Apr 192016
Preparing for the Disruption of the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to cause disruption in almost every industry. Companies need to examine how they can take advantage of connected products and services and plan for the significantly increased data workloads that will likely come with the deployment of sensor-enabled products. However, an expected surge in product innovation also means that companies should carefully consider how they will deal with the potential rise of new, more agile competitors whose business models will be based primarily on IoT products and services. Here are some points about the IoT I’ve been discussing with colleagues that organizations may want to consider. Bigger, Faster, Varied Data and New Data Management Practices The expected myriad of Read more

Apr 192016
Six Ways to Reduce Tech Debt

What strategies do you apply to modernizing a product code base? What results do you get with those strategies? This Advisor takes a retrospective look at a past project, both to describe the strategies my colleagues and I used to rearchitect the product and to validate the effectiveness of those strategies with two technical debt assessments via Cutter’s Technical Debt Assessment and Valuation practice. The six strategies we used are presented here. The two assessments are used to evaluate the measured impact on the system from the team’s efforts and compare it to the actual time spent modernizing the code. This is the story of the DeLorean system, a client’s longtime production setup. (While not Read more

Apr 142016
Don't Let Agile Become Bad Science

The latest enthusiasm for hypothesis-testing in the Agile community is a good thing…Until it turns bad. If we’re not careful how we do hypothesis testing, that’s exactly what could happen. Hypothesis testing means applying the scientific method, which involves doing something really, really hard: putting our cherished beliefs to the test, not to prove them, but to disprove them. Any fool can come up with “evidence” to support a hypothesis. Why do I think that matching socks keep disappearing after I do the laundry? Demons steal them. How do I know? If I’m really committed to this explanation, I’ll find some way to support this novel viewpoint. Without this core commitment to testing to disprove, we Read more

Apr 132016
Bob Charette Wins Esteemed Neal Award for Editorial Excellence

Shout out to Cutter Fellow Bob Charette for winning the esteemed 2016 Jesse H. Neal Award for his series of articles featured in the “Lessons from a Decade of IT Failures” – detailing the takeaways from tracking the big IT debacles of the last ten years. After Bob’s 2005 article, “Why Software Fails” – he started tracking, documenting and blogging about technology failures of all sizes. Ten years later, he selected five of these IT project failures to feature in the report, “Lessons from a Decade of IT Failures,” replete with interactive graphs and charts – now recognized and rewarded for its editorial excellence in business media. A very well deserved honor — congratulations, Bob! Read more

Apr 052016

The Internet of Things. Location-based services. Automated reasoning. Social media. Wearables. Analytics. I could extend this list of “game-changing” technologies, and so could you. What’s a CEO, CIO, CTO, CFO, or business unit president to do? Especially when they go to an investor conference and they’re asked to explain “the game-changing technology plan”? Those who work in the C-suite need smart people, budgets, and technology solutions to impact their business processes and overall business model. In other words, game changers need context; otherwise, C-suite(rs) end up chasing “the next great things,” which is what many companies have done for decades. Remember business process reengineering, Six Sigma, matrix ­management, and management by objectives? Who ­created Six Read more

Apr 052016
Protecting Your Sensitive Data During a Security Breach

At the recent RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, data-centric security and protection received a lot of attention. Several trends account for this. The main one, of course, is the large number of high-profile data breaches and other cyber attacks continually making the news — a trend that shows no sign of subsiding. In addition to this constantly lurking threat, we can add growing compliance and regulatory requirements as well as the advent of new (difficult to protect) technologies, applications, and architectures. Throw in all the revelations about hacking by various government intelligence services, and it’s easy to see why organizations and security solutions providers have made data-centric security and protection a top priority. The Read more

Mar 282016
Call for Papers: Big Data Analytics Success Hinges on the Four "Ps" — Preparation, People, Prediction, Production

Analytics — deep, predictive, operational, (insert preferred flavor here) — has climbed to the top of business executives wish lists in the past few years. The explosion of big data from social media sources and the coming supernova from the Internet of Things promises complete understanding of customer needs as well as the prediction/influencing of future behavior. With sufficient data, best of breed algorithms, faster computers, and emerging deep learning approaches — statistical correlation will become a largely exact science. Understanding causation will become an unnecessary luxury. Welcome to the analytics nirvana. Of course, inspiration and implementation often diverge. The day-to-day practicality of big data analytics continues to raise ongoing challenges. The “P-words” — preparation, people, prediction, and production point Read more