berkshireeagle.com/business/ci_3107950" target="_self">here</a>, writes about a farmer who used to spend hours looking for a working payphone now uses a cell phone to link up with customers and brokers to figure out what price to set her produce. And a fisherman who phones in from his sailboat to find the port which will score him the biggest profit for his catch. Another example is how <strong>South Africans and Kenyans sling cell phones round the necks of elephants to track them through bush and jungle</strong>. </p>
<p>The article cites impressive growth figures from the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union which reported that <strong>cell phones made up 74.6 percent of all African phone subscriptions last year</strong>. And according another stat, cell phone subscriptions jumped 67 percent south of the Sahara in 2004, compared with 10 percent in cell-phone-saturated Western Europe. </p>
<p>It is good to see that virtually no place will be left behind as the world goes wireless.   </p><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=269&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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One-tenth of the world's population shopping online, says ACNielsen

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p>In a clear sign that cultures the world over are growing more comfortable with online shopping, a study from ACNielsen Europe published today reveals that about <strong>10 percent of the world's population - more than 627 million people - has shopped online at least once</strong>. The countries with the highest incidents of shopping online were Germany, Austria, and the UK with at least 95 percent of surveyed Internet users having made purchases online.  The US ranked eleventh with 89 percent of users having purchased something online. An <a href="http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/10/18/business/eshop.php" target="_self">article</a> from The International Herald Tribune discusses these findings and points out differences in buying habits across regions and demographics, while a <a href="http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2005/19/c3000.html" target="_self">press release</a> cites that over 212 million online shoppers mention books as among the last 3 items they purchased online. In addition:</p>
<ul>
<li>
<div>Over 135 million people have purchased DVDs and/or video games</div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Close to 135 million made plane reservations</div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Over 128 million purchased articles of clothing/accessories/shoes</div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Over 112 million paid for music downloads and/or CDs</div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Over 106 million purchased electronic devices (including cameras, etc.)</div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Close to 98 million bought computer hardware</div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Over 86 million consumers made hotel and/or tour bookings.</div>
</li>
</ul><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=270&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Apple's Predatory Supply Chain

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p><strong>AMR Research?s</strong> Bruce Richardson <a href="http://www.amrresearch.com/Content/view.asp?pmillid=18822&pubid=2109" target="_self">writes </a>about what he calls "<strong>predatory supply chains</strong>," situations where manufacturers through exclusive contracts monopolize key inputs leaving competitors high and dry, especially in new growth markets. </p>
<p>Richardson introduces the idea with Apple's iPod. He points out the recent wave of reports about <strong>Samsung's local competitors alleging that the chip maker was supplying flash memory chips to Apple at half the market price</strong>. While the scandal ultimately <a href="http://news.com.com/Apple+drops+Samsung+joint+investment+plan/2100-1004_3-5896622.html" target="_self">derailed</a> a proposed $3.8 Billion join-venture between Apple and Samsung, it doesn't look like much of a set-back:</p>
<blockquote dir="ltr">
<p>Of all the strategic moves, I like the flash memory story the best. Apple sold one million iPod nanos in the first 17 days after release. Create incredible demand for a new product while blocking competitor access to critical components.</p>
<p>If the flash memory story is true, Apple has built the Predatory Supply Chain. While that advantage won't last forever, it has allowed Apple to build a strong lead over all of the MP3 vendors.  </p></blockquote>
<p>The predatory supply chain can also be found elsewhere and in other industries, according to Richardson. He points to <strong>Dell </strong>(predator behavior hastens price war on PCs), <strong>Wal-Mart</strong> (a predator via information systems and penny-pinching sourcing and logistics strategies), and <strong>Toyota</strong> (a predator in hybrid-engine cars) as examples. </p>
<p>Richardson asks: "Are the flash memory and hybrid transmission stories once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, or do companies have more frequent market windows where they could produce the next iPod or Prius?"  I'd reason that companies like Apple and Toyota are among the very few with the right mix of design, innovation, timing to seize the many opportunities that are floating out there. </p>
<p>
<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=271&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Analyst thinks Google should buy Rearden Commerce

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p>In his latest "Alert Highlight," (it might as well be called a blog), AMR?s Bruce Richardson muses over the "<a href="http://www.amrresearch.com/Content/View.asp?pmillid=18850" target="_self">Google Economy</a>," a subject not suffering from any lack of coverage these days.  His final of five points stood out and deserves some attention:</p>
<blockquote dir="ltr">
<p><strong>No. 5: Google should buy Rearden Commerce</strong></p>
<p>Why should Google buy it? Today, Rearden sells its product for a modest per-user price. This requires building an expensive salesforce. Google, on the other hand, could eliminate the salesforce, give the software away, and make money from advertising and transaction fees. Rearden?s network includes 130,536 suppliers, including 80,000 hotels, 50,000 restaurants, and 530 airlines.</p></blockquote>
<p><a href="http://www.reardencommerce.com/" target="_self">Rearden Commerce</a>, covered both by <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=1086" target="_self">Dan Farber</a> and <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/service-oriented/?p=207" target="_self">Britton Manasco</a> earlier this year, is a promising company that has put together a services grid for a category they coined, Employee Business Services (EBS), which revolutionizes the way businesses procure services such as travel, small package delivery, conferencing, and so on.  As Richardson proposes, if Google decided to roll up the procurement business and leverage its infrastructure to support it as a free service to end-users, this could be a great way to go about doing so. </p>
<p>It is good to see analysts at AMR getting more and more original in their views and sounding more like the <a href="http://www.redmonk.com/blogs/index.html" target="_self">RedMonk</a> crew, or <a href="http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/" target="_self">Charlene Li</a>  at  Forrester, for example. Let's see how IDC's new blog, <a href="http://blogs.idc.com/ie/" target="_self">IDC eXchange</a>, fares. </p>
<p>By the way, Richardson also wrote about predatory supply chains, which I <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=271" target="_self">covered</a> recently.  </p>
<p>
<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=272&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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Adopting ITIL? Read this

