New ISG Provider Lens Report – ADM Trends and Provider Positioning

Ashish Chaturvedi, Bruce Guptill, Jan Erik Aase Research Alerts What is Happening? ISG has released its first ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research study on Application Development and Maintenance (ADM) services for the U.S. market. ISG’s analysis of enterprise digital business growth indicates a series of disruptive changes in enterprise application development and maintenance (ADM) use […]

Aricent Analyst Day Highlights a Bifurcation in the Transition to Digital

Alex Bakker Research Alerts What is Happening? Last week ISG attended an analyst day with engineering services firm Aricent and their subsidiary Frog Design. While much of the content was under NDA, relating to specific instances of their work for customers, there were some details that highlight an important bifurcation in the service provider market. […]

ISG Index™: As-a-Service Approaching Parity with Traditional Sourcing

What is Happening? Last week, we held our 59th quarterly Index call summarizing the state of the combined sourcing and as-a-service industries for global, commercial and public sector contracts worth more than $5 million in annual contract value (ACV). Key takeaways from the call include the following: Global as-a-service sourcing continues to approach parity with […]

Dallas Digital Business Summit – The Tactically-strategic IT Reality is Global

Charlie Burns Research Alerts What is Happening? At the Digital Business Summit in Dallas, the consistent question was: How do enterprises best to make the right tactical decisions today that leave open the best options for the future of the business? Summit attendees generally agreed on three overarching factors that are influencing all aspects of enterprise […]

London Digital Business Summit – Short-term IT Investment Focus for Long-term Business Gain

Alex Bakker, Jim Hurley Research Alerts

What is Happening?

Panel discussions, presentations, and hallway conversations at this week’s Digital Business Summit in London explored and reflected the increasingly-consistent shorter-term focus by IT and business leaders on all aspects of the enterprise, but especially on IT. The object of such focus is not to ignore longer-term issues and needs; the object is how best to make the right tactical decisions today that leave open the best options for the future of the business.

Summit attendees almost universally agreed that the days of long planning and deployment cycles for IT are gone. They have been replaced by sub-year, six-month-and-less cycles. Many attendees suggested that a few-month cycle is the new benchmark. Compare that to the two-year ERP deployments of less than a decade ago.

The net outcome of these discussions? “Tactically strategic” is the new decision-making approach for enterprise IT leaders; i.e., focusing on shorter-term outcomes that enable affordable measurable, longer-term improvement. The approach and phrase capture the essence of what business and IT leaders are saying and doing to cope with, and keep ahead of, increasing competition in a world where customer need and loyalty are fleeting, and where business change happens faster than ever before.

Why is it Happening?

Increasing and accelerating common market pressure – e.g., faster cycles to respond to customers – was mentioned most often as the key factor driving shorter planning and delivery horizons. The tactically strategic approach in turn helps organizations to better respond to market pressures, enable new business opportunity in less-predictable circumstances, and respond to updates and changes to accommodate increasingly digitized customer and product interactions.

Our work with clients before and during the Digital Business Summit has helped us identify and clarify six key planning assumptions – or megatrends – that are driving this trend and helping to shape enterprise and provider response. The six are: the rise of digital intelligence, the digital catch-22, automation of tasks (not jobs), agile strategy redefining the enterprise, IoT eating business IT, and pervasive security.

The Digital Catch-22. On the one hand, sustained success with digital strategies demands investments around core “digital platforms” that help to accelerate technology-led business development. On the other hand, the need for longer-term approaches to funding and testing “strategic” digital platforms is in conflict with the need to react quickly to shorter customer and market cycles, and to increasingly-immediate revenue pressure. So IT and business leaders alike are caught in a “Catch-22” situation requiring substantial investment in powerful capabilities that require precious time to develop, implement, test and refine capabilities for short-term action and response.

Agile strategies redefine the enterprise. Digital enterprises are embracing and enabling the use of short planning and delivery cycles with the use of small and embedded inter-disciplinary teams involving business operations and IT and significant technology partners. The use of agile methods (with leadership buy-in) helps to integrate new processes across functional, information and incentive silos to resolve the Digital Catch-22 problem.

