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Some argue that a cyber-Armageddon — or a “digital Pearl Harbor” — may be just around the corner, while others counter that while cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously, the overall cyberthreat and its consequences are vastly overblown and are merely a convenient excuse to sell over-priced security software and consulting. The May 2011 Cutter IT Journal will try to separate the wheat from the chaff as pertains to security threats from current and potential cyberweapons. Proposals of interest are due 2 March 2011. To respond, please visit http://www.cutter.com/content-and-analysis/journals-and-reports/cutter-it-journal/callforpapers02.html

 
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I was saddened to hear that computer industry pioneer Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), died on Sunday, a few weeks shy of his 85th birthday. Under his 35-year leadership as CEO, Ken Olsen built Digital from US $70,000 in seed money in 1957 to become the world’s second-largest computer company with upwards of $14B in sales and 120,000 employees in more than 95 countries. In 1986, Fortune magazine named Ken “America’s most successful entrepreneur.” Following Ken’s vision, starting with the PDP-1 in the 1960s, Digital created an entirely new segment of the computer industry with its small, powerful, and high-quality “minicomputers.” The minicomputer quickly became an alternative to the multimillion-dollar mainframe and …

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We’re thrilled to announce that Ron Blitstein has joined Cutter’s management team and is now Director of Cutter’s CIO practice. While this role is new for Ron, Ron is not new to Cutter! He’s been a Fellow of the Cutter Business Technology Council since 2007, and a Senior Consultant with our Business-IT Strategies practice. As Director of the CIO practice — which includes research, consulting, and training services around business-IT strategy and trends, enterprise risk management, security, sourcing, and innovation — Ron will lead the community of Senior Consultants focused in these areas and will lay out the research agenda in these domains. Ron’s 30-year career includes extensive international operations experience and spans all aspects …

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The question of whether an organization should build software or buy it dates to when the first significant COTS packages (typically for accounting, computer-aided design, or manufacturing resource planning) appeared on the market between 1970 and 1990. Search for “build vs. buy software” on Google, and you get 52 million results. Most of the results on the first pages are dated around 2001-2002, so one would think that the question has been settled, mostly along the following lines: If you need a capability that is fairly generic, and will not in itself give you a competitive advantage (the way you apply it may be superior to how others do it, but the software itself will not …

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The fast rise of software talent marketplaces like oDesk and uTest represents a profound transformation. Software is no more a world of places – Silicon Valley, Seattle, Bangalore, Krakow or Tel Aviv. Rather, software is fast becoming a world of work streams. These streams are tied together through social networking and collaborative techniques in which virtual team spaces replace the site, the conference room, the metaphorical shelf on which the software artifacts are stored… and the water cooler. Three trends drive this transformation in software from a world of places to a world of streams: Shortage of talent. Have you recently tried to hire highly skilled programmers in areas such as mobile applications or cloud …

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Imagine, if you will, that all owners of data centers and agents representing buyers of computing cycles get together daily and buy and sell commodity computing units (we’ll call them containers) in an open exchange. Now imagine another group of buyers and sellers who are not just exchanging those containers, but buying and selling options on the containers — the right to buy or sell those containers at a future date. This exchange would be trading the 21st-century equivalent to the pork belly. Pork bellies were introduced as a commodity in the early 1960s in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in tradable units of 40,000 pounds. In a strange way, the world of data center virtualization …

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Jan 112011
 
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Risk management is a formal process owned by senior executives responsible for keeping everyone safe and sound day and night. They report to internal and external audit committees or, actually, prefer to avoid any and all interaction with audit folks since even a casual discussion with auditors can result in a boatload of work for entire teams of already overworked professionals. So what do they audit and how is risk assessed? Most risks are the standard fare. If the audit tells you that your disaster recovery plans are inadequate, then the company will be placed at risk. If your wireless networks are insecure, then the risk bells will go off. If your change-control processes are …

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The following consultants have joined the Agile Practice over the past few weeks: Jurgen Appelo Brent Barton Patrick Debois Hillel Glazer Sebastian Hassinger Chris Sterling In addition, I am speaking this week with two other consultants who expressed interest in joining the practice. If they come aboard they will be adding very particular skills in specialties that are not fully represented yet in the practice. Between the old hands, the six that have just joined and those that will soon be joining, the practice is nicely positioned to offer the whole spectrum of services relevant to producing software, delivering it and delivering value through it. Think of the practice as a one-stop-shopping for engineering practices, …

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Offshoring passes the early adopter stage – the early adoption bugs (customer care, black & white view of specifications, etc) have been largely worked out now, particularly in India.  Customers have gotten better at specifications and remote management – moving away from the “do what I meant, not what I specified” approach to a more professional approach.  Indian firm are better at client management, with most having onshore support cells.  Even with the labor arbitrage decreasing, more value is being added.  This is the year offshoring will no longer be a novelty, but a mandatory aspect of the business case for delivering IT.  Although, many organizations will continue to use a politically acceptable onshore brand …

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Welcome to the sixth anniversary edition of my Enterprise Architect’s “New Year’s Resolutions.” I hope this article will give you food for thought and some inspiration for architectural growth in 2011. Learn About Business Architecture Many advances in architecture have occurred over the past few years, but one of the most rapidly advancing aspects has been business architecture. This has come from several areas. EA teams have expanded their capabilities in business architecture. Business organizations have experienced the value of an architectural approach to defining the business (analytic, focused, formal, specific, unambiguous). Finally, business architects have been pushing the envelope, illustrated by the growth in business architecture working groups and industry organizations. Business architecture is much …

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