Dec 142013
Software Defined Networking (SDN) gets the attention of the CIO

Today’s Internet is a product of over forty years development, beginning with the ARPANET in the late 1960s and the formulation of the TCP/IP protocol in the early 1970s. We are now poised for the next major change in Internet development with the introduction of Software Defined Networking (SDN) – network architecture (hardware and software) that allows creation of “virtual internets” using potentially new protocols, running over the fiber optics and other hardware of today’s Internet. The National Science Foundation began funding university research in SDN under the GENI Project Office and moved to large scale prototyping in 2009. The Open Networking Foundation has been formed by all the big players in networking technology to Read more

Dec 132013
Lean, Devops and the Resurgence of the Industrialization of Software

One the constant tensions in our industry is the business need to make software more like manufacturing — highly predictable and controllable — and the reality that much of the software development lifecycle is not amenable to the process control techniques that are so effective in manufacturing. Software development is different than manufacturing in that: There is a wide range of uncertainty. Software efforts span from green field projects with little initial understanding of the needed system to bug fixes and small changes with very detailed specifications. There is an indirect relationship between the effort expended and value created. Generally, if one spends 10 hours painting a wall, one can expect there will a lot Read more

Dec 112013
Collaboration and Social Tools in 2014

For 2014, I predict … 1. The browser becomes the OS. More and more is being added to Google’s Chrome browser; so much so that it is starting to look much like an operating system. You have all of these plug-ins (like applications), you can customize and configure your device or the look and feel of the browser. Nowhere is Chrome more an OS than with Chromebooks, where it is the OS. And it is a very web-oriented OS (thin client), with just the browser, media player and file manager as its only native applications. The question is: will IE or Firefox follow suit? Or are they pursuing different directions? 2. The social enterprise. As a Read more

Dec 092013
Stealth Enterprise Architecture!

This year I’m predicting more stealth enterprise architecture! I’d like to say that I invented this phrase, but I’ve found at least two previous uses: one in a comment by Peter Parslow in 2010; the other from Alec Blair, the head of Enterprise Architecture for Alberta Health Services, who described the journey of how his team has used stealth Enterprise Architecture to move AHS to operate more consistently like one organization. Now, Enterprise Architects have always had to play the political game and use stealth to sell their EA visions. Tricking decision makers into taking small steps that in combination cause longer-term transformation has long been part of the art of EA. At an Enterprise Read more

Dec 072013
We Will Forget the ACA Web Site Fiasco

In a few months, the Affordable Care Act enrollment system will finally be working well, millions of people will have enrolled, and the debate will return to the basic policy and political question of whether the whole program is good for the U.S. or not. By 2015, the IT profession as a whole, government procurement services, and the contractors will forget the lessons of the October-November fiasco and will largely or completely return to the same practices as before: unrealistic deadlines, lack of testing, big waterfall lifecycle models, tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear practices, etc. Why am I being so pessimistic? Because we’ve been here before. The Y2K effort consumed a lot of resources, and contrary to many people, Read more

Dec 052013
BYOD Will Become Mandatory In Order to Keep an Eye on You

For 2014, I see an increasing convergence of two trends that may not overjoy many of us. The first is that bring-your-own-device (BYOD ) to work will be increasingly embraced by employers as well as other organizations, such as schools and universities. Earlier this year, it was predicted that half of all companies will mandate BYODs as a condition of employment by 2017. While I think that is an aggressive target, given not only the security issues involved, but the application/data/OS integration issues as well as the rapidity of device turnover, it is a trend that is already taking hold. Companies such as Cisco and VMWare have mandated BYOD, and universities (and now high schools) 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

Coming Soon: 2014

 Posted by on Dec 2, 2013  No Responses »
Dec 022013
Coming Soon: 2014

Once again, the end of the year has snuck up! That means it’s time for our annual Cutter Predicts … series. Over the next few weeks, Cutter Fellows and Senior Consultants will showcase their visions of 2014 (and in some cases, beyond) here on the Cutter Blog and also on the Cutter website. Feel free to weigh in: do you agree with their predictions? Do you have supporting evidence of the hypotheses? Or maybe you have 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. (If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you’ll Read more

A Cheesy Invitation

 Posted by on Oct 1, 2013  2 Responses »
Oct 012013
A Cheesy Invitation

Imagine you’re at a party. You’re standing near a cheese platter admiring the selection. That 2-hour cheese tasting class you took last week has made you think differently about the way you look at that plate! A man approaches and you begin chatting about the cheese. Turns out, he’s a Professor of Food Science at a top university, and has written the definitive book on goat’s milk cheese. A woman then joins the conversation; she’s from Wisconsin, home of the Cheese Heads – her perspective on cheese is a little less serious than yours! After sharing information, the 3 of you walk away with knowledge, insight, and a few ideas about wine and cheese pairings Read more

Jun 072013
What’s on Tap for Day 2 of Summit: Executive Education+

The Cutter Summit program includes a mix of keynotes with accompanying panel sessions, case studies, interactive exercises, roundtable discussions, lightning talks, half-day immersion workshops and seminars, and many, many networking opps. The other day I wrote about the keynote and case study that will take place of the first day, Nov 4, of this Fall’s Summit. Today I’ll highlight the “main events” for the second day. (Watch for another post on roundtables and lightning talks.) Israel Gat will kick off the morning, keynoting on the impending explosion of the API economy. Israel is well-known for his expertise on Agile and software/product development governance supported by technical debt assessment and valuation, but he actually spends much Read more