Consider this a story about the small and the big or the big and the small and doing more with less and less is more. Let me explain. One day last week, I met with some folks from an innovative, small security company hoping to get more traction with big enterprise users. It already has a few such customers, but those companies don't want publicity, probably because they don't want to give hackers clues about their security plans, right? No. Because they don't want to divulge competitive information, right? No. It's because they're a bit squeamish about betting on small companies these days. Will they be around in another year? Do they have what it takes to keep up with their demands? Will the benefits be worth the risk?
Now let's switch gears. The next day, I was learning more about how a few very large vendors are hoping to gain traction with small and midsize businesses. With fewer lucrative, large-scale, enterprise software projects getting the sign-off these days, companies such as IBM and SAP have their sights set squarely on the decision makers at small and midsize businesses. And like the big company betting on the small vendor, this, too, implies some risk. Can small companies afford products from companies used to selling to the biggest of the big? Will they get the attention and service levels they need? Is the software too complex?
While one big company, Microsoft, has made significant headway in this market over the years, others are racing to create products, strategies, services, and pricing to reach the hearts and minds of technology decision makers ("IBM Takes On Microsoft: Smaller Businesses Win"). Of course, as our profile on Fingerhut ("A New Legacy") shows, these small and midsize companies aren't afraid to build the software themselves if they don't like or can't afford what's out there.
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.