A FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT WITHIN ENTERPRISE IT

CLIENT PROBLEM
Working as an analyst and writer at the Research Board, an IT think tank headquartered in New York, I participated on a year-long project on the rise of cloud computing within large companies for a group of more than 100 CIOs at various F500 companies. Infrastructure and applications delivered as a service represent a significant shift in the way IT has traditionally been delivered, with fundamental implications for both suppliers and buyers alike.

SOLUTION
I worked with 2 colleagues to conduct primary and secondary research on the tech industry. I helped interview dozens of technology leaders in companies such as Google, HP, Microsoft, Dropbox, IBM, salesforce.com, and others. The output of the research consisted of a +100-page report and conference organized around the topic for our clients and a few technology industry leaders.

 

Tools & Methods: Interviews, surveys, secondary research, data analysis

Deliverable: Formal report, presentation of content

Team: 2 other researchers

Client: Confidential list of global multinational corporations from various industries

Year: 2013-2014

 

 
A page on infrastructure as a service from the completed report. 

A page on infrastructure as a service from the completed report. 

 
 

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Cloud computing represents a fundamental shift in the way IT services have traditionally been delivered. Infrastrucure as a Service (IaaS) offerings are now available from both old and newer IT suppliers catering specifically to large enterprises. Software as a Service (SaaS) providers have also exploded in number and are moving towards a platform model.

TOPIC OVERVIEW

The past few years have seen a marked increase not only in the adoption of cloud services, but also in the degree of strategic focus the major IT suppliers are giving to the challenges and possibilities of cloud. IT suppliers are transitioning to sell continuous, connected services, not software packages. They are a) increasingly leveraging the architectural and business model insights of consumerization, b) focusing on the needs of end users and systems of engagement rather than embedded, mature systems of record, and c) competing not on features but on the underlying “substrate” of identity, location, user behavior, and other primitives out of which they will build differentiated services.

PROCESS

While the exact contents of the report are confidential, these are some of the topics and companies I investigated: 

  • Infrastructure: Azure, AWS, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud, Cisco
  • Applications: Workday, SuccessFactors, Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, Google Apps, O365, Factual, RelateIQ
  • Services platforms and APIs
  • Contextual computing, AI, IBM Watson
  • Open data, location and identity services
  • Cloud computing history

More specificlaly, in my role I was an active team member in every part of the research, data gathering, and presentation of the material. It was my responsability to coordinate research amongst the team and to make sure we hit all our deadlines. I prepared for and conducted interviews with tech leaders, actively participated in setting the research direction, and wrote one of the four chapters included in the final report on data ecosystems.