Dec 212011
And the Winners of IT/Business Alignment are … those who can “Market" IT

The critical need for technology to achieve core business goals has never been more pronounced.  Business is rapidly advancing the use of technology to generate better profit margins, improved customer relationships and competitive advantage. As a result, the degree of change within IT organizations is unparalleled. Simultaneously, alternative “business” options for IT services now available outside corporate IT Operations are rapidly multiplying. Cloud service providers such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are able to quickly resolve the business demands for faster IT provisioning, increased storage capacity, faster response time, and more flexible software business applications. Managed Service Providers can cost-effectively resolve or alleviate the resource handicaps of traditional, internal IT service organizations. But much Read more

Dec 212011
Get up close & personal with our Agile team

Immerse yourself in Agile on day three of Cutter Consortium’s Summit: Executive Education+, 2-4 April 2012. You’ll find out how Agile, the software method that was conceived as a way to cope with change, is changing, how these changes can benefit your organization — and what you need to do to make that happen. Agile practice director Israel Gat has assembled an impressive team of Cutter consultants to present, including: Patrick Debois: What Leaders Need to Know About Devops Jim Sutton: Reclaiming Business Glory through the Lean Worldview Hubert Smits: Want to be Radical? Here’s How and Israel himself: Agile 2.0: Change is Changing! Limited-time Registration Savings Like 2011, our best offers for Summit 2012 Read more

Dec 212011
An Ever-Growing Focus on Value, Quality and Innovation

Last year I predicted that 2011 was to be the beginning of a shift from a focus on quality, schedule, and budget to value, quality, and innovation. Presentations at diverse conferences around the world show that there is an increasing interest in value and quality, and to some extent, innovation, too. The interest in value and quality was boosted in part by Jim Highsmith’s Agile Triangle (see Jim’s webinar Measuring Agile Performance: Beyond Scope, Schedule and Cost Webinar and his book Agile Project Management, 2nd Edition). A few months after Jim’s book came out in 2010, I published the first version of the Lean–Agile Prism in the Agile Journal, where I added design as a Read more

Dec 202011
2012 Will Bring an Explosion of Interest in Social Analytics, Social Business Intelligence

I predict that 2012 will bring in an explosion of interest in Social Analytics, Social Business Intelligence, and the use of post-relational database technologies like Hadoop/HBase. In 2011 the world observed the power of social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and others on Middle Eastern human rights movements; corporate greed and customer service snafus; and the most recent Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2012 organizations will be exploring how they can glean valuable and actionable information from all of this unstructured, publicly available, and passionate information. [Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

Dec 202011
Business Architecture Becomes Mainstream

Over the past few years, the field of Business Architecture (BA) has been evolving rapidly. It used to be the exception that an EA program had business architects, but now it is the rule. A consensus is emerging about what BA is, what it produces, who practices it, and how. Professional organizations such as the Business Architecture Guild are creating communities of architects and developing best practices. Now, BA is delivering results that are impacting the business and getting attention for doing so. And finally, the critical mass of successful results, best practices, skilled professionals, resources, tools, has reached the point where Business Architecture is a mainstream capability within most advanced organizations. What is the Read more

Dec 192011
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Last year, my colleagues and I predicted various changes: an increase in this, a let-up in that. I finally understand why I have been struggling to come up with my 2012 prediction: I am just not seeing any changes. Let me elaborate on this for my specialty — Agile/Lean software development. I predict that many organizations worldwide will continue to adopt Agile. Most of them will do so with no expert guidance, with ho-hum results, and with little understanding of why they got those results. People will continue to get their Agile skills certified while others rail against the value and implication of those certificates. Companies will still rely on head hunters to hire Agile Read more

Dec 192011
Catastrophic Failure on the Horizon

My prediction is short, but maybe not so sweet: In 2012 a major enterprise will have a catastrophic or near catastrophic outage due to poor Service Management. [Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

Dec 172011
Hype Drives the Cloud into the Trough of Disillusionment

Sometimes my favorite thing about the cloud is that it is garnishing all of the media hype these days, in place of SOA. Finally, I can stop trying to meet overblown expectations about when SOA will deliver benefits, and get down to the business of implementing valuable SOA solutions. Don’t worry, the cloud will get to this point too, but it has a few years of growing pains to go through. This year, it will pass through the inevitable “Trough of Disillusionment” part of its lifecycle. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty to like about the cloud, and over time it will become a standard part of enterprise platforms, but for now it has Read more

Dec 162011
The Enterprise Begins to Dance

In 2011, and with increasing speed in 2012, Enterprises are embracing the whole-system view of themselves. This means they will take an increasingly strategic view of improvement, coordinating change across divisions and functions to achieve a higher overall level of performance. This trend is reversing the short-term, every-division-for-itself fractionalization that many organizations adopted during the financial pressure years 2008 – 2010. In the coming year we will see more of the team mindset (with some “taking one for the team” while others seemingly gain) than the “spread the pain” approach. The most successful organizations will compensate those groups which bear the greater pain so the whole can prosper. The systems-wholistic trend will continue even if Read more

Dec 152011
It's About Customer Service

Year of the App Redux It’s another “year of the app” for 2012 as more and more clients will expect any of the goods and services we offer to be available on their iPhones and Droids. A failure to include those elements in the tool set will invariably lead to charges that the provider lacks “true” customer service. More Face Time in 2012 While technology will play a greater role, it’s also evident that there will be a greater level of “touch” required for some clients who will see the advent of e-options as the surrender of personal contact. They will push back and demand true face time as well as on-site commitments. Coupled with Read more