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IT Management

Insight into managing the IT organization.

 
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IT infrastructures are growing in size, capability and complexity as organizations take advantage of cloud computing, big data analytics, the Internet of Things, mobile computing and social media, to deploy complex, integrated, and collaborative applications. As a result, the need to run several applications under varying workloads to meet different functional, nonfunctional, and performance requirements is increasing. Managing these new complex infrastructures via traditional means is challenging and inefficient. Hence, many organizations are looking for new directions and approaches to more efficiently manage their infrastructures to meet their customers’ growing demands, ensure adaptability to changing business requirements, reduce duplication of efforts, and remain competitive. One approach organizations are adopting is software defined infrastructure (SDI) or …

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Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers: Next Generation Production Management

The production and ramp-up of complex and highly customized products are planning and control challenges, especially in small lot sizes. Daily challenges like late change requests, and immature high technology products and processes introduce significant risks in the production process. Using ICT-based approaches can help one develop mitigation strategies to respond quicker to unexpected events, implement and support early warning systems and introduce real-time decision support mechanisms that feature accelerated learning. Using state-of-the-art technologies and tools such as service-based architectures and knowledge-based Multi Agent Systems (MAS) can help improve performance and scalability beyond state-of-the-art. Furthermore, innovative solutions including the IoT and cloud-based architectures can offer the basis for efficient management of the whole production ecosystem …

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The Apprentice:  An American Reality Game Show Or The Ultimate Job Interview For Entry-Level Software Professionals?

I predict that more software companies will adapt and adopt the vocational training model that’s used successfully in Germany. The idea is to directly connect software education to a job. German companies hire students right out of high school for work-study programs. Those apprenticeships often lead to full-time positions with the company once the student graduates. In the U.S., carpenters and a number of other important craftsman trades have used an apprenticeship system to teach and build expertise for hundreds of years. So far, few U.S. companies are even familiar with such a system for software professionals. With more press attention, we’ll see a tailored German model gain momentum in the U.S.  Once employers gain …

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8 Kinds of Transformational Initiatives in 2015

The 21st Century was introduced by the tumultuous climax of the dot-com boom on March 20, 2000 when the NASDAQ peaked at 5,132. Since then modern corporations marched on to become the majority of the 100 largest organizations in the world (in terms of revenue/budgets and employed people) surpassing the size of many sovereign national governmental organizations. And this phenomenon happened fast. In 1954, the Boeing Corporations became just the 23rd corporation to exceed $1 billion dollars in annual revenue. By the end of the 20th century, hundreds of corporations exceeded multi-billion dollars in annual revenue. I rejoined the University of Washington faculty in 2003 to research one of the hotbeds of corporate foundings and …

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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 …

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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 …

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It should come as no surprise that decision making in some flavor or another is at the heart of nearly every business book, method, conference, and article. After all, especially in business, what are we trying to learn from the past if not the answer to “why” or “how did they do that?” Looking at any project or process technique, any analysis, any case study in nearly any topic, ultimately what we’re after is making sense of the means and the ends. Any metric, measure, and indicator is — when used properly — merely a trigger, tripwire, forecast or estimate of something on which to guide the path forward. All of project management can be …

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May 242014
 
Read it Twice!

We were not literally poor when I was a kid, but my parents had precious little disposable income. The free public library in which they registered me had a strict two-day book exchange policy. If I borrowed a book on Monday, I could not get a new one till Wednesday. It was cruel torture for a book worm like me: I would typically finish the book I borrowed the very same day and would impatiently count the nanoseconds remaining till I was eligible to borrow another book. Fast forward to 2014 and I am feeling like a stranger in paradise, spoiled rotten by any number of great books, articles, presentations and blog posts on any …

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Few would argue that social media is not important when it comes to engaging customers for advertising, PR, sales, service, and other CRM activities. Yet due to compliance considerations, many organizations have real concerns when it comes to using social media in such capacities. Consequently, it’s hardly surprising that they are looking for guidance when it comes to planning and executing their social media initiatives in a manner that meets their compliance needs. Social Media Meets Compliance An enterprise social media strategy requires defining practices and policies to ensure that employee social media activities comply with internal company and industry regulations (HIPPA, PCI, FINRA, etc.). Hand in hand with this effort are training programs to …

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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 …

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