Category

Business Technology Trends

Opinion on the technology, business, and social trends that are impacting enterprises worldwide.

Feb 222016
 
Ethical Challenges of a Robotics Revolution

One cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying. — Arthur C. Clarke The late futurist and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s observation has long been a staple theme of science fiction stories, especially those involving smart machines and whether the algorithms used to make decisions would be for the benefit of humankind or its destruction. As artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics research has progressed along with growth in computing power, that programming question has steadily moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the computing technical community over the past decade. This has been especially true in the military establishment as the use of robotics rapidly Read more

Feb 092016
 
Three IT Trends that Are Hitting the Mainstream in 2016

I spend most of my time looking at how individuals access data, information, and knowledge in ways that allow them to make better decisions and to enjoy themselves. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about some trends that I think will push demands on corporate IT departments and the IT industry broadly: wearables, machine intelligence, and data visualization. Wearables If you look at most phones, tablets, and laptops, you see a continuing clumsy interaction between human and device. A phone flipping through the air as the user loses her handle on it is not a surprising event. Laptops crash to the ground, and there is a thriving industry in screen replacement. While Read more

Jan 262016
 
Thank You, Ed, for All You Gave Us

As many of you will know by the time you read this, Ed Yourdon died last week. He was a pioneer in software engineering, author of 26 computer books and hundreds of computer articles, a prominent consultant and lecturer, and, here at Cutter, founder and longtime Editor of what is now known as Cutter IT Journal. Ed also cofounded the Consortium part of Cutter, authored many Cutter technology journals, and wrote thousands of Cutter email advisors. Most importantly, Ed was a great friend to all of us. His influence on Cutter’s mission and values endures. My first encounter with Ed was at a CASE conference. He had just delivered a brilliant keynote that, true to form, Read more

Jan 262016
 
Grandiose Transformation

Digital transformation (DT) is aspirational. Everyone wants to transform their business, and every business person who’s alive knows that transformation now primarily depends upon leveraging the right digital technology at the right time on the right processes and business models at the right cost. Everywhere I go I hear about “amazing,” “fabulous,” “terrific,” and “incredible” transformation projects underway, projects that will “disrupt” and “revolutionize” companies. When I ask transformation teams about specific projects, though, I often get blank stares. Sometimes it feels as if transformation projects are ordered (like burgers) by outsiders (like financial analysts who cover public company stocks) and not insiders, who are often threatened by change, especially major change. In my experience, Read more

Dec 152015
 
Looming Threats in Cloud Computing

A lot has changed in a few years. When I talked about cloud three years back, I got frownie-faces from my peers. Skeptical looks that belied a deeper-seated fear or trepidation, probably having more to do with their internal image of what a CIO should be than the promise or peril in the new technology. Now, enthusiasm runs ebulliently through the vendor community, animating the animal spirits and spurring on entrepreneurs in search of profits and glory. Cloud has been elevated to high strategy on the billionaire chess board. Mergers and acquisitions are abuzz. Amazon, armed with an overly energetic workforce, gets hypercompetitive in all ways good and ill, supplanting Oracle as one of our Read more

Nov 172015
 
Disappearing Acts: Five Enablers of Web Ubiquity

The first 25 years of the Web clearly demonstrated that connectivity and problem solving can be cost-effectively linked. It’s now possible to communicate, shop, and learn on the Web. We can find answers, relationships, and games on the Web, and for those of us who desire a more surrealistic experience, we can immerse ourselves in virtual worlds. What’s next? The emphasis here is not on future Web communications architectures. We can assume that Web communications and networking technology will continue to rapidly evolve. Nor is the emphasis on “the singularity” (see singularity.com), though machines will obviously become much smarter and smarter over time. Instead, the focus is on functional integration — the seamless integration of Read more

Oct 202015
 
The Gamification of Ordinary Life

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), attention turned once again to the Internet of Things (IoT) and personal devices. Wearables showed up in great profusion, focused upon watches, wristbands, and other personal sensors used to monitor activity rate, pulse, temperature, and whatever else can be determined from movement or simple surface sensors. For the home, measuring and control devices are emerging for temperature, humidity, intruder detection, and so forth — all attached, to personal networks, to the Web, and generally streaming data to external monitors. This all constitutes an escalation of device communications, which ultimately can lead to something like gamification of personal life and the home (Figure 1). Figure 1 — The gamification Read more