Category

Business Technology Trends

Opinion on the technology, business, and social trends that are impacting enterprises worldwide.

Dec 042014
 
Role of IT to be Turned Inside Out by the Internet of Things

Historically, IT’s role has been to ensure that hardware systems and software applications properly support the day-to-day needs of an organization’s executives, end-users and business processes. More recently, IT has been asked to help business users more effectively gather and interpret an escalating volume of data from internal and external sources. The end result was adopting better analytics systems for internal purposes. The Internet of Things (IoT) will push IT to become a part of the company’s product development and support processes as hardware and software become embedded into the products and services companies manufacturer and deliver. In many ways, this new role will really be a fulfillment of the past promises that IT become Read more

Dec 022014
 
The IaaS Battleground

The uncertain future of cloud computing and the plethora of frowny CIO faces of a couple years ago are rapidly giving way to the acceptance — if not embracing — of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), at least among IT leaders. The good news is that this shift is without the typical knee-jerk and shallow skepticism or naive Panglossian enthusiasm for the next new thing. This mental shift is tempered, real, and comes with more “buy” questions than “hold” or “sell” ones. In short, buyers and sellers are rolling up their sleeves and making plans. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are in what looks to be an all-out race to zero as they take oxygen out Read more

Dec 022014
 
Still-shrinking Workforce will Bode Well for Those in Risk Community

Last year, I predicted the work force would continue to shrink. I was right. Relative to the population, the work force continued to dwindle, and it will continue to do so in 2015. The percentage values will become even more dramatic when considering the migrant workforce (legal and otherwise). As such, it’s still a good year ahead for those who can find ways to leverage smaller staffs in 2015. Tragically, this will lead to a greater divide between the rich and the poor. Any industries marketing with a “we care” strategy that applies across the “have/have-not” divide will be seen as philanthropic and societally beneficial (in a time of increased political turmoil). Turmoil bodes well Read more

Dec 012014
 
What's in Store for 2015?

It’s that time of the year again —the annual Cutter Predicts … series. Watch this blog over the weeks to come (consider subscribing to our feed) to see what Cutter Fellows and Senior Consultants envision for 2015 (and in some cases, beyond) as business technology continues to morph. We hope you’ll weigh in: do you agree with a prediction? Strongly disagree? Do you have evidence that supports one of the hypotheses? Evidence to the contrary? In any case, we’d love to hear what you have to say and what you see unfolding next year on the business technology landscape. (You’ll find the last several years’ predictions tagged 2014 predictions, 2013 predictions, etc. Predictions will also be posted on the Cutter website.)

Nov 182014
 

It is becoming clear that the prevailing piecemeal approach to security is no longer sufficient to thwart increasingly sophisticated attacks. Gaps in coverage provide possible entry points, blended attacks in several sectors can mask the actual threat, and sophisticated attacks involving multiple targets and approaches can find their way around many current defenses. Interest is growing in unified threat management (UTM) for small to medium-sized businesses, which centralizes all network intrusion response in a single device, and next-generation firewalls (NGFs), which defend against most of the same things but are aimed at the enterprise. Although some currently define these as separate product areas, major vendors are now providing this form of protection as a continuum. Read more

Oct 082014
 

From the beginning of data processing in the 1950s, an "us/them" dynamic has existed between business and IT organizations. Since then, attempts by CIOs and business executives to cross the cultural barriers have met with varying degrees of success. Organizations intent on building trust and partnership between business and IT face these challenges: IT’s culture and processes. The IT organization’s relationship with the business is IT-centric rather than business centric. Business accountability failure. When the IT function is IT centric, business management does not understand its role or responsibilities in the partnership. Both the business and IT sides are responsible for applying IT effectively throughout the organization. CIOs are not providing the leadership. The CIO Read more

Security Is Job One

 Posted by on Oct 7, 2014  No Responses »
Oct 072014
 

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

Sep 092014
 

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

Jul 152014
 

In research and in economic innovation, great insight and great value are frequently created by individuals with stocks of knowledge in two or more domains and by teams of people where the individuals might be experts in one domain but have the facility to grasp enough of another domain to connect the dots. In universities across the globe, more and more research is being done by multidisciplinary teams. While deep expertise in one domain is needed to perform well on these teams, facility with — if not some significant expertise in — another domain is also needed. Tomorrow’s problems and the innovation needed to solve them are likely to require multiple disciplines. One person with Read more

Jun 172014
 

There are times when major trends intersect. Sometimes they reinforce each other; other times they cancel each other out. In the case of Target’s security problems, there seems to have been a fair amount of interference (to read my earlier Advisor on the Target security breach, see “Cyber Security: Inside and Out“). The FireEye software that was supposed to warn of the kind of exposure that did Target in reacted as it was supposed to: the basic problem was flagged and diagnosed immediately, and a warning message was included in one of the security logs and highlighted by analysts at Target’s Bangalore security center. Unfortunately, the critical message was not deemed worthy of immediate action by the Read more