Advisors provide a continuous flow of information on the topics covered by each practice, including consultant insights and reports from the front lines, analyses of trends, and breaking new ideas. Advisors are delivered directly to your email inbox, and are also available in the resource library.
This Advisor considers the development of a continuous deployment process for software by combining Agile methods and DevOps. After first looking at the salient characteristics of both techniques, we discuss why bringing together Agile and DevOps — and the resultant continuous delivery and deployment chain — is truly worthwhile.
Years ago, I started down the track of data democratization upon reading some Cutter Consortium Executive Reports, where the authors generally posited that if you want to manage an asset better, you must manage the data around the asset better. That may be all you have to do. But since we have to manage our companies through data, we need lots of people to do it. Hence, we need data democratization. In this Advisor, we explore how organizations can achieve data democratization.
The increasing importance of a coherent organizational strategy to maximize the exploitation of data for growing a digital business is clear. There is a need to locate, consolidate, classify, and access the necessary data — often data of many different formats stored in different areas of the enterprise as well as external data — to drive many different aspects of a successful digital business. To achieve these types of capabilities in an efficient and scalable manner, the digital business needs to be able to identify, extract, transform, contextualize, and distribute the necessary data. The data warehouse or data lake is a critical part of this data ecosystem, and many different aspects of the digital business can exploit this resource in a consistent way by means of a shared metadata framework.
A topic frequently raised when discussing enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) adoption trends is the issue of open source AI development tools versus commercial providers’ AI offerings. According to findings from a recent Cutter Consortium AI adoption survey, the majority of responding organizations currently implementing (or planning to implement) AI applications are opting to use open source AI environments.
Among the most important developments concerning AI and blockchain are the new, emerging business models, enabled by these technologies, that are beginning to appear in various industries. This is especially true when it comes to fintech, and the combining of blockchain and AI to create new financial platforms that can provide virtual banking services to people who currently are not served or who are underserved by more traditional banking services offers a good example.
For almost 20 years, cloud and related technologies have been transforming entire industries. Interestingly, most of the discussions around transformation tend to focus on the technical aspects, technical solutions, platforms, and various as-a-service offerings. Although the technology perspective is very important, it’s not the most critical. Truly transformational projects require a much broader perspective. A truly successful digitization project will change a company to its core. In this Advisor, we explore the impact of cloud-enabled transformation on company culture and identity.
As in the early days of the electric utility, all major cloud providers started off with a “vertically integrated” direct sales model (i.e., they also played the role of cloud supplier). However, several major cloud providers have started supporting sales through an indirect sales channel, leveraging specialist partners to reach out to the many different industries that could benefit from cloud services. They have allowed those channel partners to step into the billing chain, thus creating a more unique cloud supplier role, much like those electricity suppliers that stepped into the billing chain between electricity providers and electricity consumers.
Combining Agile methods and DevOps requires rethinking how you run your business, since many of the concepts collectively bundled under the Agile umbrella need to be recast in light of issues faced when combining Agile and DevOps elements that relate to scalability, readiness, delivery, deployment, and operations. This Advisor looks at 12 Agile areas that must be adjusted during a recasting effort.
Some of the more interesting developments with artificial intelligence (AI) involve its application in media and entertainment. There is a great deal of innovation underway to utilize AI in practically all aspects of media and entertainment — from content creation, procurement, categorization, and distribution to display, intellectual property (IP) protection, marketing, audience measurement, and customer service.
By learning to simply recognize complexity when we see it — and learning that we cannot engage with it through reductionism — could save ourselves a lot of pain and allow our efforts to focus on quality, rather than on trying to do the impossible. By seeking to understand complexity instead of hiding it, we can build better-quality software with less stress.
My colleagues and I have visualized a line-of-business (LOB) application as a collection of finite state machines (FSMs) that model subjects and their interactions with each other. This immediately brings some much-needed structure to our application, while at the same time allowing it to be perfectly extensible. This structure will help us to automate the generation of LOB apps, as the problem now simplifies to specifying FSMs.
