Aug 012012

Last week I wrote an Advisor for our Business & Enterprise Architecture practice about the role of the solution architect.  I thought I’d share my overview of how that role compares to the enterprise architect’s. Is this how the roles are delineated in your company? Topic Solution Architecture Enterprise Architecture Scope Single solution or set of related solutions All current and future solutions and COTS Primary Goals Ensure that the solution fits within the enterprise context Define the enterprise context including business, information, application, and technology Responsibility Translates nonfunctional and functional requirements into design, within enterprise context Translates strategies into target architectures and roadmaps Tradeoffs Enterprisestrategy and goals vs. solution tactical and delivery requirements Prioritization and rationalization Read more

Jul 312012

Has agile crossed the chasm? Unambiguously: yes and no. To apply the concept of Geoffrey Moore’s book, we must first answer the question, “Is agile a disruptive technology?” To me, that answer is yes. If you do not agree, this is a good stopping point. Next, we must answer the question in regards to the market. Let us first focus on the software industry, both software product companies and IT. Then we can answer the question: yes, agile has crossed the chasm, from the perspective of the total addressable agile market. Certainly, mainstream has adopted agile. Traditional manufacturing organizations such as Caterpillar, Boeing, and Ford use agile methods. Insurance companies like Farmers, United Healthcare, and Read more

Jul 262012
Quick Reflections on the Voke Press Release about Agile

I recently had the pleasure of responding to the comments made by Voke in a press release about its new report that claims that companies do not understand costs of rework and cannot identify clear benefits of Agile. Brian Bloom of Computerworld Canada asked for my reaction, which was subsequently published in IT World Canada. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to read the full report, my impression is the report reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the core tenets of Agile. An Agile phrase you might want think about as you read the article is value delivery. Basically, I view Agile software as a triplet {Process, Output, Outcome}, where: Process=The way a self-organizing team works in accord with an Agile Read more

Jul 172012

On that long list of venerable institutions primed for a high-tech overhaul, higher education is near the top. Its shortcomings are much discussed: universities are expensive, inaccessible, inflexible, and out of touch with the needs of students and the world economy. A diploma that demands four (or more) years on campus, long lectures, fend-for-yourself homework, and massive final exams seems as much a relic of the 19th century as of the 20th. Educating the millions of people that our future depends on will require not just a productivity boost but something fundamentally different. These days “something fundamentally different” usually involves the Internet. Decades of desultory experiments with “computer-aided education” have now yielded exciting, scalable, measurably Read more

Jul 112012
Research Agenda for Test-Driven Business

In my recent blog post Test-Driven Business, I started to examine the application of Test-Driven Development techniques to the business.  The general idea is that software to development is like hypothesis to the business. We test in development in order to make certain that the software works correctly. Likewise, we test a hypothesis in the business in order to validate it. Just as we fix a line of code, we fix an invalid hypothesis. The model proposed for Test-Driven Business includes two core elements: View of the flow of activities in the firm as comprising three distinct phases: Ideation, Execution and Planning. Two strands that we try to merge within each phase. With these elements Read more

Jul 102012

With a deluge of data coming in from so many different channels, organizations more than ever need to rein in and come up with a strategy for managing this “big data” to stay competitive. But what’s the best data analytics solution? The upcoming Cutter IT Journal with Guest Editor Ralph Hughes invites practical advice and insight on how to manage big data and capitalize on it for enterprise success. If you are experienced with the benefits of big data technologies, have experienced the drawbacks of modern big data implementations or the drawbacks of earlier technologies, or are skeptical of big data as a whole, we would like to hear from you. Proposals of interest are Read more

Test-Driven Business

 Posted by on Jul 9, 2012  16 Responses »
Jul 092012
Test-Driven Business

Change used to be viewed, experienced and managed as a discontinuous phenomenon. A period of change was typically followed by a period of stability. Moreover, the general expectation was that the period of stability would last a much longer time than the time it took to assimilate change. Change nowadays is becoming continuous. Various Cutter Consortium clients deploy code dozens of times a day. Companies like Wisemarkit enable you to “open a shop in 60 seconds and fill it with products you believe in.” When new features are deployed every hour and e-shops can be formed on the fly, periods of stability in which you can catch your breath have for most practical purposes vanished. Read more

Future CMS Plans

 Posted by on Jul 3, 2012  No Responses »
Jul 032012
Future CMS Plans

To help us learn more about what organizations are doing in a critical area of mobile commerce — content management — Cutter conducted a survey late last year examining mobile devices, marketing, and content management systems (CMSs). This Cutter Edge explores some of those results. We asked respondents to think about how important it is for their organizations to have a significant mobile presence (i.e., a high level of usability on mobile devices) over the next 12 months. Just over 70% report that having a significant mobile presence over the next year is very or somewhat important. Among those respondents who voiced their opinion as “minimal” or “not at all,” most were primarily from the enterprises with Read more

Jun 272012
Borrowing from the Supreme Court

I listen to NPR on my way to work. Today, as part of the coverage of the impending Supreme Court ruling on the healthcare law, there was a really interesting segment on how the Supreme Court Justices decide cases. More than a decade ago, The Cutter Business Technology Council decided to employ this same method, and thus the Cutter Council Opinions were born. (Here’s a sample Opinion on cloud computing.) In a nutshell, the Council Fellows begin with a simple Assertion, capturing a specific nascent trend. The team debates the idea, and if it still stands after this first round, its champion writes a Syllabus describing the idea in more detail and sketching out his or her rationale. Read more

Jun 262012
Looking at IT Budgeting Trends over the Last 7 Years

We’re studying how IT budgeting is changing, where the dollars are being spent, the effect of the economic climate on the budget, and more. This is the 7th year we’re conducting this research. Why? So you can get a deeper understanding of where things are trending and how this might affect your organization. Your input will help! As Cutter Senior Consultant Gabe Piccoli wrote in his analysis of last year’s data: Each year IT managers and business professionals carefully plan for the unknowns of the next fiscal cycle, balancing often disparate needs into a budget that will hopefully serve their organizations well as they move forward. At the heart of the challenge facing IT managers Read more