Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers: Next Generation Production Management

The production and ramp-up of complex and highly customized products are planning and control challenges, especially in small lot sizes. Daily challenges like late change requests, and immature high technology products and processes introduce significant risks in the production process. Using ICT-based approaches can help one develop mitigation strategies to respond quicker to unexpected events, implement and support early warning systems and introduce real-time decision support mechanisms that feature accelerated learning. Using state-of-the-art technologies and tools such as service-based architectures and knowledge-based Multi Agent Systems (MAS) can help improve performance and scalability beyond state-of-the-art. Furthermore, innovative solutions including the IoT and cloud-based architectures can offer the basis for efficient management of the whole production ecosystem …

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Jan 132015
 
Where Are Wearable Devices?

The Internet of Things (IoT) has generated considerable hype over the past few years. Probably nowhere has this hype been greater than when it comes to wearable devices like smart watches (Apple Watch), smart glasses (Google Glass), activity/fitness trackers (Misfit), and smart badges (for location tracking, security, etc.). This includes the use of wearables as general consumer electronic devices, as well as for their possible application in business scenarios designed to help workers perform their jobs. Of course, all this focus on wearables raises the key question: what role do such devices play in organizations’ mobile strategies? A Cutter Consortium survey (conducted July–October 2014) that asked 49 organizations about their mobile technology practices and adoption …

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Talking About Value Instead Of Requirements

Words shape thoughts. The word “requirements” has limited software professionals to a very narrow set of information about the value they produce. In the end, we’re supposed to be delivering software value, which is a much broader, more ongoing conversation than the content you create just before working on the code. While a switch to user stories helps start this transition away from traditional requirements, that’s only a step. How do we understand what capabilities will help the customer? Do we understand the customer at all? What hypotheses are we posing about the value of adopted software? How do we test these hypotheses, so we can make adjustments, if the software isn’t providing perceived value, …

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2015: Align Organizational Structures with Agile Practices

The appetite for risk is all but gone. Enterprises aren’t allowing the luxury of “seeing where the chips fall”. The need for predictability will dominate over some of the agile idealism of allowing things to emerge. Balancing this insatiable need for predictability with the agile culture will require enterprises to become much more self-critical about how they operate.  2015 will be about alignment. Users of agile practices are maturing. Enterprises are learning more and more that agile practices aren’t just for development teams alone. In 2014 we saw a broader shift among large enterprises’ thinking about how they’re going about taking advantage of agile. Many more of these companies realized that agile practices at the …

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The Apprentice:  An American Reality Game Show Or The Ultimate Job Interview For Entry-Level Software Professionals?

I predict that more software companies will adapt and adopt the vocational training model that’s used successfully in Germany. The idea is to directly connect software education to a job. German companies hire students right out of high school for work-study programs. Those apprenticeships often lead to full-time positions with the company once the student graduates. In the U.S., carpenters and a number of other important craftsman trades have used an apprenticeship system to teach and build expertise for hundreds of years. So far, few U.S. companies are even familiar with such a system for software professionals. With more press attention, we’ll see a tailored German model gain momentum in the U.S.  Once employers gain …

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IoT, the Reckless Adolescent

The Internet of Things was much in the news in 2014, and will continue to develop. In the last months of 2014, the emphasis seems to have shifted toward wearable devices for health and fitness improvement. These devices are particularly intrusive into our personal lives, yet the sensing and communication capabilities, as well as the analytics provided in the cloud for the data being gathered, are not being matched by an equal emphasis on information security and privacy. Will we see leaks and a backlash? Will the security part of the IoT architecture catch up, or will it just muddle along? Makers of devices and apps: take care of this before it hurts you. Buyers: …

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2015: The Year of Agile Data Warehousing

2015 will be the year that agile data warehouse (DW)/business intelligence (BI) takes off.  Traditional strategies for DW/BI have been challenged at best, with the running joke being that a DW/BI team will build the first release and nobody will come. On average, Agile strategies provide better time to market, improved stakeholder satisfaction, greater levels of quality, and better return on investment (ROI) than do traditional strategies. The DW/BI community has finally started to accept this reality, and it is now starting to shift gears and adopt agile ways of working. My expectation is that 2015 will see a plethora of books, case studies, and blog postings describing people’s experiences in this area. There are …

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Ensuring Data is Protected will be Demanded in 2015

In 2015, almost every CIO will be tasked with assessing their organizations and technology to ensure data and confidential information is protected. Current Situation Target, Home Depot, Staples, who’s next? These are just the most recent retail outlets that made the news. What is not making the headlines are the multitude of private- and public-sector organizations that have been hacked and lost data and information — many times totally unaware until after the fact. Pain Why is security so important for IT leaders in 2015? Because it cost a LOT of money once you have your network and systems breached! South Carolina recently lost large and significant quantities of data from its Department of Revenue …

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Use Agile To Steer The Post-Sony Security Stampede

The embarrassing hack of Sony’s corporate information, followed by the company’s decision not to release The Interview because of vague online threats, has already resulted in a lot of hand-wringing about how secure corporate information is, and whether companies have done all they can to secure it to the utmost. Owners, shareholders, customers, and partners will want to relieve that anxiety, so 2015 may be the year of a lot of impromptu security projects. Given the scale of the urgency and unknowns, coupled with the potential for a lot of unintended business consequences, 2015 may be the year that many IT departments consider a more Agile approach to security. The worst response to the Sony …

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Figuring Out What A Scaled Agile Framework Really Means

The only thing that seems larger than the recent enthusiasm over scaled Agile frameworks is the vitriolic arguments over what they really do. The confusion lies in the word “framework,” which is a much looser concept than “methodology.” While there are significant differences among teams (for example, in how co-located all the members are), it’s easy to imagine them cleaving to roughly the same set of principles and practices. The differences among organizations — their size, culture, history, types of projects or products, governance rules, relations with the business, etc. — are too great to impose anything nearly as formulaic as the disciplines adopted at a team level. (And, of course, the variances among teams …

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