Do not underestimate the pace of evolution of cloud technologies. If no one in the organization watches (and understands) the new cloud delivery technologies, you may choose the wrong one, or you may be misled by a vendor that will fail to mention a better option because the vendor does not offer it.
From internal organizational rivalries to human nature to problems with IT people, data democratization faces its own set of challenges and difficulties. By recognizing the symptoms presented in this Advisor, leaders can make the road to data democratization smoother for all involved.
Many of the principles that were developed for the data warehouse are just as relevant today when considering the evolution to a digital business. Underpinning these principles is the implicit need for the active use and management of a coherent layer of metadata. In discussing the broader digital business, it may help to delineate the various systems and applications that occupy the landscape of such a business.
Here are the Business Agility & Software Engineering Excellence articles that garnered the most feedback from Cutter Members and clients in 2018. Look for these lists from each of our four practice areas, and rediscover Cutter's most intriguing articles of the year!
Here are the Business Technology & Digital Transformation Strategies articles that garnered the most feedback from Cutter Members and clients in 2018. Look for these lists from each of our four practice areas, and rediscover Cutter’s most intriguing articles of the year!
Here are the Cutter Business Technology Journal articles that garnered the most feedback from Cutter Members and clients in 2018. Look for these lists from each of our four practice areas, and rediscover Cutter's most intriguing articles of the year!
Here are the Business & Enterprise Architecture articles that garnered the most feedback from Cutter Members and clients in 2018. Look for these lists from each of our four practice areas, and rediscover Cutter's most intriguing articles of the year!
Here are the Data Analytics & Digital Technologies articles that garnered the most feedback from Cutter Members and clients in 2018. Look for these lists from each of our four practice areas, and rediscover Cutter's most intriguing articles of the year!
Many organizations embark upon the “Agile transformational journey” only to find that what looked simple in the planning process is far more complex in reality. The complexity is in the degree and magnitude of the change and the fact that there is no single prescribed solution that works for all situations. Despite what many traditional consultancies advertise, there is no set pattern to success for senior executives to follow. As the DNA of each organization is unique, the reasons for market success and the strategic vision are distinctive, so the means to alter these formulae must be unique as well.
Many organizations are now focusing on a hybrid cloud strategy: moving part of their IT capabilities to the cloud, while maintaining core elements in-house, hosted on-premises. The hybrid model enables organizations to optimally allocate their resources while keeping their current IT infrastructure operating at low risk. A hybrid cloud strategy not only prepares an organization for the future but also protects its investment today. In this Advisor, we describe hybrid cloud and look at its benefits, including security and compliance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.
There’s a balance to strike in architecture, no matter what methodology you use to create your software. In Agile contexts, that balance is often lost. And it usually leans to less over more. I think the most important acknowledgement or statement that we should all agree to early on in any architectural discussion is that we don’t know. Out of this level of openness and honesty comes the need for prototyping, discovery, and learning. It’s hard to do that if we don’t look each other in the eyes and say, “We don’t know, let’s find out.”
There are few fields as well funded and simultaneously dysfunctional as software, and the opportunity for experimentation is huge. Every software project is unique, in terms of teams, business objectives, and so on. The system that builds, delivers, and manages software is as complex and unpredictable as any other. As we explore in this Advisor, if real complexity can be managed better by exposing the builders to complexity theory, then we can have noteworthy results.
AI is now being used in the legal field in such areas as research and document management, contract analysis, and e-discovery. Additionally, we are seeing significant developments with commercial AI applications in the form of cloud-based solutions specifically designed for handling such legal needs. These commercial applications, for the most part, are not intended to replace legal practitioners, but rather to assist them in performing various tasks associated with the legal process.
The main value of being increasingly agile is to allow the organization to realize its potential visions more quickly, with less investment, and with greater chances of success. To realize those visions, one must have abilities — both non-digital and digital. Digital abilities are information systems–enabling abilities that allow for agility. In this Advisor, we define digital abilities through a partial list of key abilities in the form of technologies, attitudes, and approaches we should adopt to become agile.