Jul 162013
 
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An agile enterprise is a flexible, robust organization that is capable of rapid response to unexpected challenges, events, and opportunities. Agile enterprises achieve continuous competitive advantage in serving their customers by following strategies that facilitate speed and change. Enablers of enterprise agility include diffused authority; flat organizational structures; trust-based relationships with customers and suppliers; and, of course, an agile information technology strategy. In this post, I focus on what it takes to have an agile IT strategy. IT departments that are truly agile, or are at least on the path to becoming so, exhibit several key characteristics. First, the majority of their project teams are taking an agile approach to the full delivery lifecycle. This …

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API Economy offers new business opportunities for businesses of different types and sizes. Potential benefits range from direct increase in sales, reaching new markets, to brand name expansion and unlocking of human innovations of third-parties. It is important to understand, however, that while API Economy offers exciting new possibilities, it does not guarantee that all or any of its promises are fulfilled. Just because you expose a novel and valuable API does not guarantee that it will be successful or that it will have the results that you expect. There are a number of different factors and risks that come into play. One might get lucky and achieve success without much effort and understanding how …

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Jul 022013
 
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A recurring theme in enterprise architecture forums and debates is: “How do we demonstrate the value of EA or justify architectural overhead?” Some may view these discussions as academic, which compounds the problem, because it supports the idea that enterprise architects don’t really understand their role, that they don’t have a common definition of enterprise architecture, and that we consequently don’t need them! By far the biggest problem is a mind-set that perpetuates certain misconceptions about EA. All too often the rewards from architecting are seen as long-term outcomes, EA is not regarded as an essential element in enterprise transformation, and the value from EA is not measured effectively. The first myth is that EA …

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The API Economy has exploded. The use of APIs today is so prolific that the number of publicly-exposed APIs has grown exponentially to the tens of thousands, and is expected to increase even further as non Internet-centric companies are starting to realize its business potential. We’re finding that as businesses begin to expose and combine their information resources with those of others to build new and innovative assets, a whole new market of customers becomes available — creating a new channel for businesses to generate revenue and gain a competitive edge. Sounds like a win-win situation — but is it too good to be true? What are the risks of exposing your data assets and …

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Best and Final — In Memoriam: Mitchell Ummel

As many of you already know, Mitch Ummel passed away recently. For nearly a decade, Mitch and I collaborated on a number of consulting projects largely involving strategic planning and enterprise architecture. For me, Mitch was a perfect partner: always optimistic, always on time, and always insightful. He was the consummate professional. Mitch loved planning and project management; indeed, he was one of the very few people I have ever met who was willing to commit four years to a large project, bringing it in on time and under budget. Where others taught hard-nosed project management, Mitch practiced it every day. Those of you who have read Mitch’s articles and reports in various Cutter publications, or …

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Jun 182013
 
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The technology of the cloud has been evolving fairly quickly, in fact faster than many people expected, this author included. The number of serious market players and their sheer size (including companies such as Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft) attests that we have passed the point of no return: this new model is here to stay. Indeed, no selection process for an IT capability is complete today unless it includes cloud-based solutions. Even government entities have embraced the trend, in part because of the usual promise of cost savings, flexibility, and scalability, but also with a view toward creating more employment in the private sector rather than in already large government agency staffs. The US …

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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 …

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Executive Education Created Just for Business Technologists

“Executive education” usually brings a university classroom to my mind, the kind you find on an ivy-walled campus. Cutter’s executive education (which we call Summit 2013), however, is a little different: it takes place next-door to a prestigious university. Yep, Summit 2013 will be held at Le Meridien Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the edge of the MIT campus. The program is chock-full of stellar sessions. The 3-day event kicks off on Nov. 4 with a keynote on The Evolving Role of 21st Century Technology Leaders by Robert D. Scott. Robert, former VP of Innovation & Architecture at Procter & Gamble (where he also served in CIO positions, both corporate and business unit). Robert is …

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In a mutual boot-strapping beginning with the dawn of Homo sapiens, mankind and information have both exploded in variety, velocity, and volume. Our fates have been intertwined. We advance by harvesting, using, and sharing information. Along the way, information persists, mutates, and diffuses further. Turning the crank, we find — no, we create — even more information. In a race to compete with each other, we endlessly seek more information to help us do better. The mass of information grows larger still, revealing more secrets. From the primordial single bit of information at the dawn of the universe has sprung a thing that now feeds itself in a never-ending cycle of perpetual novelty. And the …

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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 …

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