The sesquiannual gathering of Cutter Consortium clients and consultants just took place in Cambridge, Mass., on November 15-16. The main theme was “digital transformation,” including the new business models centered on “digital data streams” and the implications of this transformation for the CIO’s organization. Cutter Fellow Prof. Karim Lakhani presented a Harvard Business School case study on “GE and the Industrial Internet.” It tells of GE’s decision to create a new entity devoted to applying IoT technology to industrial environments (manufacturing, transportation, electricity generation, etc.). There was a lot of discussion of how some other companies missed the transformation to digital services, in part by underestimating in the early 1990s the explosion in the number Read more
Claude Baudoin is a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business & Enterprise Architecture and Data Insight & Social BI practices. He is a proven leader and visionary in IT and knowledge management (KM) with extensive experience working in a global environment. Mr. Baudoin is passionate about quality, knowledge sharing, and providing honest and complete advice. Read more ...
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: Read more
The adoption of cloud-based solutions for document sharing and collaboration has been increasing. The myth that there is absolute security inside the firewall and absolute chaos outside is crumbling. And in an age of mobile workforces and fuzzy enterprise boundaries, it makes little sense to continue to believe in the “walled fortress” model of security. This means that the market for content management systems is going to change dramatically. Many organizations will have a harder time justifying the license and support cost of a solution like SharePoint. Google, Dropbox and others are becoming more credible as enterprise solutions in the cloud. The established vendors need to offer cloud solutions, while their sales of on-premise suites Read more
At first, most people didn’t know what we meant by “business architecture.” And when they did, the fact that, while business architecture should be the responsibility of the business (doh!) the business didn’t seem to care, left us spinning our wheels. But now the ground is becoming firmer and we’re gaining some traction. The Business Architecture Guild and the Object Management Group share the credit for giving the discipline an underpinning of standards and concrete best practices for the modeling of an organization’s strategy, its value chains, its capability map, and its business processes. In 2015, business architecture will still be mostly done by IT for the business – because even if the business doesn’t Read more
I don’t want to act as the proverbial ambulance-chasing lawyer, but certain accidents lead me to shake my head about the ways in which we prevent effective action in matters of safety. I am specifically referring to the lack of end-to-end information and process integration we see in certain industries and activities. The tragedy of the South Korean ferry, the Sewol, which capsized last week, killing many people, brings this point home again. But this is not the only situation that comes to mind. Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Macondo prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. While there were many reasons for that tragedy, in Read more
When EA originally emerged, it was a thin layer of technology and methodology sandwiched between two large buns: business applications on the top and infrastructure on the bottom. The bulk of the headcount and budget of an IT department would be devoted to the acquisition or development and support of applications and to the investments in data centers, user PCs, network connections, and security.
As the old joke goes, alpha tests and beta tests are named that way because “alpha” is a Greek word that means “doesn’t work,” and “beta” is another Greek word that means “still doesn’t work.” But seriously, we know that the classical software product lifecycle includes tests performed by the development team (alpha tests) and tests performed by a limited number of selected users (beta tests). Beta testers have to accept that the software may have bugs (otherwise, what would be the point of testing?) and they commit to taking the time to provide detailed feedback on the issues they encounter. In exchange, they get to use the software early, usually for free, and may Read more
A few days ago, a management consultant I follow on Twitter commented critically about a certain software vendor rating method, dubbed the “Magicke Quadrante” in this satire on the Web (shhh… like Voldemort’s, certain names shall not be uttered in this forum). He asked: “Were x and y coordinates so firmly etched in our brains that we can’t get away from it?”. It was hard to reply meaningfully in 140 characters, but I wrote: “it may be fairly simple: 1 rating dimension is rarely enough, >2 are hard to visualize, so we converge on 2, add thresholds = MQ” Not coincidentally, another Twitter correspondent pointed the next day to the “Periodic Table of Visualization Methods,” Read more
There is a mystique about assessing the first hundred days of just about anything. Presidents are compelled to take stock of their first hundred days in office, and Napoleon managed to fumble his comeback in “les cent jours.” So when I realized today (don’t ask me why I thought of counting) that this is the 100th day since a slightly forced repurposing of my professional life from corporate type to independent consultant, I asked myself if my recent experience could create a teachable moment for other would-be consultants. In fact, it is amazing, when you do something like this by yourself, how many distinct and diverse threads of activity you need to pursue almost simultaneously. Read more
I swear I won’t keep ranting about user-oriented design, but examples seem to stare me in the face these days. I was in Cleveland for a few days (don’t ask why), and looked at the fare machines on the Healthline express bus platforms. A few interesting discoveries ensued. The user interface consists of a screen, which is not tactile, and a few buttons placed on the side of the screen, similar to the last generation of ATMs. The first screen you see asks you to choose what you want to buy. The screen is not graphical, but character-oriented. It shows two lines of text, one for “Senior/Disabled Tickets”and the other one for regular fares. Next Read more