Automation of tasks, not jobs. The focus on work process automation – earmarked by uses of robotic process automation – is on productivity improvement by automating tasks, and not by the elimination of entire classes of jobs. ISG’s most recent research reveals cost savings driven by automation are being used to transform and improve business processes and services to customers, and to fuel needed digital business investment and drive market efficiency.

The rise of digital intelligence. Digital intelligence often – but not always – builds on experience using robotic process automation. Beyond automating tasks, digital intelligence is automating decision cycles by finding the right people – and digital processes – with which to share unique and important insights. Next-generation cognitive systems are driving new business processes and decision models, with the ability to address issues and problems previously unsolvable.

The IoT eats Business IT. The interconnection of vast and rapidly increasing numbers of highly distributed, always connected, moving and mobile assets breaks traditional IT infrastructure, tools, and service desk processes. This is leading to an upheaval of IT architectures, service models, and service catalogs. Successful enterprises are shifting from a focus on things such as sensors, networks, platforms, to broader business value.

Pervasive security is the future. The era of product-led security perimeter silos is over. as security-as-a-service ushers in the transition to pervasive security. Pervasive security becomes possible only via pervasive services including, pervasive identity, pervasive online services, pervasive micro-service and software-defined network security, pervasive deception and information asymmetry, and pervasive orchestration services and in-line cryptography protecting core data everywhere.

Net Impact

Based on our pre-Summit and Summit research, those firms continuing to use longer-term planning and delivery cycles will face an accelerating erosion of customers and orders, with concomitant declines in markets served and capital. If we are incorrect, some longer-term investments may not have optimal levels of funding to achieve market success. Any trade-offs between short- and long- term choices – including digital platforms – will have to be part of business and IT organizational conversations about “tactically strategic” uses of capital to invest in existing, adjacent and new markets. Key factors shaping this will be organizational culture and available skills. Close attention to changes in these will be needed to accommodate changing business models and markets, and changing uses of automation and digital intelligence.

Digital, Agility, IoT, Automation, and Pervasive Security separately and in combination change planning assumptions, architectures and practices of IT significantly. Unpredictable combinations of these will introduce new IT service fabrics that require new tools, new skills and new ways of thinking about, implementing, delivering, managing and updating and managing business risk and opportunity. Clients of ISG Insights will continue to have access to our research, analysis, and guidance in each and all of these areas as they forge ahead into the digital era.

Digital Business and the Boundary-free Enterprise™

Bruce Guptill Research Alerts

What Is Happening?

As we get ready for the 2017 Digital Business Summit events in London and Dallas, it is easy to be reminded that Digital transformation, for enterprises and for IT providers, is increasingly about the re-invention of at least some of every aspect of the business. This includes the company’s technologies, its organization, its functional areas, and its culture, as the boundaries and barriers that have grown from each of these begin to shift and even disappear.

That’s not to say that everything needs to get blown up and rebuilt. But when long-standing business barriers and boundaries shift or disappear, everything that works now should be reconsidered or re-invented to work better in a boundary-less, or even boundary-free, business environment.

Why Is It Happening?

Our Boundary-free Enterprise™ (BfE) concept provides a useful model for identifying and understanding how and why each aspect of the business is changing and will change. The BfE model identifies and explains four areas where boundaries and barriers have traditionally developed and been maintained within and between enterprises – and which today limit and inhibit the ability of enterprises to compete in the new digital business environment. We briefly examine below how each is changing, and why.

Technology. Most technology barriers that inhibit an enterprise’s digital growth have arisen from its business software. Widespread use of open, agile, and Cloud-based development approaches, along with more reliance on and innovation in APIs, have helped reduce or eliminate the OS/platform-enforced technological boundaries between many enterprise IT stacks and systems. Meanwhile, increasingly flexible business models have been enabled by, and driven by, the resulting flexible approaches to development and integration/interoperability. This in turn brings increasing expectations of faster times-to-market, which in turn engender even shorter development and release cycles, which in turn both require and promote faster and more efficient development approaches.

Results: Traditional enterprise technological barriers are much more readily overcome today. Disparate business systems are more likely to be linked more effectively. Traditional OS-based or architecture-based technological barriers are fading. This enables reduction of boundaries elsewhere that inhibit digital growth within and between enterprises. Meanwhile, business expectations of what IT can do are rising – with expected shorter timeframes for results.

