Nov 182016
 

The sesquiannual gathering of Cutter Consortium clients and consultants just took place in Cambridge, Mass., on November 15-16. The main theme was “digital transformation,” including the new business models centered on “digital data streams” and the implications of this transformation for the CIO’s organization. Cutter Fellow Prof. Karim Lakhani presented a Harvard Business School case study on “GE and the Industrial Internet.” It tells of GE’s decision to create a new entity devoted to applying IoT technology to industrial environments (manufacturing, transportation, electricity generation, etc.). There was a lot of discussion of how some other companies missed the transformation to digital services, in part by underestimating in the early 1990s the explosion in the number Read more

Nov 012016
 
Leadership in a Digital World

“Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.” Steve Jobs attributed this quote to a famous conductor in the film Steve Jobs. It’s hard to come up with a more vivid illustration of leadership. It acknowledges that conductors may be less adept at playing instruments than any of the players in front of them — and other instruments not at all — yet they elicit brilliant performances. I have been told by a San Francisco Symphony musician that guest conductors can in a few rehearsals have the orchestra sounding like the orchestras where they are based. Leadership, per Webster, means “the quality of a leader; capacity to lead”. In recent years, the word has become Read more

Oct 262016
 
IoT-based DDOS Attacks

Last week’s DDoS attack against Dyn Inc. had an impact on many organizations beyond the reported hits to PayPal, Twitter, Amazon, Spotify, and others. Even Cutter’s website search function was out of commission for a short while! Experts have warned that at some point, smart versions of devices such as refrigerators, televisions and thermostats could be manipulated to alter their basic functions, but did anyone foresee that these devices would be used to launch a third-party attack? This isn’t the first time it’s happened, and it’s not likely to be the last. In the July 2016 Cutter article Securing the IoT: It Takes the Global Village, author David Tayouri discusses the threats Internet of Things Read more

Sep 282016
 
Great Conversations on Digital Transformation

I’m sure our invitation isn’t the only one you’ve received to a conference on digital transformation. So, you’re probably wondering, what makes Cutter’s Summit 2016 — focused on digital transformation — different and worth spending the time and money on? Here are just 3 of the many ways that the Summit stands out: 1. No lectures, no talking heads. Every session is interactive. There’s a case study session, where you’ll work through the GE and the Industrial Internet case; first on your own, reading the case before you even arrive in Boston, and then with a small group of your peers at the Summit, and finally in a high-energy conversation facilitated by Harvard Business School Read more

Sep 262016
 
STEM Crisis is Really a Knowledge Shortage, according to Charette

Cutter Fellow Bob Charette’s 2013 assertion that The STEM Crisis is a Myth inspired quite a bit of discussion in education and industry, which has apparently not subsided! In STEM Literacy and Jobs, wsj.com blogger Irving Wladawsky-Berger taps Charette for his thoughts on the STEM jobs “crisis.”   When it comes to STEM, the discussions have mostly focused on STEM jobs rather than STEM literacy, and in particular, on whether we have a STEM crisis or a STEM surplus–a debate I recently wrote about. A number of articles have pointed out that, as is often the case with such complex questions, both sides are right. It all depends. STEM includes a variety of disciplines, degree Read more

Aug 102016
 
Call for Papers: Fintech and the Digitization of Financial Services

We are currently in the midst of the Fintech revolution. It is evident that technology is significantly transforming and disrupting the financial services landscape. This presents significant opportunities and challenges for incumbents, start-ups and regulatory bodies. Fintech is evolving, moving beyond simply being the realm of start-up disruptors, with many incumbents now making significant R&D investments and many are collaborating with start-ups. Both interest and investment in Fintech has exploded in the last few years. Fintech, the intersection between finance and technology, has experienced a 67% growth in investment in the first quarter of 2016, with investment reaching $5.3 billion (Accenture, 2016). PwC (2016) report that 83% of financial companies believe that specific aspects of Read more

Jul 262016
 
Levels of Architectural Understanding

Early on in my EA career, I was very fortunate to become involved in a pioneering EA initiative at Westpac. My introduction to Westpac came when I helped its Group Data Resource Management team develop tool and repository support for its enterprise business model. During this engagement, I kept hearing people refer to an exciting but very hush-hush project that went under the code name “CS90.” I was intrigued and determined to find out more. That proved very difficult because the project was so leading-edge and innovative that all its documentation was marked at the highest level of secrecy. To make it even harder for competitors to find out what Westpac was doing, CS90 was divided Read more