Business Architecture Gets Some Respect

At first, most people didn’t know what we meant by “business architecture.” And when they did, the fact that, while business architecture should be the responsibility of the business (doh!) the business didn’t seem to care, left us spinning our wheels. But now the ground is becoming firmer and we’re gaining some traction. The Business Architecture Guild and the Object Management Group share the credit for giving the discipline an underpinning of standards and concrete best practices for the modeling of an organization’s strategy, its value chains, its capability map, and its business processes. In 2015, business architecture will still be mostly done by IT for the business – because even if the business doesn’t …

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A New Kind of Software Development Framework

A good way to make predictions is to recognize current trends and then extrapolate them into the future. The longer the trends, the more confident you can be about the predictions. Thinking about software development processes, we see two long-term paths that software development has taken. These paths are the basis of both our joint prediction for the coming year and the kind of holistic consulting we will focus on in 2015. The path some have taken has been moving from one lifecycle process to another, each containing a set of prescribed practices. These, in rough order, are waterfall, spiral, controlled iteration/RUP, Xtreme Programing, Agile, and DevOps. We may have missed one or two, plus …

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"Enterprise" Architecture will Grow Up to become Enterprise Architecture

In the next three years, more enterprises will reposition their Enterprise Architecture practices to become architecture truly at the Enterprise level, going beyond using “Enterprise” as a mere prefix to what, in reality, has been an IT-centric architecture. There will be a critical mass of enterprises doing this — enough to make Enterprise Architecture understood as what it should have been in the first place. What are some of the changes we will see in Enterprise Architecture (EA) as this trend goes mainstream? More Business and IT collaboration in the activities of Enterprise Architecture More Enterprise Architects with skills that are enterprise-grade skills Enterprise Architecture that includes Business Architecture as the frame within which the …

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The SaaS Model May Begin to Lose Some Luster

The SaaS model may begin to lose some luster as enterprises begin feel the effects of IT playing a secondary role in implementations.  SaaS suppliers and integrators often try to push IT to the side as they sell their “new and improved” approach which speeds up projects and empowers business process owners and subject matter experts.  However, the dirty little secret is that the value of traditional IT disciplines transcends the hosting mechanism and the mantra of “configuration, not customization”.  The subjugation of IT can result in significant gaps in process and data analysis, planning for ongoing development and support, project management discipline, quality assurance, technical change management, environment management, and effective vendor relationship management, …

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Dec 082014
 
Major IoT Hack to Come

I predict there will be a major hack to a connected devices, causing havoc and putting a temporary damper on the stampede towards the Internet of Things. It will be widespread, as the hackers will want to show just how vulnerable we are. This will be a temporary setback, and the precise impact will depend on the severity of the damage done — but the Internet of Things development will continue. In a related note, it will be revealed that the government has experimenting with novel ways to conduct surveillance using these connected devices. My biggest bet is that LEDs used to light public areas will be the first discovered, but there may be even …

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Get Ready to Compete on Price, Delivery and Customer Expectations

Presuming the economic forecast provided by the Beaulieu brothers holds and we have a growth expansion through 2017 with a hard recession in 2018, I predict the following: Companies will continue to build up technical debt at a dizzying pace to stay competitive In 2018, those with cash and an elegant code base will be able to charge lower prices due to their response efficiencies In 2019, companies dependent on software will not be purchased (too much financial and technical debt) – they will just go out of business. The keys are to focus on competitive advantage, reduce technical and financial debt, and be ready to outcompete on price, delivery and customer expectations. In other …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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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.)