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p>Saw some great ITIL&nbsp<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITIL" target="_self">IT Infrastructure Library</a&gt quotes recently gathered from our readers in a presentation the senior management team was about to deliver to a client. The best practice framework for treating IT like a business can be approached in piecemeal and not all components need to be adopted, so progress can vary greatly.  But the following mindset is a great one to consider if you are on the fence about if it is going to be worth the effort:</p>
<blockquote dir="ltr">
<p>"I work in an organization of 100,000+ employees and we are midway through a <font>Global project to embed ITIL processes in our IT functions</font>. Any implementation on this scale is going to have some problems, but already <font>the benefits are becoming clear</font>? Alot of the areas ITIL covers are areas your organization will have to deal with anyway (or should be dealing with!), so <font>it's not as if you can avoid all the issues ITIL can help you with</font>." </p></blockquote>
<p>Adoption of ITIL is growing especially among large companies. According to a recent survey by Forrester Research Inc., 12% of $1 billion companies had adopted some portion of ITIL as of 12 months ago, and one-third said they were getting started on ITIL or were considering using it.  </p>
<p>Since white papers are a key online resource for IT professionals, we know our <a href="http://whitepapers.zdnet.com/" target="_self">IT directory</a> has been and will continue to be a destination for many looking for information.  And if you ever read this blog before you know that we have a proprietary tool called <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/index.php?p=22" target="_self">BT Trax</a> that gives us insight into how our resources are consumed. Below is a chart showing the ballooning ITIL consumption trend since we started collecting data over two years ago. </p>
<p><strong>Directory downloads for ITIL resources in full swing</strong></p>
<p><img title="ITIL1109.GIF" alt="ITIL1109.GIF" hspace="5" src="http://blogs.zdnet.com/images/ITIL1109.GIF" align="middle" border="0" /></p>
<p>Here is a list of the most-read ITIL titles from some of the most active vendors this year:   </p>
<ul>
<li>
<div><strong>BMC Software: </strong><a href="http://whitepapers.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=151250">Top Ten Reasons Organizations are Unsuccessful Implementing ITIL</a></div>
<li>
<div><strong>Computer Associates: </strong><a href="http://whitepapers.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=132536">ITIL Best Practices Study Results ? How Do You Rate?</a></div>
<li>
<div><strong>Mercury Interactive: </strong><a href="http://whitepapers.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=124427">ITIL Best Practices for IT and Business Alignment</a></div>
<li>
<div><strong>Pink Elephant: </strong><a href="http://whitepapers.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=108936">ITIL Certification</a></div></li></ul>
<p>
<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=273&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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ZDNet study: Web technology slips to number six IT priority

by chris jablonski In reply to Datapoint: IT Research Th ...

<p>This month's IT Priorities results show that projects revolving around Web Technology, which include implementations like Web services, portals, and e-commerce, have taken a back seat to five other major areas of IT investment; wired and wireless networking (no. 1), hardware upgrades (no. 2), software infrastructure (no. 3), IT management (no. 4), and security (no. 5).  </p>
<p>The swap between Web technology and IT management (4th to 6th) indicates that as the end of the year looms, businesses are shifting resources to make sure that they have the delivery of their IT services in check and have requirements such as regulatory compliance squared away before readying their applications for the still vague world of <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/service-oriented/index.php?p=470" target="_self">SOA</a> and Web 2.0.  </p>
<p>Our data shows some other changes as well from <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=267" target="_self">last month</a>. Software infrastructure is back in the no. 3 spot as hardware upgrades made some gains. Wired and Wireless, as usual, is at the top. </p>
<p>But looking at 12-month trending data, however, we see that <strong>actual spending does not always match what IT professionals forecast</strong> (our overall rankings are determined by current information technology project or implementations <em>and </em>the most important technology initiative plans over the next 12 months). </p>
<p>Software infrastructure projects averaged 22% of IT spending in the last 12 months, followed by wired & wireless networking with 17% of spending during the same timeframe.  But over next 12 months, software project spending is expected to dip to 17% of spending, and wired & wireless networking solutions are expected to increase to an average of 24%. </p>
<p>Server projects averaged 48% of hardware spending in the last 12 months, with 18% of spending on storage projects for the same time frame. In hardware, average spending for server solutions is expected to decrease slightly over the next 12 months, while spending on storage projects is expected to rise to an average of 24% for the coming year. </p>
<p>Security spending for countering cyberthreats averaged 38% in the last 12 months but is expected to decrease over the next 12 months, reaching an average of 26%. Our data shows that authentication/encryption spending is expected to increase to an average of 23% of security spending for the coming year. </p>
<p>And in networking, not much has changed from last month. VoIP projects averaged 26% of networking spending in the last year and are expected to increase over the next 12 months, reaching an average of 29% for the coming year, while other networking technologies climb to 31% of IT spending.</p>
<p>
<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Research/?p=274&part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdblog">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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