Dec 022013
 
Coming Soon: 2014

Once again, the end of the year has snuck up! That means it’s time for our annual Cutter Predicts … series. Over the next few weeks, Cutter Fellows and Senior Consultants will showcase their visions of 2014 (and in some cases, beyond) here on the Cutter Blog and also on the Cutter website. Feel free to weigh in: do you agree with their predictions? Do you have supporting evidence of the hypotheses? Or maybe you have evidence to the contrary. In any case, we’d love to hear what you have to say and what you see unfolding next year on the business technology landscape. (If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you’ll …

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Dec 022013
 
Welcome, Ken Morris

Ken Morris quietly joined Cutter’s Business Technology Strategies practice earlier this fall. And since that day, he’s been impressing Cutter clients and staffers alike! Like many Cutter Senior Consultants, Ken is a seasoned CIO. He has held senior IT leadership positions with two global specialty chemicals companies and a global industrial gases company over the past 20+ years. Ken is known for consistently delivering business value by cultivating, motivating, and leading high performance teams that are passionately invested in the success of the organization and the enterprise. Heady stuff! But when you meet Ken, you’ll know exactly why it’s true. Keep your eyes peeled for insight from Ken here at the Cutter Blog, and also …

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Nov 202013
 
Serious Games Need Agile

In my last post, I talked about the ways in which serious games can fill a significant hole in Agile practices. Let’s turn that around and see how Agile can help serious games. Before we can get into the meat of that topic, it’s important to be clear about which serious games we’re going to be discussing. There’s a wide variety of game-like activities used for reasons other than entertainment (education, ideation, market research, etc. etc.), and not all of them can benefit from serious games equally, or even in the same ways. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on three types: Software-based serious games in general. This is a pretty broad category, encompassing everything …

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The information and communications technology (ICT) world is constantly evolving in complexity. As computational technology advances, it allows for the building of more capable systems, architectures, and solutions. We’ve added so much agility to the behavior of systems that many now consider them as complex adaptive systems, suspected of developing their own intelligence. I would rather call it “stochastically featured” because — due to their omnipotent presence, internal complexity, and strength of interrelationship — we are not able to predict their deterministic behaviors in definitive ways. I have seen a certain pattern in the science world in which a decomposition path is utilized to understand the “pieces” but — as Albert-László Barabási described in his …

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Within the world of Agile, architecture often seems misaligned or is a forgotten value-add to a project, especially in enterprise and large scale programs. However, an agile architecture can enable a business to deliver features faster and give them a competitive advantage. Coupled with SaaS and/or Cloud, it seems obvious that agile architectures are required. So what is the problem? Sometimes organizations struggle to define what exactly an agile architecture is, the value it can add to product delivery, and what artifacts are most useful and relevant. Is an agile architecture about supporting rapid scale-out, continuous delivery and deployment? Or is it an exercise in futility? How much value should an organization attribute to having …

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Nov 122013
 
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Agile’s success depends, to a great extent, on the seriousness with which the team performs the prescribed ceremonies. Thou shalt start a sprint with a real sprint planning meeting. Thou shalt always end a sprint with working code, which thine customers and stakeholders shall comment upon. If thine daily stand-up meeting goes longer than 15 minutes, then lo! Someone needs to put a cork in it. Agile keeps the list of ceremonies small, and the ceremonies themselves fairly lightweight. They serve the same purpose as any ritual, to encourage both right behavior and right thinking. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them. Agile ceremonies must reach beyond the team The founders of the Agile movement …

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One of the benefits of having worked in both product management and technology for over 35 years is that you gain a certain perspective. We live in an endless stream of invention. It seems as though everything is new. But to the astute, the observant, even in an explosion of discovery, patterns emerge. If you are brilliant, you see these patterns earlier than others. Intel cofounder Gordon E. Moore observed in 1965 that the number of integrated circuits (remember those?) would double every two years. This brilliant insight came to be known as Moore’s Law, and it predicted and explained the growth in technological capability and the decrease in cost — and hence the ubiquity …

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Nov 052013
 
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In case you couldn’t make it to this year’s Cutter Summit, here are a few of the nuggets from yesterday. And if you are here in Cambridge, MA, feel free to add some of your own in the comments!

 
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Heightened connectivity among customers has changed the way they interact with your products. Furthermore, it has changed the amount of information you can collect about your customers. As a result, you have new opportunities — and obligations — to communicate with your customers and make changes to your products and marketing tactics based on this new knowledge. Let’s consider some strategies to listening — and thus connecting — to your customers in a more positive and useful manner. Be Thoughtful and Attentive Your company and your employees will have a hard time learning from customers if they are not interested in them. Teach your employees to be thoughtful about interacting with your customers, as if …

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The amount of data available to organizations to analyze and use in decision making is exploding. “Big Data” is all the rage and organizations of every size from every industry are struggling to make valuable use of the information available from their operational systems, business partners, and social networks. Organizations, seeking to respond quickly in an ever-changing marketplace, are hungry for current and useful information about their ecosystems. Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (DW/BI) teams are working as fast and hard as they can to meet this ever-increasing demand with limited resources and time. Fortunately, DW/BI teams who embrace an “agile” approach are finding they can meet the top priority needs in short time frames …

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