Culture. Cultural barriers within the enterprise tend to arise based on organization, function, and technologies used. The technological changes noted above reduce many of the most restrictive and inhibitive boundaries built up by and around cultural structures. Interconnectivity and integration from technology layers up through business processes, and across functional siloes, reduce cultural barriers. In such environments, positive and useful aspects of different cultures are more likely to be shared between organizations, helping to improve communication, collaboration, and the creation of new types of business.

Results: Cultural boundaries within enterprises (e.g., between IT and Marketing) are fading – especially as digital shifts push firms to add, or change to, a service focus versus a product focus. Widespread use of cloud has helped catalyze a rethinking of most organizational roles and responsibilities, while enabling and requiring IT and business leaders to work more and more closely. Note that cultural change strongly affects how, and why, the enterprise engages with other businesses.

Functional. Well-defined sets of data, systems, responsibilities, and functions are increasingly blended, typically by implementing Cloud-based systems that enable vastly improved sharing of information and functionality in more standardized ways. We also see more blending of data and functionality across formerly defined lines of responsibility and function. Leaders and users have access to more and better business data from all areas of the enterprise than ever before. Barriers based on worker and technology function fade as a result.

Results: The extent of inter-enterprise functionality and data sharing is unprecedented, and increasingly widely adopted and adapted. We will see more and better communication between those groups, enabling more and better cooperation, and, if adequately managed, improved sales effectiveness.

Organizational. There are still (and always will be) important departmental boundaries regarding responsibility, reporting, compliance, and function, but communications boundaries are fading fairly quickly. This enables greatly improved operating efficiencies, with much more business and technological innovation at a faster pace with wider reach.

Easier, more secure, and less expensive sharing of data and access makes it more natural to share tasks and functions. Tasks, functions, and workflows increasingly become intertwined, leading to rethinking and redefining business operations into more flexible and efficient constructs.

Results: Important and significant distinctions between businesses and groups within businesses will always exist. But the reduction of technological, cultural, and functional barriers enables the dissolution of many formerly strict boundaries that separated work groups, workflows, and workers.

Net Impact

All of the above changes are occurring everywhere. Practically every business enterprise can and will be transformed to some extent into a boundary-free enterprise. We spend quite a bit of time and effort helping our clients – enterprise and IT provider alike – understand the scope and impact of these changes on their own business, and on their customers, partners, channels and competitors. While every situation is somewhat unique, seven aspects always surface, and must be understood and addressed. These are as follows:

  1. Business strategies need to be reviewed and rethought in the context of more highly-interactive, boundary-free environments.
  2. Success in many markets will require multiple-path, simultaneous approaches that vary based on relative availability and adoption of different enabling technologies.
  3. Speed to market, and speed of response, will become more variable and more critical in many industries. The value of „agility“ will be judged based on a relative ability to reach and match differing business velocities in different relationships and markets.
  4. Business structures, organization, and management need to adapt, and become more flexible, or they will disintegrate. Note: Hierarchical and centralized organizational models cannot be effectively applied where worker autonomy is expected and partner/provider/customer relationships are increasingly dynamic.
  5. Provider and partner relationships must be re-examined and rebuilt, because we are increasingly likely to rely on new and different types of technologies and providers. Enterprises will establish and rely more on new relationships with new providers.
  6. Procurement, security, compliance, and other aspects will need to be re-examined as a result. Software/SaaS providers that excel in this area will be more and more important and valued partners.

Security, especially data security, needs ongoing and continuous reexamination and re-engineering. There are more than adequate security technologies available, but these will need to be adapted in new ways. For example: worker /user security and compliance training and management will have to be rethought and rebuilt for “free-range” worker/user business models in a dynamic IT-as-a-service environment.

SapphireNow 2017: Intelligent Apps – Beginning of an Inflection Point?

Bill McNee Research Alerts

What is Happening?

Earlier this week, ISG Insights attended SAP’s annual SapphireNow conference in Orlando, Florida, along with 30,000 other senior executives, partners and ecosystem players.  Front and center during the opening-day keynote by CEO Bill McDermott was SAP Leonardo, SAP’s new / updated brand that is becoming its de facto next-generation platform and toolkit for building intelligent applications. SAP Leonardo integrates not only SAPs emerging Internet-of-Things (IoT) positioning, but likewise incorporates a design-thinking methodology that leverages machine learning and blockchain technologies, and a range of business analytics functionality.

