Today’s Five for Friday is with industry thought leader and disruptor R “Ray” Wang.  Ray is the Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research, Inc. He’s also the author of the popular enterprise software blog “A Software Insider’s Point of View”. With viewership in the millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models impact the enterprise.  Prior to founding Constellation, he was a founding partner and research analyst for enterprise strategy at Altimeter Group and one of the top analysts at Forrester Research for enterprise strategy.

PM:  You are CEO and lead analyst of Constellation Research, focusing on disruptive technology.  How do you view disruption and what services does Constellation offer?

Disruption comes from 3 areas.  New business models.  How do you change the game in what you are selling to your customers?  Today products are excuses to sell services.  In the future software will be an excuse to sell insight and information.

The next area is technologies.  Advancements in in-memory databases and cloud allow companies to manage massive amounts of data today at minimal cost.  These technologies improve not only speed, but also how users access insight.  The last area is around culture.  The ability to evangelize new concepts and bring in new users, employees, and early adopters put people power into the disruption.

Constellation plays a role in advising business leaders how seek to deliver transformational innovation with new business models and disruptive technologies.  Legacy IT folks use legacy analyst firms.  Business leaders and innovative IT folks rely on Constellation.

PM:  Is BYOD changing the world of work?  How is this different than the introduction of Blackberry?

BYOD signifies the shift of technology decision making from the centralized IT departments of the past to the business driven approaches of today.  While we went too far towards IT in the past, we are in danger of doing the same with moving too far to BYOD and Consumerization of IT.

Business wants technology to be simple to use with no manuals and minimal training.  Scalable is being easy to make changes without IT involvement. Sexy is being exciting and desirable to be used by the business.  IT needs to keep things safe – making sure systems work well together without creating any disruption. Secure means data breaches don’t occur resulting in a front-page scandal on the Wall Street Journal. Finally IT needs BYOD to be sustainable.  Platforms must last long term, meaning not 10 years, not 5 years, but 3 years.

PM:  The last couple weeks saw the legacy mega vendors (SAP, Oracle, HP, Microsoft) all make “cloud” announcements.  Has the cloud finally jumped the shark?  

The customer pressure for cloud leaves legacy vendors no choice but to participate.  Unfortunately, without support for multi-tenancy, these attempts at cloud lack the full benefits. Clients will want choice but the crown jewel is delivering in Multi-tenancy.

PM:  What markets and segments are most likely to be disrupted in the next 24 months?

Every single industry, every single market, and every single business model is being disrupted as we speak.  The pace of change is happening faster than ever. Take the apple announcement on maps.  Apple basically told Google, good-bye.  New business models are being created, destroyed, and reevaluated more quickly than at any time in history.

PM:  As you travel all the time, what is your favorite city to visit and what are your favorite places to stay and eat when you are in town?

I’m really blessed that I live in the SF Bay area. It’s still my favorite city to visit given how often I travel.  There’s so much to see and do here that I often take 1 to 2 day stay cations.  Favorite food spots are still Auberge Du Soleil in St. Helena and SentSovi in Saratoga.   Out of the bay area, I love the vibrancy of Tokyo, Berlin, Shanghai, and London.