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Upon reading the The Rugged Software Manifesto, I decided to summarize my thoughts on what good software should and should not do. In the spirit of “keep it simple, stupid,” I’ve somewhat condensed the 10-item manifesto to three: The software should do what it’s advertised to do. The software shouldn’t create a portal into my system via every Chinese and Russian malware package that hits the Internet virtually every minute of every day. The software should protect the users from themselves. Let’s dive right in with the first item: software should do what it’s advertised to do. Hey, antivirus vendors — BOO! Yes, that should scare the pants off the the antivirus world, since for …

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Change-Resistance versus Doubt

One thing has always concerned me about the tremendous volume of material about change—books, articles, presentations—and that is an underlying assumption that the change (or preferably the adaptation to the change) in question is a good one. With that as an assumption, then the “problem” is how to align everyone with the adaptation. One of the best models for managing change is the Satir curve (Figure 1.0). The model takes us from status quo, through a change initiation that is resisted, causes some chaos as people learn, and finally ends up being integrated into the new status quo, hopefully at a higher performance level. At any point in the process, the “anti-change” forces may prevail …

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While mobile apps continue to be developed every minute to satisfy any foreseeable need (do I really need an app for my coffee?), and growth trends skyrocket despite any recession data, the challenges resulting from the implementation and use of mobile technologies in the enterprise remain. Join the debate in the September 2010 Cutter IT Journal — with Guest Editor Katia Passerini — as we examine the opportunities and challenges presented by the use of mobile and wireless technologies in organizations worldwide. To share your perspective with us, send us a short article abstract by June 22. For the full Call for Papers, visit here.

 
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In a bit of technological determinism, Nicholas Carr suggests that the Internet is making us dumber. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, he writes that “a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Net, with its constant distractions and interruptions, is also turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers.” Knowing what distraction does to expertise development, in 2007, here at Cutter Consortium in an executive report on Web 2.0, I had written: “Unfortunately, Web 2.0, with its high interrupt-driven, instant gratification, rich Internet application (RIA)-powered user interfaces, may be creating a context that destroys expertise before it can develop. Expertise development requires dedicated, uninterrupted time on a complex task so that a human …

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Well, it’s happened.  AT&T announced this week that it will abandon its wireless unlimited-data pricing plan in favor of usage-based model.  I have been opining about this particular issue for many years — any kind of “all you can eat” pricing model has always struck me as sub-optimal, and my reaction to the growing popularity of flat rate Internet connection pricing based on connection speed is the same as my reaction when Pets.com offered free shipping on 50-pound bags of dog food back in the day:  buy all you can, ’cause this deal can’t last. Internet customers (at least in the US) seem to have figured this out.  Their usage of bandwidth continues to grow …

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Is your organization going green, whatever that means? Well, that turns out to be a lot more than just server virtualization at the data center. Is the enterprise architecture (EA) team involved? Well, it should be. Let’s take a look. To start, you might ask whether your organization has defined what it means to be green and/or sustainable, and more important, whether it has articulated why it is doing it and how it fits with other enterprise strategies or initiatives. If your enterprise is anything like most, the answer to these questions is probably “No.” This is a perfect opportunity to apply some business architecture to the problem. How about formalizing the goals and strategies …

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CIOs and IT departments are being asked to reduce energy consumption of their IT, and manage energy supply and demand intelligently. Even simple steps that make a small difference for an individual or an organization can make a huge difference for the world. However, to comprehensively and effectively address the environmental impacts of IT, we must adopt a holistic approach and make the entire IT lifecycle greener by addressing environmental sustainability at every stage/phase. And, to build a greener environment, we might also be required to end or modify many of our old and familiar ways of doing things to adopt Green strategies, revise enterprise policies and discover new methods. Further, companies are urged to …

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As environmental issues are becoming a major global concern, a new spotlight is lit on IT showcasing it as both a solution and a problem for environmental sustainability. As businesses and governments try to balance growth with environmental risks, we’re called upon to make our IT systems — and their use — greener, and to use the power of IT in innovative ways to address mounting environmental issues. Green IT – environmentally sound IT – is the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, and using computers, servers, monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems efficiently and effectively with zero or minimal impact on the environment. It includes the dimensions of environmental sustainability, the …

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Green IT Awareness Week: Are You Aware?

ComputersOFF.org has declared 1-7 June 2010 to be Green IT Awareness Week. This is a topic dear to our hearts at Cutter Consortium, and one that we examine frequently (See our Stats of the Week on a variety of Green IT questions, here, here, and here). Cutter supports International Green IT Awareness Week’s mission to “initiate, promote and support green IT discussions, emboldening employees with the knowledge and innovative ideas to reduce the environmental footprint of the organisation.” We’re taking action by stimulating discussion and awareness in a variety of ways — we hope you’ll join in too! Come back here, to The Cutter Blog to read — and debate — new, thought-provoking posts on …

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Cutter Consortium+Oil Spills=Not as unlikely a pair as you’d think!

Cutter is primarily known as being a consortium of internationally recognized IT experts.  But in the past, we also had an environmental division that published many cutting-edge journals. This might not sound like a logical pairing, but Cutter’s mission, whether in the realm of environment or IT, has always been to deliver meaningful, objective information, based on the thoughtful input of experts in the field. The spill in the Gulf of Mexico has inspired me to do a bit of a corporate retrospective. Twenty-two years ago, Cutter’s Oil Spill Intelligence Report served as a global clearinghouse of oil spill news and information. Just prior to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, we highlighted the potential risk …

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