Stephen Andriole


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 ...

Apr 052016

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

Jan 262016
Grandiose Transformation

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

Nov 172015
Disappearing Acts: Five Enablers of Web Ubiquity

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, though machines will obviously become much smarter and smarter over time. Instead, the focus is on functional integration — the seamless integration of Read more

Mar 102015
Trust Requires Accountability

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

Apr 052011

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

Jan 112011

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

Dec 062010

It was always inevitable. If we ever solved the business technology alignment problem, as we were told so many times over the decades, we’d reach optimization nirvana. Is this the end of IT? Yes. It’s 2015, and everyone’s a chief information officer, or, more accurately, everyone’s a chief business intelligence officer. While your infrastructure hums in the cloud, all eyes are on strategic technology and the businesses now directly responsible — and accountable — for business technology optimization. The enterprise CIO is gone. The historical responsibilities of the office of the CIO have been distributed to the COO/CAO and the lines of business. Operational technology — which supports all of your company’s basic computing and Read more

Jul 272010

The trends are clear. There will be more and more outsourcing as we proceed through the 21st century. On-demand, “pay-by-the-drink,” and related models will dominate technology delivery for the foreseeable future — and very likely permanently. Lack of expertise in the US is accelerating this trend. So where does this leave us? With a new requirement: vendor management. Vendor management is a broad area. Let’s explore the strategic highlights. First, you need a comprehensive sourcing strategy and inevitably a strategy driven by the results of a core competency assessment. (Yes, you have to do this again.) The essential questions here revolve around the core/noncore relationship between technology and your business models and processes. Put another Read more

Apr 202010

Technology governance is something every company needs. But it’s also something that most companies would prefer not to discuss — or publish. The fact is that without explicit, consistent, well-communicated and well-supported governance, you will experience some degree of chaos in the technology acquisition, deployment, and support process. I’ve written a lot about governance over the years. I am one of those who believe that governance can make or break a technology organization’s ability to deliver business value to its clients. I also believe that governance is absolutely, positively political and therefore complicated, convoluted, and at times deranged. Because of the politics, personalities, and corporate cultures that influence and manipulate governance, it’s necessary to be Read more

Nov 172009

Pendulums swing back and forth in lots of areas. This is especially true in corporate and technology governance. But it may stop swinging for good very soon. Let’s look at why things are so different now — and likely to stay that way forever. THE OLD DEFINITION Let’s begin with a definition of technology governance. Wikipedia describes it as: … a subset discipline of Corporate Governance focused on information technology (IT) systems and their performance and risk management. The rising interest in IT governance is partly due to compliance initiatives, for instance Sarbanes-Oxley in the USA and Basel II in Europe, as well as the acknowledgment that IT projects can easily get out of control Read more