Emerging Technologies to Enable Business Models & Processes at Unprecedented Pace

2013 is the year when a major re-thinking of business technology strategy — organized around the power of emerging technology — will begin. The re-thinking will be driven by the rapid deployability of emerging technologies like cloud computing, social business intelligence, mobility, location-enabled services and big data analytics. The time-to-technology-deployment is shrinking — fast: companies will dramatically accelerate their adoption of emerging technologies — especially due to cloud delivery — and redefine their business models and processes around the capabilities of the new technologies. Examples include location-enabled services for cross-selling and up-selling, social business intelligence for corporate crisis warning and management, big data analytics for slicing customer profiling and performance — in real time — …

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Coming Soon to an Enterprise Near You …

Top 10 lists, year-in-reviews, and predictions abound at this time of the year. Since we don’t like to miss any of the fun, we’ve asked Cutter Senior Consultants and Fellows to share their predictions for the business-IT landscape in 2013. (They’ll be tagged “2013 predictions“.) But before they begin, maybe you want to do your own year-in-review: how accurate were Cutter’s experts last year – on cloud adoption, social analytics, mobile computing, and other topics? Feel free to judge them all. (And comment on if/how those predictions impacted you/your business!) What do you envision for the coming year?

 
The Business of Understanding

Contrary to popular belief, the term “information architecture” is not synonymous with designing and structuring websites or developing an Internet-based information base. The phrase was first introduced in 1975 by Richard Saul Wurman, who is probably best known for founding TED Conferences and TEDTalks. When he introduced this concept, Wurman was thinking of information in a broad sense. He was one of the first to recognize that modern technologies were likely to produce “a stream of bytes that leaves us inundated with data but starved for the tools & patterns that give them meaning. In reality there has not been an information explosion, but rather an explosion of noninformation, or data that simply doesn’t inform” (Information …

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On the Surface: Is There a Winning Strategy for Microsoft?

Although Microsoft’s Surface tablet products are going to struggle — at least initially — in the consumer market, I believe that they are going to prove a hit when it comes to the use of tablets in the enterprise. First, to avoid any misunderstanding, Microsoft is offering two platforms in its Surface tablet line: Surface with Windows RT — Microsoft’s first or introductory tablet, running Windows RT — a limited version of the Windows 8 OS designed for ARM-based processors (which are popular for consumer tablets). Surface with Windows 8 — a more advanced, professional tablet running the full version of Windows 8 designed for Intel processors. This tablet will be comparable in processing capabilities …

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Global competition, increasing customer power, and quantum advances in technology have combined to demand a new and more adaptive approach to managing the business. In spite of significant advances in methods to improve business performance, such as TQM, Six Sigma, Lean, BPR, ERP, CRM, SaaS, and the cloud, many organizations continue to struggle in executing improvements to business performance. In many cases, the culprit is a traditional functional view of the business, where organizations develop plans, budgets, and even reward systems mainly in a functional or departmental context, paying little attention to the “critical few” measures of performance that matter to customers and failing to gain clarity on the type of cross-departmental collaboration needed to …

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IT organizations worldwide use dashboards to provide managers with the key performance metrics they need to steer their organizations in the right direction and make important strategic business decisions. However, the data being measured must be meaningful for the dashboard to be valuable. Considerable effort and resources can be wasted tracking the wrong information. Dashboards need to be regularly reviewed to ensure they incorporate data from all relevant sources. For example, organizations must now incorporate and leverage the vast amount of data coming in through their various social media channels, as this data provides key information on trends that can affect an organization’s bottom line. So what is the secret to designing a dashboard that …

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One of the most important disruptive technologies that businesses can employ today is video. Video can benefit several business activities, including training, corporate communications, collaboration and knowledge sharing, and CRM. In addition, video is not something you are going to have to browbeat your employees to use. In fact, many employees — thanks to the popularity of YouTube and similar consumer video-sharing sites, in conjunction with their rabid obsession with smartphones and tablets — feel quite at home both watching and making videos. And a lot are also quite familiar with turning to consumer video-sharing sites to seek out videos showing them how to do something — whether it’s how to play “Paint It Black” …

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I recently watched a talk by a self-appointed agile "expert" who tried to explain the key elements of Scrum. There were lots of minor and major mistakes in his presentation, but the sentence that struck me most was: "User stories are what we call requirements in agile." The sad thing is not that much that this guy said was completely wrong, but that his view is quite common. Another "Scrum" team I was visiting recently showed me its task board. On the left, the group had "prioritized" their stories by assigning them to three categories. Their choice was pretty representative: they had eight cards with priority one, three cards with priority two, and not a …

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The analogy between the evolution of the electric energy industry and cloud computing is oftentimes used, and for good reason. It’s likely the most applicable predictor of where this industry is heading over the next 10-20 years. Although slight regional variances exist, it’s generally the case that I, as a consumer of electric power, can plug in my appliance anywhere in the world and expect it to work efficiently, safely, and reliably. Standards for voltage regulation, plug/outlet design, and circuit protection are mature and widely embraced, and the electric appliance industry can compete, and innovate, on a level playing field for the benefit of consumers worldwide. The clock radio in my office is one of …

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Jim Plamondon, Cutter, and the API Economy

I’ve recently joined the Cutter Consortium as a Senior Consultant, focusing on the API Economy. This begs three questions: Why the API Economy? Why me? Why Cutter? Why the API Economy? The API Economy is, in brief, the exchange of information resources facilitated by: Exposing your entity’s core information resources to an ecosystem of developers through an Internet-based Application Programming Interface (API), and Combining other entities’ APIs to build new information resources. You may never have heard of the API Economy, but you will. It is the economic force that is driving cloud computing and mobile apps. The success of cloud and mobile computing is accelerating the API Economy towards a tipping point, in a …

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