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Business-IT Strategies

Guidance for optimizing your IT investments, avoiding IT strategies that fail to support your business objectives, and leveraging IT for competitive advantage.

Dec 162013
 
Securing Internet Traffic

By the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, various large cloud providers as well as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will have developed mechanisms to protect most Internet traffic against the pervasive domestic spying performed by the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA won’t be unable to decrypt the traffic it really cares a lot about, but it will just take too much computer time to decrypt all traffic, as it can do right now. I predict this because there is a great convergence happening. First, the NSA’s antics have finally made companies aware of the security issues involved in taking client-server traffic that used to be inside the firewall and moving Read more

Dec 032013
 
Defined vs Ready Technology Adoption — The Future is Now (and Forever)

In the 20th century, companies waited until their industries and competitors fully vetted technologies before investing in even the most tried and true ones.  Technophobes believed that investing too early was indulgent and reckless.  Executives wore their late technology adoption strategies as badges of corporate honor.  Today, emerging technologies are ready for immediate deployment:  iPads are ready; Dropbox is ready; Skype is ready; ListenLogic is ready; Foursquare is ready; YouTube is ready. I predict that these and many other hardware and software technologies will be adopted without clear (or “validated”) requirements models, without the venerable SDLC, and even without rapid prototyping. I predict that technology adoption will turbo-charge into instant deployments.  The figure below summarizes defined Read more

Welcome, Ken Morris

 Posted by on Dec 2, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 022013
 
Welcome, Ken Morris

Ken Morris quietly joined Cutter’s Business Technology Strategies practice earlier this fall. And since that day, he’s been impressing Cutter clients and staffers alike! Like many Cutter Senior Consultants, Ken is a seasoned CIO. He has held senior IT leadership positions with two global specialty chemicals companies and a global industrial gases company over the past 20+ years. Ken is known for consistently delivering business value by cultivating, motivating, and leading high performance teams that are passionately invested in the success of the organization and the enterprise. Heady stuff! But when you meet Ken, you’ll know exactly why it’s true. Keep your eyes peeled for insight from Ken here at the Cutter Blog, and also Read more

A Cheesy Invitation

 Posted by on Oct 1, 2013  2 Responses »
Oct 012013
 
A Cheesy Invitation

Imagine you’re at a party. You’re standing near a cheese platter admiring the selection. That 2-hour cheese tasting class you took last week has made you think differently about the way you look at that plate! A man approaches and you begin chatting about the cheese. Turns out, he’s a Professor of Food Science at a top university, and has written the definitive book on goat’s milk cheese. A woman then joins the conversation; she’s from Wisconsin, home of the Cheese Heads – her perspective on cheese is a little less serious than yours! After sharing information, the 3 of you walk away with knowledge, insight, and a few ideas about wine and cheese pairings Read more

Sep 102013
 

Given the rapid expansion of social and mobile technologies, organizations have increasing opportunities to connect with customers. The IT organization will play a key role not only in capturing and analyzing customer data and increasing the number and value of online customer interactions, but also in terms of creating the means for internal departments to collaborate and better serve the needs of customers. Some organizations mistakenly believe that customers want an online relationship with their company and bombard customers with surveys, questionnaires, and offers, whereas the reality is that what most customers really want is information and discounts. Organizations that examine and continuously improve their customers’ experience in their ease-of-search, ease-of-purchase, and ease-of-tracking delivery progress Read more

Sep 022013
 
Technical Debt in the Era of Transient Competitive Advantage

A situation that I and various consultants in the Cutter Agile Practice are often exposed to is a pressing need to reduce technical debt. A prospect calls with respect to some software assets that have ceased to perform adequately. What we almost invariably find once we do the Technical Debt Assessment is that over time the client’s codebase got both bloated and spaghetti-like. As a result, the client is struggling with 10M, 20M or 50M lines of tangled code. The combination of size with “spaghetti tangles” renders it hard to effectively adapt the software as in such code even changing/adding a single line of code could require significant integration and regression efforts. The situation is Read more

Coherence of Vision

 Posted by on Aug 27, 2013  No Responses »
Aug 272013
 
Coherence of Vision

In my recent blog post Choosing Your Point of Organizational Incoherence, I stressed the importance of making a choice on how to deal with systemic incoherence that is beyond your control as a CIO or a CTO. Technology, economy and society are not likely to be aligned anytime soon; emphasis on maximizing shareholders value might make it impossible for you to make certain strategic investments; and, unrealistic expectations about predictability of the software development process might make you want to tear your hair out. True and painful that these three factors and possibly many others might be, you can’t just sit on your hands waiting for all the moons to be aligned. You have to Read more