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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.

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

Aug 202013
 
Choosing Your Point of Organizational Incoherence

Much has been written, presented and debated in the past few years on the “right way” for executives and policy makers to reinvigorate companies, markets and economies. The distinguished scholar Carlota Perez suggests fundamental changes to the way growth and prosperity get measured. Along somewhat similar lines, Steven Denning focuses on the damage inflicted through adherence to the tenet of maximizing shareholder’s value. Gary Hammel, elaborating on another thread that Perez touches on, advocates values over value. Last but not the least, Hagel, Brown and Davison emphasize the power of pull for both designing the right system and designing the system right [i]. While the debate spans some topics that are clearly beyond the scope Read more

May 222013
 
Making Profits Using API Economy

How much have you paid for your last home phone? Probably 10 euros, dollars, or whatever is your currency. It is likely that 20 years ago you would have paid a higher amount, even without taking into account the inflation. Still, imagine a world where you are the only phone owner, what would be the value of such phone? Probably zero, or even negative, since it would be a useless device that occupies space in your home. Here we appreciate two concurrent and conflicting phenomena that are at the root also of API Economy. The first is the so-called Network Effect: the phone has a value that depends on the number of users of the Read more

Mar 262013
 

In November 2012, the US Air Force finally decided to cancel its Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) modernization project after spending US $1 billion on it. ECSS was intended to replace more than 240 outdated Air Force logistics computer systems, some over 40 years old, with a single, integrated system. The Air Force deemed the effort critical to the successful modernization of its antiquated and operationally costly logistics infrastructure. However, in April 2012 the Air Force’s comptroller told the US Senate Armed Services Committee, “We’re now approaching seven years since funds were first expended on this system…. I’m personally appalled at the limited capabilities that project has produced relative to that amount of investment.” The Air Read more

Mar 112013
 

I saw the announcement of the Cutter Report on the proposed “Chief Data Officer” role, by Larissa Moss and Sid Adelman, and I have a problem with its message. Thank goodness that differences of opinion are accepted and even encouraged among Cutter consultants! I have absolutely no problem with stressing the importance of data in the enterprise, and the need to govern that data. On the contrary, I love information architecture, master data management, and other related concepts. I’ve quoted Larissa Moss before, because she said some really important things a number of years ago, before anyone else did. There. But if we need Chief Data Officers, it means that we have failed miserably at Read more

Dec 212012
 
Management Attention Will Become Systemically Focused

I see the emphasis on managing customer experience accelerating. Some progress has already been made in the area of customer-centric measurement, largely due to an increasing emphasis on Big Data and process analytics. In 2013, more organizations will begin to understand that this calls for a shift in management attention to a more systemic view of business. Some organizations may begin to appreciate that overall performance for customers is dependent on what the organization measures, manages, and rewards and therefore requires a systemic view that pays attention not only to customer-focused metrics, but also to business models, governance, and reward systems. [Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series.]

You are What You Expose

 Posted by on Dec 20, 2012  No Responses »
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

Nov 272012
 
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

Nov 052012
 

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

Nov 012012
 

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