Why is it Happening?

A key theme that McDermott emphasized was that data is the new “gold” in the digital revolution – a theme further emphasized by Hasso Plattner, Chairman of the Advisory Board, in the Day 2 keynote. In fact, Plattner’s emphasized two key new directions for the firm – the need to be faster and better at rapid application prototyping (emphasizing the role of the UI in this endeavor), and his vision to make all applications intelligent.

In this regard, Leonardo is SAP’s next big thing – and central to the way it will help customers build and deploy next-gen style applications and the services that will surround them. Long an advocate for in-memory approaches and architectures that deliver a single version of the truth, Plattner led SAP to its current “no-aggregates” framework as S/4 HANA evolved over the past few years. In this regard, Leonardo is the next crank of the wheel, and the foundation for the building of a new class of intelligent application layered on top of the SAP Cloud Platform, inclusive of its emerging IoT, AI and machine learning capabilities.

While an event as large and broad as SapphireNow can’t be covered in a single research piece, other key moves by SAP included:

  • SAP Digital Twin, providing digital inspection for the Leonardo IoT platform (leveraging sensors to create real-time digital representations of physical assets). Interesting case studies shared in these regards.
  • SAP Cloud Platform to now run on AWS and Cloud Foundry, as it ups its game to further support a multi-cloud environment.
  • SAP Machine Learning (ML) now available now only as part of Leonardo platform but SAP is launching its own ML technology on a digital platform, called SAP Machine Learning Foundation. A host of SAP offerings are also getting machine learning updates, including SAP 2/4 HANA Cloud for Finance.
  • Significant upgrades to a range of analytic offerings, including SAP Analytics Cloud (formerly Business Objects), SAP Digital Boardroom, SAP Predictive Analytics, among others.
  • SAP Ariba and IBM are partnering together to transform procurement with SAP Leonardo and IBM Watson

Market Impact

As shared in my Lens 360 blog post recap published May 18 on Workday’s recent Tech Summit, it is clear that the major ERP players are dramatically upping their games and advancing strategies that go well beyond their historical strength in developing and delivering core systems of record. In the case of both SAP and Workday, layering in advanced analytics, AI and IoT technologies that access real-time financial and non-financial data, combined with other internal and external information, is significantly extending the value-proposition of both providers – whether rank and file managers, all the way up to the boardroom.

While SAP’s various cloud-based offerings were emphasized throughout the event – front and center was a vision of SAP delivering a next-generation of intelligent apps that have the potential to enable enterprise to better navigate their digital transformations and journey. No doubt that we are early in this journey, but the knee may be in the curve where the emphasis will be less on core systems of record and more on data and executive intelligence as the cornerstones of tomorrows ERP.

While no doubt SAP has a compelling next-generation vision, a big question is how many S/4 HANA customers are far enough along in their journey to take advantage of the new capabilities – and how rapidly will SAP lay out some very actionable, compelling, and high-value ML-based solutions around specific process or executive leadership issues, to accelerate adoption?

But what is clear is SAP is thinking out of the box, as it moves to go beyond its initial S/4 HANA application vision – and sets its sights on helping clients advance their digital journeys. We like that SAP is setting new frontiers and challenges in front of itself.

New ISG Insights Digital Disruptors Report – Cyber Deception Platforms Show Promise

Bruce Guptill, Jim Hurley Research Alert

What is Happening?

Digital cyber deception changes the traditional enterprise security approach from (possibly) learning about compromises months after they occur, toward definitively seeing and handling cyber-attacks that are underway. It helps to put the enterprise back in charge of its own cyber-defenses. However, as with any new disruption, there will be obstacles on the way to mainstream adoption.

A new ISG Insights report – Digital Disruptors in Digital Cyber Deception – from ISG Insights reviews how cyber deception works (and why), and looks at five providers of digital cyber deception platforms. These providers are helping to define and drive the agenda of digital cyber deception, and the way we will think of and practice, defensive cyber-security in the future.

