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Straight Talk Technology

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Ovum's meetings with enterprise executives in 2018 have uncovered a lot more questions about the practical challenges of driving change. Enterprises are rarely homogeneous in the way they approach issues, and it is in times of change that these differences show up most starkly.

Some organizations are still clinging to the past, when IT was seen as just an internal service provider to "the business." In these cases, there is typically little cross-departmental focus on technical innovation to address the needs of the end customer. As enterprises transform their underlying business processes and models, it can be difficult to identify the real customer, and more importantly, to address their underlying needs. The enterprise's culture can be a significant part of the problem when challenging internal processes.

A high-profile example is currently playing out in Australia, and clearly demonstrates just how difficult this sort of discussion can become. Last week, Australia's banking royal commission commenced its formal hearings. In its terms of reference to the commission, the federal government recognized that "Australia has one of the strongest and most stable banking, superannuation and financial services industries in the world," and that "Australia's banking system is systemically strong with internationally recognized and world's best prudential regulation and oversight." From a perspective of shareholder value, the banks are therefore doing a very good job. However, many of their customers are far from happy. In his opening remarks, the head of the royal commission noted: "To date, approximately 84% of submissions relate to misconduct or conduct of financial services entities that falls below community standards and expectations. 40% relate to culture and governance practices of financial services entities and 35% relate to the effectiveness of redress for consumers."

While few enterprises are likely to feel the blowtorch of customer dissatisfaction in such a dramatic way, it is important to note that even well-run organizations, in times of change, can lose cross-organizational focus on the very customers who keep them in business. As the transformation of 21st century enterprises continues to gather pace, a broader perspective of technology innovation is important.

This is reflected in the "Ask an Analyst" questions that have come to Ovum from enterprise executives so far this year. Ovum's most common enterprise inquiries have trended around the issues of managing changing technologies in changing organizations. Here are the top 10 analyst inquiries:

1. Cloud

2. Technology (general)

3. Government

4. Management

5. Digital

6. Solutions

7. Architecture

8. Security

9. Change

10. Organizations

The need for transformation and innovation is now well accepted in contemporary enterprises, but execution alignment can be difficult. Where we stand on these key issues needs to be better reflected across the various places in the organization where we sit.

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