Not Hitting Your Innovation Goals? You’re Not Alone
Most (96%) executives believe innovation—the development of new processes, products, or services that increase business value—will be a primary source of achieving growth over the next two years, according to NTT DATA’s recently released Innovation Index 2023: How North American Organizations are Achieving Growth, Value, and High Performance. Yet ONLY 21% of those executives say they are definitively meeting their innovation goals.
The research identifies five significant challenges hindering innovation initiatives:
- Data: Only 22% of organizations trust their own data, and nearly half (46%) don’t use data to gain insights or make decisions; 72% don’t consider their data a strategic asset.
- Workforce: 88% of respondents say lack of employee skills holds back innovation efforts. And 43% (a three-fold increase from 16% in 2021) say lack of employees with data analysis skills is their biggest challenge for using their data.
- Technology Modernization: A vast majority of respondents (86%) say their technology is outdated.
- Customer Experience (CX): According to respondents, the top issues hindering CX are inefficient processes (40%), lack of resources to deliver products and services on time (37%), rapidly changing customer demands (34%), and outdated IT (32%).
- Leadership and Culture: Respondents (78%) say poor organizational culture is holding back their innovation efforts, while 58% rate the level of their organization readiness in culture as “weak” or “mixed” as it relates to fostering innovation. Moreover, 40% report that their culture is not conducive to fostering enriching employee experiences and retaining talent.
Meanwhile, the study finds that 11% of survey respondents are exceeding expectations from innovation investments compared to the rest of the market. Not surprisingly, these innovators are more profitable, grow faster, and exceed ROI expectations.
Paying More For SaaS? Here’s Why
Vertice’s annual SaaS Inflation Index, which analyzed data from 16,000 software vendors, finds that software inflation has remained high in 2023 at 8.7%, more than double the rate of the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI). In addition, almost three-quarters (73%) of SaaS vendors hiked prices in 2023, including HubSpot (+12%), Microsoft (+15%), and Webflow (+23%), according the index.
This has pushed software spending to an all-time high. SaaS spending now accounts for 14.1% of a typical company’s expense line—up from 12.7% last year—which means more than $1 of every $8 spent is on SaaS. This equates to an average of $7,900 per employee spent on software, compared to $5,760 in 2022.
Notably, the research highlights that while overall SaaS spending is growing by 17.9%, only 8.7% comes from growth in prices. The remainder is driven by adding more users; introducing new software tools; and the rise of “SaaS shrinkflation” (charging the same price for reduced functionality). Sad face emoji.
SonicWall Buys Solutions Granted
Cybersecurity vendor SonicWall has acquired Solutions Granted, a master managed security service provider (MSSP) for MSPs. The acquisition extends SonicWall’s portfolio to include U.S.-based security operations center services (SOCaaS), managed detection and response (MDR), and other managed services that are tailor-made for MSPs and MSSPs.
According to SonicWall, the acquisition aligns with its outside-in approach, providing partners with a best-of-suite, flexible portfolio.
Cloud Security Alliance Launches Zero Trust Training And A New Credential
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), an organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment, launched the Certificate of Competence in Zero Trust (CCZT), the first in the industry, according to the CSA. CSA created the CCZT to help security professionals build knowledge to drive the definition, implementation, and management of Zero Trust.
The CCZT provides an in-depth understanding of Zero Trust architecture, its components, and its functioning and includes foundational Zero Trust best practices released by leading authoritative sources such as CISA and NIST, innovative work around the Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) by CSA Research, and guidance from renowned Zero Trust experts such as John Kindervag, founder of the Zero Trust philosophy and one of the world’s foremost cybersecurity experts.
Introductory pricing for the CCZT is available through December 31, 2023. For more information, go here.
TD SYNNEX Adds New Features To CommunitySolv, Expands Peer Groups
At the CommunitySolv North American Conference, which took place November 15-18, in Palm Desert, California, TD SYNNEX announced that it added a Discussion Board to its Partner Directory, enabling members to interact directly and quickly with each other. CommunitySolv is TD SYNNEX’s exclusive IT ecosystem partner community. The distributor also announced an expansion of its recently launched partner-led CommunitySolv peer groups. “We are constantly evolving our program to ensure we are providing the highest value to our members, and these new additions reflect thoughtful feedback from our partners on what will make the biggest impact for their business,” said Kaye McMillan, SVP, sales development and communities, TD SYNNEX, in a press statement.
“Titan of the Industry” Thrive Appoints Kristina O’Connell EVP, Global Marketing
Thrive, a provider of cybersecurity and digital transformation managed services, has appointed tech industry veteran Kristina O’Connell as the new executive vice president, global marketing. O’Connell will drive Thrive’s commitment to global expansion and fortify the company’s position in the U.S., Europe, and Canada.
Before joining Thrive, Kristina managed marketing at WiTricity, where she helped build and develop the market for electric vehicle wireless charging (B2B2C) from an MIT spin-out to commercialization. Previously, she served ExaGrid for a decade, defining brand and creative strategy in the Tiered Backup Storage enterprise market. At F5 Networks, she led the company’s worldwide marketing and was instrumental in helping F5 pioneer the load-balancing market from startup through IPO to #1 in global market share.
“We look forward to leveraging Kristina’s experience across all verticals with her strong track record of establishing and amplifying brands,” said Rob Stephenson, CEO at Thrive, in a press statement. Thrive has been recognized as a Titan of the Industry, a term coined by TMT and MSP Success Founder Robin Robins to describe fast-growing, private-equity-backed MSPs that have grown to more than $10 million in revenue through acquisitions and organic growth.