Dec 152013
 
Workforce Challenges

With the work force continuing its shrinkage, there’s going to be serious influence purveyed by the “do more with less” crowd.  Entrepreneurs who can find ways to leverage smaller and smaller staffs will be seen as the prophets in the year ahead, with an ability to make businesses (and whole industry sectors) thrive with what once would have been considered bare-bones staff.  This is bad news for the underskilled, as they will find fewer and fewer positions available to take advantage of their trainable strengths. Some of the smart executives will find ways to control their work force challenges (and the increased disparity between the very well-paid highly-skilled crowd and their less-skilled counterparts) by looking …

Read more

 
Software Defined Networking (SDN) gets the attention of the CIO

Today’s Internet is a product of over forty years development, beginning with the ARPANET in the late 1960s and the formulation of the TCP/IP protocol in the early 1970s. We are now poised for the next major change in Internet development with the introduction of Software Defined Networking (SDN) – network architecture (hardware and software) that allows creation of “virtual internets” using potentially new protocols, running over the fiber optics and other hardware of today’s Internet. The National Science Foundation began funding university research in SDN under the GENI Project Office and moved to large scale prototyping in 2009. The Open Networking Foundation has been formed by all the big players in networking technology to …

Read more

 
Lean, Devops and the Resurgence of the Industrialization of Software

One the constant tensions in our industry is the business need to make software more like manufacturing — highly predictable and controllable — and the reality that much of the software development lifecycle is not amenable to the process control techniques that are so effective in manufacturing. Software development is different than manufacturing in that: There is a wide range of uncertainty. Software efforts span from green field projects with little initial understanding of the needed system to bug fixes and small changes with very detailed specifications. There is an indirect relationship between the effort expended and value created. Generally, if one spends 10 hours painting a wall, one can expect there will a lot …

Read more

Which MDM?

 Jim Love | Dec 12, 2013  No Responses
Dec 122013
 
Which MDM?

In 2014, a number of vendors will emphasize Multi Database Management (MDM) tools in the cloud. Through the magic of marketing, we will somehow deal with the conflicting acronym generated as a result (Mobile Device Management). These tools will be available as Software as a Service and will create virtual databases to serve cloud-based BI. The value proposition will be the “democratization” of Big Data. [Editor's Note: This post is part of the annual "Cutter Predicts ..." series.]

 
Collaboration and Social Tools in 2014

For 2014, I predict … 1. The browser becomes the OS. More and more is being added to Google’s Chrome browser; so much so that it is starting to look much like an operating system. You have all of these plug-ins (like applications), you can customize and configure your device or the look and feel of the browser. Nowhere is Chrome more an OS than with Chromebooks, where it is the OS. And it is a very web-oriented OS (thin client), with just the browser, media player and file manager as its only native applications. The question is: will IE or Firefox follow suit? Or are they pursuing different directions? 2. The social enterprise. As a …

Read more

 
2014: The Failure of Agile Software Development is Taken Seriously

What happened in the past: Agile is all the hype in Software Development and the talk at the golf courses across the country. Consultancy and certification are booming and rumor has it that all software development projects will now end as a success: faster, cheaper, better. What is really going on: More and more software developers are realizing that agile is being implemented as a hype. Processes become iterative. Documents are replaced by tools that maintain a backlog. Customers are still at a far distance from teams. People are still called resources. Cheap labor is still used to “reduce costs”. A few honest managers are aware that nothing is really changing. Quality is not improving, …

Read more

 
Stealth Enterprise Architecture!

This year I’m predicting more stealth enterprise architecture! I’d like to say that I invented this phrase, but I’ve found at least two previous uses: one in a comment by Peter Parslow in 2010; the other from Alec Blair, the head of Enterprise Architecture for Alberta Health Services, who described the journey of how his team has used stealth Enterprise Architecture to move AHS to operate more consistently like one organization. Now, Enterprise Architects have always had to play the political game and use stealth to sell their EA visions. Tricking decision makers into taking small steps that in combination cause longer-term transformation has long been part of the art of EA. At an Enterprise …

Read more

 
Things That Go Bump in the Night

By the end of the decade, self-driving cars will be on the roads in many developed countries. The electric grid will tell our heaters when it is more economical to run, “learning thermostats” will be in many homes, and we will track the movements of people, pets, packages, and many other things. By some estimates, the number of devices connected to this “Internet of Things” (IoT) will pass the number of connected human users by 2016. The question is: will serious accidents be necessary before people take the risks seriously and harden this infrastructure? Because the IoT senses and controls physical objects, serious harm can happen — either accidentally or intentionally. We need devices to …

Read more

 
We Will Forget the ACA Web Site Fiasco

In a few months, the Affordable Care Act enrollment system will finally be working well, millions of people will have enrolled, and the debate will return to the basic policy and political question of whether the whole program is good for the U.S. or not. By 2015, the IT profession as a whole, government procurement services, and the contractors will forget the lessons of the October-November fiasco and will largely or completely return to the same practices as before: unrealistic deadlines, lack of testing, big waterfall lifecycle models, tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear practices, etc. Why am I being so pessimistic? Because we’ve been here before. The Y2K effort consumed a lot of resources, and contrary to many people, …

Read more

 
A Focus on Organizations and Value Chains

If there was one major development in the Agile field in the last year or two, it’s been a shift of focus from teams and methodologies to organizations and value chains. I expect this development to gain more speed and depth in the next three years — becoming the major issue of the debate. I see three main threads within the focus on organizations and value chains emerging. These seem to address different needs and markets. The first thread is a tendency to “blueprint” an organization in order to facilitate Agile’s introduction. The “Scaling Agile Framework” belongs, in my opinion, in this group, as do the initiatives of the PMI. Despite a heated debate about …

Read more