M.R. Rangaswami,Co-founder & Managing Director,Sand Hill Group writes,it seems every software company leader feels he or she is doing everything possible to engineer transition and to manage for the future. Technologies have come and gone, but one thing hasn’t changed: software vendors’ reputation as unresponsive and inflexible. M.R.R adds, four years of recession has drained the coffers of many enterprises – and their vendors. Poorly managed vendors disappeared. Sandhill group's CEO Outlook 2005examines software company leaders’ opinions of the coming year for the industry as well as their companies. The big guys are figuring out their next move. Review this checklist:
1. Business model changes? How has your business model changed in the past year? Two years? If there are no changes going on, your company is not reacting to new market realities.
2. Customer monitoring? How does your company evaluate customer satisfaction? If informally, institute a customer satisfaction monitoring process which will monitor progress over time.
3.New technologies? What plans does your firm have for open source? Web services? Mobile technology? Enterprise customers are rapidly integrating these emerging technologies into their strategies and vendors need to incorporate them too.
4.New processes? What portion of your operations is outsourced? Offshored? How are you dealing with the predicted year of growth ahead? Re-energize your business model with new thinking and strategies by working with outside vendors.
5.Performance benchmarks? How does your company compare itself to the industry or to past performance? Every company must have a set of metrics to manage it which are watched over time and acted upon in case of diversion.
M.R.R writes, the industry is in a period of transition. There will be many more experiments before it settles on a course. And there will certainly be new variables on the horizon which will shake things up yet again. It will take some time to reach the right model – much longer than anticipated. But many longtime software industry followers will applaud today’s CEOs for taking steps in the right direction.
My Take: M.R.Rangaswami is absolutely correct. I have closely worked with for business dealings with atleast 40 key ebusiness technology companies for the past four-five years and I have witnessed from close quarters as to how these companies shape their thoughts, products and service offerings. I have also seen most of them getting into a downward spiral and a few of them surviving and getting into shape. M.R.R's recommended healthcheck definitely an impressive and a significant checklist.
P.S: I have not read the complete report but M.R.R's summary and outline of approach looks so impressive - it resonates well with current issues grappling the technology industry.