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.

Dec 202012
 
You are What You Expose

The quips “You are what you eat” and “You are what you read” capture a universal truth: for better or worse your actions define your persona. As of 2013, I believe, “eat” and “read” in these quips will be superseded by “expose.” The APIs you choose to expose will define the kind of services you, your company or your company’s eco-system will be able to offer. It is going to be an “APIs beget services” pattern rather than “Services beget APIs.” If you think I am smoking something strong, take a look at the recent articles Cutter published on the API Economy (click here, here and here). Perhaps the most striking piece in these articles …

Read more

 
Emerging Technologies to Enable Business Models & Processes at Unprecedented Pace

2013 is the year when a major re-thinking of business technology strategy — organized around the power of emerging technology — will begin. The re-thinking will be driven by the rapid deployability of emerging technologies like cloud computing, social business intelligence, mobility, location-enabled services and big data analytics. The time-to-technology-deployment is shrinking — fast: companies will dramatically accelerate their adoption of emerging technologies — especially due to cloud delivery — and redefine their business models and processes around the capabilities of the new technologies. Examples include location-enabled services for cross-selling and up-selling, social business intelligence for corporate crisis warning and management, big data analytics for slicing customer profiling and performance — in real time — …

Read more

 
avatar

Global competition, increasing customer power, and quantum advances in technology have combined to demand a new and more adaptive approach to managing the business. In spite of significant advances in methods to improve business performance, such as TQM, Six Sigma, Lean, BPR, ERP, CRM, SaaS, and the cloud, many organizations continue to struggle in executing improvements to business performance. In many cases, the culprit is a traditional functional view of the business, where organizations develop plans, budgets, and even reward systems mainly in a functional or departmental context, paying little attention to the “critical few” measures of performance that matter to customers and failing to gain clarity on the type of cross-departmental collaboration needed to …

Read more

 
avatar

IT organizations worldwide use dashboards to provide managers with the key performance metrics they need to steer their organizations in the right direction and make important strategic business decisions. However, the data being measured must be meaningful for the dashboard to be valuable. Considerable effort and resources can be wasted tracking the wrong information. Dashboards need to be regularly reviewed to ensure they incorporate data from all relevant sources. For example, organizations must now incorporate and leverage the vast amount of data coming in through their various social media channels, as this data provides key information on trends that can affect an organization’s bottom line. So what is the secret to designing a dashboard that …

Read more

 
avatar

As we all know, Abraham Lincoln was largely self-taught in the midst of meager means and living on the frontier in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, far from centers of learning and culture east of the Appalachians. For him, the book represented the path, and he sought them with great effort. As president he sought books on military matters during the Civil War in order to educate himself. As a result of his own drive and intellect, Lincoln emerged as a very capable, if not supremely capable military strategist. It is illustrative to learn how far one person can advance themselves by reading. The bibliography of Lincoln’s reading is noteworthy since it reveals his penchant for …

Read more

 
Finding Peace via IT Governance

Good IT governance promotes balance across time-to-delivery, portfolio effectiveness, overall IT responsiveness and affordability. Without good governance, the IT playing field quickly becomes fragmented and fraught with frustration for all players — IT professionals on one side and countless business professionals on the other. And while it’s true that both sides have a role in the process, it’s unlikely that any of the stakeholders fully understands the others’ focus. In this table, I’ve charted a way for both the demand- and supply-sides to understand governance processes and tools.   Demand Side Governance Process Supply Side User requirements and expectations Service-level definition and monitoring, funding mechanisms IT service delivery performance Applications required and used by organization …

Read more

 
Research Agenda for Test-Driven Business

In my recent blog post Test-Driven Business, I started to examine the application of Test-Driven Development techniques to the business.  The general idea is that software to development is like hypothesis to the business. We test in development in order to make certain that the software works correctly. Likewise, we test a hypothesis in the business in order to validate it. Just as we fix a line of code, we fix an invalid hypothesis. The model proposed for Test-Driven Business includes two core elements: View of the flow of activities in the firm as comprising three distinct phases: Ideation, Execution and Planning. Two strands that we try to merge within each phase. With these elements …

Read more

Jul 092012
 
Test-Driven Business

Change used to be viewed, experienced and managed as a discontinuous phenomenon. A period of change was typically followed by a period of stability. Moreover, the general expectation was that the period of stability would last a much longer time than the time it took to assimilate change. Change nowadays is becoming continuous. Various Cutter Consortium clients deploy code dozens of times a day. Companies like Wisemarkit enable you to “open a shop in 60 seconds and fill it with products you believe in.” When new features are deployed every hour and e-shops can be formed on the fly, periods of stability in which you can catch your breath have for most practical purposes vanished. …

Read more

 
How Are Your Smartphone Apps Developed?

Recently our Cutter Benchmark Review team conducted a survey to learn more about the corporate use, development and implementation of smartphone apps. As regular CBR readers know, we don’t just collect data, we analyze it from two different perspectives. This time Pierre Berthon from Bentley University (USA) along with Leyland Pitt and Kirk Plangger from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (Canada) analyzed the data from the academic perspective, while Maria Lee‘s analysis takes the practitioner’s view. Here are some of the findings: When it comes to interacting with customers, how does your organization use apps?   To what extent does your organization utilize smartphone apps externally (i.e., to interact with and serve customers)? …

Read more

 
avatar

In IT circles, ITIL projects induce feelings of both love and hate. While the IT landscape has many successful ITIL implementations, that landscape is also littered with cost overruns, frustrated IT staff that couldn’t focus on immediate customer demands, and dissatisfied end users whose business “technology” needs were put on hold pending completion of the ITIL projects. The June 2012 Cutter IT Journal with Guest Editor Bill Keyworth, seeks to identify how ITIL can be used effectively to satisfy the customer goals of IT service management and how IT operations can balance the conflicting demands of IT process and business needs. Please send us your ideas – proposals of interest are due 6 April 2012. …

Read more