There are very few more pressing issues in management today than cyber security. Notice that I didn’t say IT management; I said management. When the hacking of a major US retailer (Target) leads to the loss of billions of dollars in stock value and sales and the removal of not only the CSO, but the CIO and ultimately the CEO as well, stockholders, investors, and customers take notice. Organizations worldwide depend increasingly on information and communications technology to operate and manage 24/7/365, and wireless devices, BYOD, social media, and the like all combine to make the jobs of those responsible for cyber security exponentially more difficult. Like the Dutch boy and the dike, security people worldwide have Read more
Guidance for optimizing your IT investments, avoiding IT strategies that fail to support your business objectives, and leveraging IT for competitive advantage.
In the Kansas City Star recently, an educator posted an editorial that suggested all students graduating from college these should days should be “job ready.” The educator argued that the current college curriculum was defined for the “gentlemen” of the 19th and 20th centuries, but this is the 21st century, and the cost of higher education has skyrocketed and what with the pace of technological change, the shrinking of our job markets, and the new educational options (online courses, etc.), our colleges, universities, and institutes have to radically reduce their costs and produce “job-ready” graduates. Now, I have to admit that institutions of higher education in the US have many problems. They are beset with much more competition for Read more
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
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
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
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
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