What is Happening? In last week’s Research Alert, we noted the following: the pace of Cloud-driven business innovation is outstripping even the accelerating pace of IT innovation – and therefore is outpacing the abilities of established IT and business management organizations and structures.

Our core warning to enterprises (and to the IT providers serving them): Increasing complexities and costs of doing business and managing IT, in a time when Cloud promises to help organizations and leaders deliver exactly the opposite.

Not all enterprises are overwhelmed, however. Forward-thinking, proactive firms are utilizing Cloud capabilities to improve their existing businesses, create new ways of doing business, and overall extending and increasing their abilities to lead and succeed.

At next week’s 2012 Cloud Business Summit in New York (Date: Nov. 14; Location: Westin Times Square), we will be presenting the inaugural “winners” of Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards for IT and business innovation. The types of innovation that qualify firms for the Beacon Awards focus on significant improvements in how a firm operates, the types of markets or lines of business that it is in, or how a firm has applied different ways of thinking, management, and use of technologies to create new offerings, markets, ways of doing business, or entirely new businesses.

We are pleased to announce that six firms have qualified as “finalists” for this year’s Beacon Awards, as follows (listed in alphabetical order):

Actelion Pharmaceutical, for its innovative data analytics methodology and architecture enabling exceptional cost reductions in program tracking and regulatory compliance.

Brewster Dairy, for innovation and improvements in core business operations and management via its implementation of Cloud-based, continuous flow of data and management information within and between core EAM and ERP systems, eliminating redundancies, speeding workflow, and enabling significant improvements in decision-making, business workflow and profitability.

Citi, for its innovative private Cloud infrastructure that drastically reduces service provisioning times and improves service levels while reducing total cost of ownership.

Harry Rosen, for its mobility-enabled, in-store, BYOD-driven customer relationship, sales and marketing approach that enabled significant and repeated revenue growth through recessionary environments.

NPD Group, for its integration of financial data through Cloud-based solutions, resulting in significant process streamlining, time and cost reductions, and resulting improvements in enterprise Finance planning, budgeting and management.

UBS, for its unique, repeatable and cost-effective approach to mobility and BYOD capabilities in support of sales revenues and customer retention, while maintaining the highest security and privacy levels required and possible.

Why is it Happening? Seeing how forward-looking and proactive enterprises accomplish the challenging task of managing and enabling innovation for business and IT improvement helps us learn how our own enterprises can better benefit from the scope of Cloud and hybridized IT and business – without being overwhelmed and losing potential advantages.

Saugatuck Technology founded the Beacon Awards in 2012 to recognize outstanding business and IT innovation through the use of such advanced technologies as Cloud, mobility, social / collaborative IT, and advanced analytics. All nominated companies receive a thorough review and assessment by seasoned industry analysts from Saugatuck Technology. The Beacon Awards recognize business and IT leaders for innovation in four areas of business and IT:

  • Customer Engagement / Satisfaction
  • Products / Solutions
  • Markets / Partnering
  • Business Models / Realizing Revenue.

Examples such as those provided by the finalists for Saugatuck’s Beacon Awards provide useful and repeatable insights that help other firms see, identify, and act on the most suitable from a potentially vast and disconcerting range of opportunities.
For an extended version of this Research Alert, visit Saugatuck Technology.