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“Several cracks have appeared in patent systems worldwide,” wrote Claude Baudoin in his Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers on IP, Innovation, and Collaboration. At the heart of the issue, he says, is the argument that the patent system discourages collaborative innovation among partners, and that in some domains this is hurting scientific, technical, economic and societal progress. (If you’re curious about some examples of  such partnerships, check out Claude’s recent blog post.) Do you agree that the patent system is crumbling? Disagree? Have you had success — or failure — with IP sharing in cases where you’ve collaborated with a partner? How do you protect sensitive information while jointly innovating? The September 2012 issue of Cutter …

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The argument that the current patent system discourages collaborative innovation among partners — hurting scientific, technical, economic, and societal progress — is gaining steam. At the core of this is the swift emergence of, “open innovation,” described by Henry Chesbrough in 2003 [Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press]. In a concise and compelling 2010 paper, Prof. Bronwyn Hall of UC Berkeley and United Nations University in Maastricht, described how the open innovation movement has influenced some large companies, including IBM and Microsoft, to change how they handle the protection and sharing of intellectual property. She concluded by showing that in the leading-edge world of social media, …

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Although collaboration is a behavior, it can often be enabled by various technologies. But it’s not just collaboration technologies that will define the workplace of the future. This Cutter Edge outlines seven other technologies that will be just as important in shaping the future workspace. 1. Nanotechnology Nanotechnology delivers the ability to build something one atom at a time. This has big implications for supply chains, as transportation is not required when you can just grow a desk or chair out of a sheet of plastic or metal on the floor of the office. You can configure and reconfigure your office to support a face-to-face meeting (maybe by growing your conference table a bit larger), or you …

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How Are Your Smartphone Apps Developed?

Recently our Cutter Benchmark Review team conducted a survey to learn more about the corporate use, development and implementation of smartphone apps. As regular CBR readers know, we don’t just collect data, we analyze it from two different perspectives. This time Pierre Berthon from Bentley University (USA) along with Leyland Pitt and Kirk Plangger from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University (Canada) analyzed the data from the academic perspective, while Maria Lee‘s analysis takes the practitioner’s view. Here are some of the findings: When it comes to interacting with customers, how does your organization use apps?   To what extent does your organization utilize smartphone apps externally (i.e., to interact with and serve customers)? …

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Prior to the advent of agile methods, planned methods had characterized software development. An important focus of these planned methods was to get all of the requirements up front. Furthermore, there was a fervid attempt to get the requirements correct and complete before proceeding to the next stage of development. The unreal assumption that correct and complete requirements would remain so while the solution was developed turned out to be the bane of planned software development methods. It was impossible to get the requirements completed up front, as the business reality kept changing and users could not have known them earlier in the lifecycle. As it turns out, it was not even necessary to capture …

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What does the future of cloud computing look like? Would the industry benefit from standards to level the playing field between consumers and providers? Should government get involved or should it be left to consumer and industry groups? Join the debate in the August 2012 Cutter IT Journal with Guest Editor Mitchell Ummel. Please send us your ideas – proposals of interest are due 1 June 2012. To respond, please visit http://www.cutter.com/content-and-analysis/journals-and-reports/cutter-it-journal/callforpapers01.html

 
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Products and processes are two of the most vital components of a successful business. Useful, relevant, or innovative products are important for attracting and keeping customers. Efficient and effective processes are crucial to making the customer experience enjoyable and worthwhile. Product and process should therefore be included as key components in any business architecture. But, too often, product and process are not given the architectural priority they deserve. While physical products such as cars or planes are highly engineered, enterprise architects tend to overlook the architecture of information-based products and view them instead as the domain of business managers. (Note that physical products, such as the engineering of cars or computers, are more likely to …

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Big Agile is “agile as far as the eye can see.” It is not “one Big Agile organization.” The distinction becomes clear when you consider the context of size: team versus whole organization. While it is certainly possible, and desirable, for a company as a whole to be influenced by agile practices and principles, that doesn’t mean that agile alone can make a whole company move more quickly and easily. Agile, as both a theory of management and of software engineering, is tuned very well for one to several teams of individuals working closely together. Beyond that scale, agile alone won’t address all organizational challenges — no agile transformation initiative alone could do so. Solving …

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We believe leadership is just as much a definable science as management. What has made this notion difficult for most people to grasp is that leadership is seen as being something someone is born with (or not). In addition, management appears more “concrete” to people than leadership. Management is something that they can get their hands around because it is largely about following a set of defined processes. We would argue that most C-suite executives are selected on their management skills, not their leadership skills, which is why there is a dearth of leadership across both corporations and government. This has occurred in large part due to the fundamental reengineering of organizational structures, operations, and finance …

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Keeping the Innovation in Agile

Quite a few clients report that agile is anti-innovation. The developers have a vested interest in developing whatever they can produce within the allowable time. They are rewarded for maintaining the velocity of the project, not for their innovative solutions. Note that innovation, as we use the term here, means fresh thinking. We do not mean that innovation is the same as invention — it’s not. Innovation is thinking differently about the business problem with the intention of finding more beneficial things for the business to do. User stories that are not based on real business stories will struggle to be innovative. The user story describes what happens at the interface and is mostly what …

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