Category

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.

Jun 192014
 
What's happening with IT budgets?

IT budgeting is the topic of Cutter’s longest-running research — we’ve just opened our ninth annual survey on the topic, and we hope you’ll participate. Not so surprisingly, last year’s survey found that security drove the largest increase in IT budgets, led by increases from large companies. According to author Dennis Adams, “This may be a response to the idea that large companies are bigger ‘targets’ to hackers.” On the other end of the spectrum, Adams pointed out that “Although some consultants have predicted that energy costs would increase the costs of computing, our surveys have not borne this out. This year, as in the past, energy costs have not factored into the costs of Read more

Apr 152014
 

For decades (generations?) methodologies for creating systems have commenced with some form of requirements gathering. These tactics tend to be a rather clinical and emotionless harvesting of stated needs and wants. These nuggets are typically bundled together into some collection of features and functions. Eventually this evolves into a “system.” In spite of our best intentions and process reinventions, this approach still seems to fall woefully short far too often. Why, and what can be done about it? For years we have built products and services that are “working as designed” and that “meet all the requirements.” Yet we’ve struggled to “crack the code” in delighting the recipients. In some cases we have sought refuge Read more

Mar 252014
 

Social media is everywhere, all the time. It’s about participation — by everyone. There are a billion blog posts and tweets a month, and the volume is growing at well over 50% a year. Companies need to decide what they should do about — and with — social media and how they should routinely deliver social business intelligence (SBI) to multiple business functions. How should they acquire social media listening/analysis/engagement services? There is more to the process than meets the eye: all social media vendors are not created equal. Should companies develop their own social media listening/analysis/engagement capabilities, or should they buy them in the marketplace? The data clearly shows that the majority of companies Read more

Mar 112014
 

Organizations tend to develop far-reaching plans to describe their strategic ambitions, tactics, goals, milestones, and budgets. However, these plans in and of themselves do not create value. Instead, they merely describe the path and the prize. Value can be realized only through the unremitting, collective actions of the hundreds or thousands of employees who are ultimately responsible for designing, executing, and living with the changed environment. Unless an organization successfully aligns its culture, values, people, and behaviors to encourage the desired results, failure is highly predictable. This challenge becomes even more acute when considering transformation efforts that are enabled through the introduction of enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other technology-enabled solutions. As is frequently the Read more

Jan 102014
 

In “Making Managerial Dashboards Meaningful” (Cutter IT Journal January 2013), the authors discussed the criteria and measures a dashboard needed to provide managers with reliable key performance indicators. All agreed on the need to choose carefully both the data displayed and the type of visualization to use. The “right” data, the “right” visualization, and the alignment of the data to the business goals supporting the dashboard user are necessary to support better decision making. In an upcoming issue of Cutter IT Journal we will take this one step further by exploring the creation of “Smart Dashboards” — ones that will provide even more intelligence and that “go beyond” the capabilities of current dashboards. We use Read more

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