The Internet of Things. Location-based services. Automated reasoning. Social media. Wearables. Analytics. I could extend this list of “game-changing” technologies, and so could you. What’s a CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO, or business unit president to do? Especially when they go to an investor conference and they’re asked to explain “the game-changing technology plan”? Those who work in the C-suite need smart people, budgets, and technology solutions to impact their business processes and overall business model. In other words, game changers need context; otherwise, C-suite(rs) end up chasing “the next great things,” which is what many companies have done for decades. Remember business process reengineering, Six Sigma, matrix management, and management by objectives? Who created Six Read more
Dr. Stephen J. Andriole is a Fellow with Cutter's Business Technology and Digital Transformation Strategies practice. Dr. Andriole's career has focused on the development, application and management of information technology and analytical methodology to complex business problems. Read more ...
Digital transformation (DT) is aspirational. Everyone wants to transform their business, and every business person who’s alive knows that transformation now primarily depends upon leveraging the right digital technology at the right time on the right processes and business models at the right cost. Everywhere I go I hear about “amazing,” “fabulous,” “terrific,” and “incredible” transformation projects underway, projects that will “disrupt” and “revolutionize” companies. When I ask transformation teams about specific projects, though, I often get blank stares. Sometimes it feels as if transformation projects are ordered (like burgers) by outsiders (like financial analysts who cover public company stocks) and not insiders, who are often threatened by change, especially major change. In my experience, Read more
The first 25 years of the Web clearly demonstrated that connectivity and problem solving can be cost-effectively linked. It’s now possible to communicate, shop, and learn on the Web. We can find answers, relationships, and games on the Web, and for those of us who desire a more surrealistic experience, we can immerse ourselves in virtual worlds. What’s next? The emphasis here is not on future Web communications architectures. We can assume that Web communications and networking technology will continue to rapidly evolve. Nor is the emphasis on “the singularity” (see singularity.com), though machines will obviously become much smarter and smarter over time. Instead, the focus is on functional integration — the seamless integration of Read more
The whole notion of an enterprise chief information officer (CIO) or chief technology officer (CTO) is obsolete. As technology itself decentralizes — regardless of formal organizational structures — there will be multiple technology experts/specialists/leaders. There are already “go-to” technology experts, leaders, and, yes, even “chiefs” in every business unit, every business pod, and surrounding every business process. They are seldom part of the central IT organization, and if they are, their loyalties are aligned more with the business units than with their “boss,” the enterprise CIO. In fact, time and time again I’ve seen “assigned” technologists commiserate much more with their business units than with the IT organizations to which they belong or with their Read more
Volatility is relative. Some fields, like accounting, move slowly. Other fields, like technology and marketing, move much faster. Business models and business technology move as fast as any field on the planet. The challenge is both exciting and daunting. At Villanova University, I tell my business technology students that they have chosen a field that never ends, is always changing, and will bear no resemblance to itself in three years, every three years. Most of the students are excited about the prospects of never being bored, but others are apprehensive about graduating with an immediately obsolete degree, knowing that in order to succeed as business technology professionals, they must remain in at least “street college” (what Read more
If you’re new to technology management, then much of what appears in this Advisor may strike you as opinionated, cynical, and arrogant. But if you’ve been at IT for a while now, you’ll see the contents as accumulated wisdom. This Advisor is for those who have been in the trenches for a long time as well as for those who want to jump right into the advanced course in gonzo technology management, skipping the pleasantries of undergraduate interning at your average consulting firm or within the discontented ranks of your typical struggling company. The assumption here is that the business technology relationship can be widened and deepened to yield significant business value. But there are land mines Read more
Risk management is a formal process owned by senior executives responsible for keeping everyone safe and sound day and night. They report to internal and external audit committees or, actually, prefer to avoid any and all interaction with audit folks since even a casual discussion with auditors can result in a boatload of work for entire teams of already overworked professionals. So what do they audit and how is risk assessed? Most risks are the standard fare. If the audit tells you that your disaster recovery plans are inadequate, then the company will be placed at risk. If your wireless networks are insecure, then the risk bells will go off. If your change-control processes are Read more