Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

February 17, 2009

Ram Charan

Innovation in the Era of Economic Uncertainty

This excerpt from Ram Charan's new book explains how to refocus R&D in today's difficult times.

By Ram Charan

Research and development holds the key to the future for many companies, and its leaders usually focus on the long term. They tend to see R&D as being set apart from the day-to-day problems that besiege the company, even in a tough economic environment. R&D wants stable employment to prevent the disruption of ongoing projects and doesn't want to be the pawn of finance. Further, many R&D organizations were developed in much more profitable times and a lot of overhead and administrative costs have accumulated.

Now the economic contraction and liquidity crisis should prompt you to reflect on how you can reinvent your function and reorganize its activities, bearing in mind that R&D is for bench scientists, not administrators.


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SaaS Growth: It's Addictive

A new study from IDC predicts that SaaS deployments will grow despite the economic downturn. Christopher Cabrera of Xactly agrees in this post to the Blog on Saas.

Forecasting the European Market for 2009

A new survey of European enterprise software executives studies the most important issues that will shape the market this year. Ben Watkins of Intrinsic Search shares four trends in this post to the Blog, Predictions for 2009.

How to Calculate Ownership

One of the most difficult things for startups to do is to allocate ownership shares. Jon B. Fisher provides a rationale and a formula for calculating ownership in this post to the Blog, Strategic Entrepreneurship.

Publish Your Perspective! wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to editor, Maryann Jones Thompson ( and have your opinions published on our site.

What's Different About M&A in this Downturn

M&A may be more resilient in this downturn than in previous ones, but it will be a different kind of M&A. Find out how in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: CRM Shakeup exec departures spur rumors; plus, Microsoft announces its 'iStore', NetSuite's attacks SAP and IBM leads in India. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: R&D in the Downturn?

What R&D strategy will have the greatest impact during the recession?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers speculated about how enterprise customers will succeed with traditional packaged apps this year.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Big dogs weigh in on the cloud: IBM and HP show the goods.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Business intelligence vendor PivotLink receives $10 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Informatica buys data management solutions provider Applimation for $40 million.
Size up last week’s software M&A deals >>

Virtualization vendor StarWind Software named Zorian Rotenberg as CEO.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments.

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

“The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time...The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.”
— Tom Cargill


Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group



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