Digital Disruptors in Digital Cyber Deception examines offerings from five providers that we see helping to shape the cyber deception marketplace while disrupting traditional cyber security approaches. The five – Acalvio Technologies, Attivo Networks, Cymmetria, Illusive Networks, and TrapX Security – are profiled by functionality, relative strength, and challenges, with our recommendations as to where each is best suited.

In addition to the five providers of digital cyber deception highlighted in this report, other providers include CounterCraft, CyberTrap, Javelin Networks, Smokescreen Technologies, Thinkst, and Topspin Security. Other providers claiming to field products with similar features include Guardicore, Shape Security and vArmour. Clients of ISG Insights can look forward to examinations of these in future Research Notes and reports.

Why is it Happening?

As we have long maintained, the nature of interconnected systems means that there really cannot be an effective IT security perimeter. And the more users, devices, and software are linked, the less effective are traditional practices focused on boundaries and barriers to stop intrusion and loss.

The impetus driving adoption of digital cyber deception comes from enterprises in industries where cyberattacks are continuous, where the frustration of cyber-defenders is high, where the cybersecurity culture is open to new approaches, and where dealing with new and small providers is not anathema to IT and security leadership – or procurement organizations. Integration with security incident and event management/security operations center (SIEM/SOC) processes will speed enterprise adoption.

Instead of emplacing more barriers to stop cyber-attackers, digital cyber deception lures them into one-way traps. The bait of digital cyber deception helps to maneuver attackers into what appear to be real systems, while keeping them away from operations and digital crown jewels. It plants deceptions – e.g., breadcrumbs, lures, and tokens – throughout the network that attackers expect to find and use to move about in search of digital booty. It transports attackers into a range of decoy systems ranging from database stores, Linux and Windows servers, domain name servers, Active directory servers, point of sale (POS) and industrial control systems (ICS) among others. Once lured, attackers are kept bottled-up in digital honeypots and away from anything that will result in harm.

Anything touching a digital deception is considered a valid attack. Users so far report complete accuracy regarding attacks, with no false positives. Its track record indicates that cyber-defenders are notified as soon as digital deceptions are touched, while the movement of cyber-attackers is monitored in real-time. Better yet, users say its decoys are keeping invaders occupied in virtual environments that are easy to get into, and very difficult to escape from – a little like a digital jail.

Net Impact

Digital cyber deception is the new paradigm for defensive cybersecurity. It stops cybercriminals and attackers by fooling them. It does this by inviting attackers using deceptions, it lures attackers and then traps their lateral movement into mirage kingdoms of shiny fools-gold. Instead of old-world brute-force security that is losing its oomph, this smarter approach to cybersecurity changes the rules of the game in favor of the enterprise.

Readers of Digital Disruptors reports should of course make their own determinations and assessments regarding potential providers, based on their unique requirements, relative priorities and evolving strategies specific to the business or IT challenge at hand. Those requirements should form the criteria for evaluation and selection of providers and solutions.

ISG Insights’ Digital Disruptors are not meant to be complete or exhaustive lists of all technology vendors, solution providers or offerings in a particular area of Business IT. Inclusion in a Digital Disruptors report is not limited to clients of ISG, and implies no endorsement with respect to the providers, nor a warranty of provider suitability or viability. The source of Digital Disruptors content is based on a combination of non-confidential information and analyst insight, supported by fact-based research and analysis and ongoing engagement with both enterprise leaders and providers.

The report is available immediately to ISG Insights subscription clients by clicking here. Clients may also simply log in and download a PDF of the report. Non-clients may obtain copies of the report by contacting ISG Insights at

ISG Provider Lens – Germany 2018 – SAP Hana Services (ehemals Experton Vendor Benchmark): Research-Phase beginnt

