Feb 252013

The expanding investments in people and the retracting investments in people precede the economic business cycle of boom or bust. In other words, when companies begin to re-invest in people, productivity increases, creativity soars, new products appear and new customers are engaged. When companies pull back on people investments, sales start to sag, productivity declines, product introductions slow to a trickle and soon the business falters. The faltering of business is usually obfuscated initially by the drive for efficiency and financial engineering of the books but the employees reflect the dropping corporate barometric pressure. Rumors fly, people begin to hang out at the water cooler to commiserate and speculate about what is going on. High Read more

Feb 142013

In his unique style, Hillel Glazer clears up confusion — while perhaps even standing on one leg — around CMMI in this video. He says it’s what to improve, not how, and that every CMMI practice avoids a risk so you can use the practices as guides to finding where you have issues. Agile-and/versus-CMMI has been a topic of lots of debate recently here at Cutter. For example, Hillel wrote in “Agile vs. CMMI: The Debate Goes On“: Jens Coldewey’s Advisor “Why ‘Agile vs. CMMI’ Leads Down the Wrong Track” rightly argues that “Agile vs. CMMI” is not the right direction to go. However, he assumed a particular (and common) perspective about CMMI and in doing Read more

Feb 122013
Devops Implementation Goals

Devops has only been around for a brief few years, and it is already having a significant impact throughout the development community. While there are those who might view the integration of development and operations as a useful fad that serves a limited number of situations, evidence suggests that there are serious advantages to this approach. One reason is that devops represents a convergence plateau in the state of the “software development” art, where development, operations, and the surrounding processes of QA are brought together in an efficient, converged process that provides important benefits (see Figure 1). Figure 1 — Devops: development, operations, and QA. Through integration development and operations, devops seeks to create an Read more

Jan 292013

Although mobile computing is not new, there has been a lot of discussion lately about it, and about having an effective mobile/social strategy. The first question we need to ask is: what should your mobile strategy be? Of course, this ought to be related to your business strategy, but we still have to dig into a lot of details and answer a lot of questions to properly formulate the strategy, perform a cost/benefit analysis, and create a roadmap and plan. So how can we go about investigating this? It should come as no surprise that I would suggest business architecture as an approach. The first step would be to identify the stakeholders that you are Read more

Jan 242013

Cutter IT Journal Call for Papers with Guest Editor Jim Sutton. The heart of a modern enterprise is the knowledge work it does. How to run a factory effectively is fairly well understood these days. But strategy, market positioning, effective services and the like are what make for an effective business. These are all knowledge work activities. Enterprises and knowledge work leaders are moving away from the mass production paradigm and into a systems view using the Lean paradigm. Lean knowledge work emphasizes getting the most from people through appropriate decisionmaking, from executives through workers. This trend is reversing the short-term, every-division-for-itself fractionalization that many organizations adopted during the financial pressure years spanning 2008 – Read more

Jan 152013
The Growing Role of Tablets in Corporations

There has been a lot of discussion about the need for organizations to adopt tablet devices (e.g., iPad, Android-based, PlayBook) to enable their employees to communicate via email, participate in mobile conferencing, and to access, view, and interact with corporate data via reports, dashboards, and other functionality while on the go. Cutter Consortium conducted a survey in 2012 that polled 69 end-user organizations about their mobile technology practices and adoption plans, including the use of smartphones and tablets and issues associated with the development, deployment, and support of mobile devices and end users. According to the survey, almost half of organizations surveyed currently view the use of tablets as a strategic priority to have, while Read more

Jan 082013
Mobile + Disruptive Technologies = Killer Apps

Last year, organizations across almost every industry became really serious about using mobile technology. The majority of these initiatives involved companies enabling existing applications and business processes with mobile capabilities to extend their usefulness to workers in the field or those on the go, as well as to customers and partners beyond the firewall. This trend will accelerate in 2013, with organizations continuing to deploy mobile apps in the form of management dashboards and tools for supporting the three main domains of CRM (i.e., sales, marketing, and service). That said, however, I believe that in 2013 we are also going to see end-user organizations and vendors develop applications that apply mobile technology in conjunction with Read more

Jan 022013
A Slowdown in IT Developments that Depend on High Performance Internet

In my prediction last year I mentioned: In 2012 practically all electronic devices will be internet based. As people progressively learn to explore and mature the use of this technology, the growing impact on business models and collaborative working models will trigger new rules of survival in the new internet-based global economy. Successful organizations will transform accordingly. I also mentioned a number of factors like “Changes in political systems, environmental concerns and issues, climate changes and natural disasters…” that would create additional pressure for the development and use of internet-based technology and software systems. The year 2012 has confirmed (without a shadow of doubt) that organizations of all types are changing their business models to Read more

Dec 272012

In my “Cutter Predicts…” post for 2013, I briefly made the point that a picture/image of an asset is merely one form of representing a physical asset. With services like Instagram, The Fancy and Wisemarkit drawing our attention these days, it is natural to think in terms of photos and/or photo streams. However, I contended: The nature of the phenomenon we are examining here is not restricted to photos/images. Rather, it is generic. Regardless of the nature of your company’s assets, any information about them that flows through the “pipes” of your company is potentially a productive asset. It can be utilized (once an API is exposed) through an app store that mines the information Read more

Dec 242012
Keeping an Eye (IV&V) on the Business

Having recently conducted a survey of the Department of Corrections in each of the 50 states, we found their systems ages ranged from 5 years- to more than 35 years-old, with a mean average system age of over 20 years. This inventory of aging systems is driving a new wave of modernizations and, unfortunately, project failures as well. So, in 2013, we’ll see the wave of modernization for many government entities in the US (particularly large counties and states) continue. Inasmuch as there are a significant number of systems being selected and installed, we still find that many of the organizations try to manage this process by themselves. No Definition of Business Requirements Unfortunately we Read more