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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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Social networking, mobility, and analytics are among the key topics for the enterprise today, as companies attempt to leverage social networks for insights, provide on-the-road access to data, and integrate an increasing realm of data into the diversified range of analytics possibilities provided by Big Data. Each of these areas is of growing importance to corporate marketing strategies and internal efficiency. But the confluence of social, mobile, and analytics is creating some important trends in its own right. As we explore in a recent Executive Update (see “SoLoMo Analytics“), many of these revolve around the growing combination of social, local, and mobile — often called “SoLoMo” — that has become a key emerging ecosystem of consumer behavior …

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Change at an architectural level is always transformational. But too often architects have struggled to demonstrate or realize this potential for making a significant, positive difference at the enterprise level. Instead, big changes are more frequently driven by the architectural opportunities from new technologies. This is starting to change, and leading enterprises are planning architectural change that genuinely combines the organizational, business, and technology perspectives. Enterprise transformation that successfully unites all three viewpoints requires a new technique to raise the architectural debate to the level of senior decision makers. Enterprise Patterns elevate the debate by: * Providing a means for aggregating viewpoints and lower level patterns into a holistic visualization of architectural possibilities. * Focusing …

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Be the Management You Want to Change — An Open Letter to Agilists

Dear Agilist, Everywhere I go I hear the same thing: “Culture and management are the major impediments to enterprise agile adoption.” Indeed, hundreds of us recently sought out the annual industry conference presentations and panels on how to change management — and culture — to facilitate the agile organization. I propose you and I stop hoping for management to change. Instead, why don’t we become the change we want management to be? That’s right, become a manager! Why the heck not? Here’s my reasoning. If you are skilled in the disciplines of: Prioritizing based on value, quality, and risk reduction Self-organizing cross-functional teamwork Transparent communication Making work visible Limiting work in process Feedback loops for sensing …

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I have two purposes in mind writing this blog post: Bring to your attention a new Santa Fe Institute paper on technological progress. I consider it quite a remarkable paper. Provide guidance as to applying the findings reported in this paper. Bela Nagy et al have recently published a working paper entitled Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress. Numerous intriguing observations are made in this paper, including the following comparison between Moore’s Law and Wright’s law: We discover a previously unobserved regularity that production tends to increase exponentially. A combination of exponential decrease in cost and an exponential increase in production would make Moore’s law and Wright’s law indistinguishable, as originally pointed out by Sahal. …

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As we all know, Abraham Lincoln was largely self-taught in the midst of meager means and living on the frontier in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, far from centers of learning and culture east of the Appalachians. For him, the book represented the path, and he sought them with great effort. As president he sought books on military matters during the Civil War in order to educate himself. As a result of his own drive and intellect, Lincoln emerged as a very capable, if not supremely capable military strategist. It is illustrative to learn how far one person can advance themselves by reading. The bibliography of Lincoln’s reading is noteworthy since it reveals his penchant for …

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Finding Peace via IT Governance

Good IT governance promotes balance across time-to-delivery, portfolio effectiveness, overall IT responsiveness and affordability. Without good governance, the IT playing field quickly becomes fragmented and fraught with frustration for all players — IT professionals on one side and countless business professionals on the other. And while it’s true that both sides have a role in the process, it’s unlikely that any of the stakeholders fully understands the others’ focus. In this table, I’ve charted a way for both the demand- and supply-sides to understand governance processes and tools.   Demand Side Governance Process Supply Side User requirements and expectations Service-level definition and monitoring, funding mechanisms IT service delivery performance Applications required and used by organization …

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