Rainer Suletzki

Rainer SuletzkiIn den letzten Jahren wurde von verschiedenen Datenbank-Anbietern die sog. In-Memory-Technologie etabliert, bei der im Unterschied zu herkömmlichen Technologien ein großer Teil oder alle relevanten Anwendungsdaten im Hauptspeicher der eingesetzten Hardware vorgehalten werden. Der unmittelbare Nutzen besteht darin, die Geschwindigkeit der Datenzugriffe und somit der jeweiligen Anwendungen drastisch zu verbessern. Die ersten Anwendungsbeispiele bezogen sich daher häufig auf Data Analytics-Anwendungen. Inzwischen rücken auch die durch drastisch verbesserte Performance möglichen völlig neuen Geschäftsprozesse in transaktionalen Anwendungen in den Fokus. In diesem Kontext hat das entsprechende Angebot der SAP, die HANA-Technologie, vermutlich die bedeutendsten Auswirkungen, weil sie über die Infrastrukturaspekte hinaus auf das breite Anwendungsportfolio von SAP abgestimmt ist, mit der Optimierung des Datenmanagements (Data Aging) kombiniert werden kann und das Zusammenwirken von Data Analytics und transaktionalen Systemen verbessert. Mit dem neuesten Produkt S/4HANA bietet SAP ferner eine radikale Vereinfachung der Datenbankstrukturen innerhalb der SAP Business Suite an („Run Simple“). Die publizierten Verkaufszahlen von SAP legen nahe, dass in vielen Unternehmen der Übergang auf diese Technologie konkret geplant und vielfach auch bereits begonnen wird.

Die zu erwartenden vielfältigen Auswirkungen werden die Nachfrage nach kompetenter Unterstützung bei Konzeption und Implementierung von SAP HANA durch geeignete Services voraussichtlich stetig und signifikant erhöhen.

ISG evaluiert und differenziert im Jahr 2017 erneut alle relevanten SAP HANA Services-Anbieter für Deutschland und synchronisiert dabei Anforderungen auf Anwenderseite mit Angeboten auf Anbieterseite.

Die Studie gibt CIOs, IT-Managern und Pressevertretern auch 2017 einen detaillierten und differenzierten Überblick zu den wichtigsten SAP HANA Services-Anbietern im deutschsprachigen Markt. Zudem werden Pressevertretern ausgewählte Ergebnisse der ISG Provider Lens-Studie für deren Publikationen zur Verfügung gestellt.

Die Research-Phase zur Studie umfasst:

  • Herstellerbefragungen
  • Expertengespräche mit unseren Advisors
  • Bewertung von Produktunterlagen und Referenzen
  • Das Testen und die Bewertung der jeweiligen Angebote


Milestones Beginn Ende
Projekt Kick-off 09.05.2017
Herstellerbefragung 01.06.2017 06.07 2017
Sneak Previews 04.09.2017 09.10.2017
Bereitstellung der Studie 17.10.2017
Presseveröffentlichung 25.10.2017

Um IT-Verantwortliche bei der Vorauswahl ihrer möglichen Partner zu unterstützen, führt die ISG eine umfassende Provider Lens Studie über die Leistungsfähigkeit der in Deutschland aktiven Dienstleister durch.

Die folgenden Bereiche sind Gegenstand der Analysephase für Deutschland:


Die Positionierung der Anbieter erfolgt im Rahmen eines neutralen und unabhängigen Research- und Bewertungsprozesses. Die Teilnahme an der Studie ist KOSTENFREI. Anbieter können lediglich NACH Erstellung des Benchmarks Zweitverwertungsrechte an der Studie zum Gebrauch in Marketing, Presse und Vertrieb erwerben.

Die ISG wird die Auswahl der zu untersuchenden Unternehmen und Services im Rahmen der ISG Provider Lens-Analyse unabhängig von einer aktiven oder passiven Teilnahme vornehmen. Um jedoch unseren Advisors eine möglichst vollständige Bewertung der SAP HANA-Angebote Ihres Unternehmens zu ermöglichen, möchten wir Sie (als Anbieter) bitten, sich aktiv an der Studie zu beteiligen. Bitte reservieren Sie Ressourcen in Ihrem Haus, so dass die Einreichung der Fragebögen und die Terminierung der Briefing-Interviews pünktlich vor Abschluss der Research-Phase stattfinden können.

Um den Fragebogen und weitere Informationen ab Beginn der Research-Phase zu erhalten, senden Sie bitte eine E-Mail an

Eine Informationsbroschüre zum Projekt finden Sie unter diesem Link

Mehr Informationen zur unserem Research im Bereich SAP HANA finden hier.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Teilnahme!