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A financial services client last month asked me if I had read anything about management and the relationship to “commander’s intent.” While I had to confess that I had not, I did some quick searching to find out what the concept was about and how it might relate to effective management practice. What I found was a compelling object lesson on how we should be drawing on the lessons learned from other practices. The concept of “commander’s intent” has been around for almost 200 years. It’s a compelling military concept, originated by the Germans. The idea is that rather than apply tight command and control, leaders provide a clear sense of the outcomes they seek …

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Hardly a day goes by without some security issue, information or identity theft event making the news. In this age of increased threat and reduced budgets, devising an enterprise approach to security architecture and ensuring security in an Enterprise 3.0 world is imperative for organizations to protect their valuable information assets. The April 2012 Cutter IT Journal, with Guest Editor Mike Rosen, will address enterprise security architecture from a practice-based perspective. Please send us your ideas – proposals of interest are due 8 February 2012. To respond, please visit http://www.cutter.com/content-and-analysis/journals-and-reports/cutter-it-journal/callforpapers03.html

 
Big, Lean and BSM: Late Night Thoughts on the January 30 "Big Agile" Webinar

Since we announced the forthcoming “Big Agile” webinar (click here for details), I have been exposed to numerous questions and comments about “Big” vis-a-vis “Lean” in the Agile context.  The intensity of some of these discourses was so high that I decided to comment on the subject in advance of the webinar. A lively debate during the webinar is, of course, goodness. In contrast, starting the webinar with a potentially gross misunderstanding as to where we are coming from and where we are heading is not too desirable. In general, “big”, to me, can be “lean”. As a matter of fact, big should be lean as otherwise scale will quite possibly pose a problem. Specifically, …

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Update on Leadership Exec Ed

Wow, I can’t believe that our Summit 2012: Executive Education+ is less than 3 months away! A while ago, I blogged a little about Prof. Amy Edmondson’s keynote on Teaming, which will be preceded by two teaming exercises run by Prof. Alan MacCormack. At the time, we hadn’t yet firmed up the case study portion of our program. But we have since then. We’ve chosen a case that bridges the topic of leadership (which is the focus of Prof. Richard Nolan’s keynote on Monday morning and the debate that follows it) and teaming. As with Alan’s exercises, we’re keeping the title of the case under wraps so there are no preconceived notions of the outcomes! …

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It would seem that the devops discussion is mostly driven by development’s incentives, and appropriately so, given developers’ focus on building functionality for the business user. So it’s no surprise that development is the originator of the whole devops lifecycle, but are there any dangers lurking in a one-sided focus on devops issues? A hefty majority of devops articles come from writers of the development persuasion who are motivated by the legitimate frustrations of the application deployment process. The movement to agile development has been a key contributor in the increase of handicaps encountered as a result of more frequent transitions from development to operations IT groups. Online and verbal discussions identify the primary challenge …

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Welcome to the seventh-anniversary edition of my enterprise architect’s New Year’s resolutions. I hope it will give you food for thought and some inspiration for architectural growth in 2012. Understand business analytics. The past few years have seen dramatic increases in the capabilities of business intelligence systems, accompanied by decreases in costs, to the point where most organizations can easily afford to take advantage of business analytics. The problem is that the information that these systems need to analyze is not readily available. While this is not a trivial problem to solve, it does present a major opportunity for enterprise architecture. When we provide management or decision makers with information that they don’t currently have …

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Recession on the Horizon; Invest in Agile

Given the current interest rate situation and demand for US currency, the US will see much more business expansion through 2013. Once the world realizes we are not really any better off than Greece (in terms of debt/GDP), we’ll see inflation, business retraction and possible recession. Companies interested in surviving the 2013 – 2018 recession would be wise to invest in going Agile as soon as possible and holding the cash they save in the process to buy out those companies that weren’t so smart. [Editor's Note: This post is part of the annual "Cutter Predicts ..." series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

 
Pads Will Rule the World -- But Won’t Replace the Laptop

If you don’t already have an Apple iPad or similar type of “pad”, odds are good you will soon. They are gaining in popularity at light speed, and CIOs are finding the need to integrate the use of pads into their corporate technology strategies. I didn’t rush out to get an iPad when it was announced, but what I discovered was that those who started using them really liked them. Then, every major vendor started producing their own version of the pad. My wife and son now have iPads and I chose an HP TouchPad even though production has been discontinued. It serves my needs just fine for the time being. There are reasons the …

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Internet-based Mobile Technology will Play a Vital Role in 2012

Last year, my prediction focused on the emerging impact of Internet-based mobile technology on the business models in the context of the economic and financial crises. I predicted: The year of 2011 will most likely be characterized by further innovation and reliability of mobile technology allowing organizations to explore mobility on a much larger scale. Business models and processes are likely to be redesigned to embrace this potential. The year of 2011 brought clarity about the real causes and trends of the so-called “economic crisis”: surprisingly (or not) globalization, as it consolidates, has triggered what I call a “beneficial leveling of wealth” around the globe. While this leads to “economic crisis” in certain parts of …

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2012 Turbulence Means “Back to the Future”

That there’s turbulence for 2012 that will affect business and IT isn’t much in question.  With great economic uncertainties (recession, Europe, elections) and, at the same time, significant changes in IT such as widespread user devices (tablets) and cloud, a lot is in flux. But what will this mean? From everything we see at clients and in the press, this means a (perhaps uncomfortable) return to basics in IT. That is, we will see great emphasis by CIOs and CTOs on the things that have in the past been very important. This includes, for example: Improving Operational Excellence Understanding IT’s costs and taking action to reduce them Successfully delivering IT value (and projects) Doing effective …

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