Risk Management

Ideas and strategies to make risk management more effective.

Dec 082013
Things That Go Bump in the Night

By the end of the decade, self-driving cars will be on the roads in many developed countries. The electric grid will tell our heaters when it is more economical to run, “learning thermostats” will be in many homes, and we will track the movements of people, pets, packages, and many other things. By some estimates, the number of devices connected to this “Internet of Things” (IoT) will pass the number of connected human users by 2016. The question is: will serious accidents be necessary before people take the risks seriously and harden this infrastructure? Because the IoT senses and controls physical objects, serious harm can happen — either accidentally or intentionally. We need devices to 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

Oct 022013

Just in time for National Cyber Security Awareness month is the Cutter IT Journal issue — Privacy and Security in the Internet of Things. Guest Edited by Privacy by Design Ambassador and Cutter Senior Consultant Rebecca Herold and her host of expert authors — this issue highlights the many possible data hacking scenarios your organization could be privy to as the IoT gathers speed. With no current restrictions on how data collected by IoT-related devices is analyzed — the market is an open playing field for potential exploit. Explore the implications of the IoT and learn some strategies for mitigating the possibility of data breaches in this exciting new issue! Cutter clients read this issue Read more

Dec 182012

Former Yankee baseball player Yogi Berra, known for his insightful malapropisms, once said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” This would be an apt description of the current state of enterprise risk management (ERM). In theory, ERM is useful in addressing the question, “What is the best use of corporate resources to create or protect the most value for the enterprise?” Yet in practice — except for a few exceptions like that of the successful avionics firm Rockwell Collins — it has fallen woefully short of meeting this objective. Over the past decade-plus, organizations have found ERM extremely difficult and costly to implement, with many early ERM adopters Read more

Dec 152012
Agility, the Personal Cloud, and Complex Analytics on the Horizon

Predictions are always difficult in interesting times, because tomorrow’s concepts depend upon activity which has not yet occurred. We expected flying cars; we are getting autonomous cars.  In the 1950s, the computer revolution, robotics, GPS, and today’s traffic patterns would have been difficult to envision.  Today, we are seeing rapid evolution across Information and Communications Technology, affecting every component and every meme. But we can see the direction that some areas of recent concentration are likely to take. Concepts of Agility will continue to evolve, moving beyond specific processes such as Scrum toward more comprehensive programs capable of incorporating a wider variety of projects, under more conditions and supporting greater integration with governance. This can Read more

Nov 302012
The New Darlings of the Globe

It’s not going to be a pretty year ahead, unless you’re in the “doom and gloom” business. As one of the “risk guys,” I’m in a sweet spot for the year ahead, but I don’t think I have a lot of company. I believe a lot of businesses are going to retrench even more deeply, hoarding capital and waiting for some semblance of stability in terms of business regulation. I don’t believe that stability will be forthcoming, which means that the money that has been holed up for several years now will begin to find its way off shore. This makes for an interesting year ahead for the folks outside the States and outside the Read more

Jul 172012

On that long list of venerable institutions primed for a high-tech overhaul, higher education is near the top. Its shortcomings are much discussed: universities are expensive, inaccessible, inflexible, and out of touch with the needs of students and the world economy. A diploma that demands four (or more) years on campus, long lectures, fend-for-yourself homework, and massive final exams seems as much a relic of the 19th century as of the 20th. Educating the millions of people that our future depends on will require not just a productivity boost but something fundamentally different. These days “something fundamentally different” usually involves the Internet. Decades of desultory experiments with “computer-aided education” have now yielded exciting, scalable, measurably Read more