Find analysis of data from Cutter's ongoing industry research efforts, brief treatments of topics that don't require the in-depth research of an Executive Report, updates on previously-covered topics, and more, in 2-4 page Executive Updates.

The Role of Business Architecture in Defining Data Architecture

William Ulrich
In this Executive Update, we explore how business architecture can help define data architecture, delivering transparency across a number of related business domains.

Software Testing: How Do You Know How Much Is Enough?

Tom Bragg
Programmers routinely test their work as they write code, running programs to ensure they’re behaving as expected. But software today is significantly more complex than ever before. In this Executive Update we consider two questions about testing: (1) how do we know how best to perform that testing, and (2) how much testing is enough?

An Architectural Approach to the Circular Economy and Sustainability

Mike Rosen, Tamar Krichevsky, Harsh Sharma
The hype (and chaos) surrounding the concepts of sustainability and the circular economy cannot be denied. In this Executive Update, we look at how an architectural approach can facilitate the adoption of sustainability throughout an enterprise.

Maximizing Business Architects and the Science of Strengths

Whynde Kuehn
This Executive Update provides a small subset of key research findings from the global “Business Architect Strengths Study” and, most important, what these findings mean for most effectively leveraging the unique abilities of business architecture within our organizations.

IPA in the Enterprise, Part IV: Hoped-for Benefits

Curt Hall
Here in Part IV of this Executive Update series, we examine findings pertaining to the benefits organizations seek to obtain from implementing IPA technologies and practices.

Understanding & Overcoming Failing Enterprise Portfolio Management

Brian Seitz
In this Executive Update, we consider the elements of failure and examine portfolio management as both an extension of strategy and an ongoing journey. Finally, we illustrate a roadmap and framework to get you on the right path.

Data Strategy: From Vision to Roadmap, Part III — Practical Steps Toward Information Superiority

Richard Veryard
In Part III of this Executive Update series, we show how the four dimensions of information superiority (reach, richness, agility, and assurance) impact building an effective roadmap toward creating a data-driven business.

HR Management in the Age of Smart Working

Salvatore Moccia, Shuming Zhao, Patrick Flanagan
In the face of COVID-19 over the past year, companies across the globe have had to act quickly to adapt to new realities — or risk certain ruin. It is no longer “business as usual.” The global pandemic has undeniably changed the status quo of HR management. In this Executive Update, we reflect on the use of technology to enable HR’s new, critical role in light of social distancing and smart working.

IPA in the Enterprise, Part III: Strategy Plans & Dedicated IPA Groups

Curt Hall
Cutter Consortium conducted a survey, along with a set of interviews of participants, from mid-2020 to early 2021 on how organizations are adopting, or planning to adopt, intelligent process automation (IPA). We also sought to identify important trends, issues, and other considerations organizations are encountering, or foresee encountering, in their efforts. Here in Part III of this Executive Update series, we examine findings pertaining to surveyed organizations’ plans for establishing budgets to support their IPA initiatives.

Taking the Lead in Cloud Adoption & Procurement: A Quick Guide

Frank Contrepois
This Executive Update seeks to help IT better advocate for cloud. First, we offer a solution to cloud’s most significant financial risk. Next, we translate some IT concepts into their financial equivalents.

A Prediction for 2021: The End of Predictions

Barry M O'Reilly
Last year, Barry M. O’Reilly predicted that 2020 would be “the year that Agile got found out.” Well, we all know that 2020 took an unexpected turn. So, in this Executive Update, let’s look deeper into the outcome of my prediction and explore how Agile and agility, especially in the face of a global pandemic, has truly panned out since my “before the world changed” assertion.

Data Strategy: From Vision to Roadmap, Part II — Dimensions of Information Superiority

Richard Veryard
In Part II of this Executive Update series on information superiority, we take the concept further and examine the four dimensions of information superiority in greater detail.

Utilizing AI to Extract Structure from PDFs

Shahane Eksuzyan, Sedrak Vardanyan, Raj Ramesh
In this Executive Update, the authors describe a system using AI technologies to automate data extraction to any one of many structured formats. The system performs minimal manual annotations to capture the semantics of specific sections for any particular document template. The authors highlight the business drivers behind such a system, describe the architecture of the system, show how the system performs compared to human-assisted analysis, and showcase examples of documents processed. In addition, they cover some difficulties around this process and share details about the neural network architecture they use to achieve high accuracy.

Data Strategy: From Vision to Roadmap, Part I — Vision

Richard Veryard
In Part I of this three-part Executive Update series, we look at the myriad ways that data can operate in your organization. In Part II, we will take the concept further and examine the four dimensions of information superiority in greater detail. Finally, Part III will show how all this impacts building an effective roadmap toward creating a data-driven business.

Realizing IoT Potential with 5G

Agron Lasku, Hariprasad Pichai, Rebecka Axelsson Wadman, Sean McDevitt
Although more devices are connected, the Internet of Things (IoT) is still far from living up to its full promise in many industries. But this is set to change — as 5G enables many of the technical requirements that have previously been lacking. Now is the time for companies to set their IoT strategies, and we believe investing in private networks, in particular, is important for companies to consider as 5G becomes a reality.

Configuring Your EA Practice for Agility

Svyatoslav Kotusev
The definition of “Agile architecture” is neither clear nor concrete. Instigated by hype, EA managers may rush to implement fashionable Agile approaches to the detriment of their organizations. Instead, they should strike a balance between up-front planning and agility — because no firms can plan their future in every detail, and not one single company can avoid planning altogether to stay perfectly Agile. As we explore in this Executive Update, EA managers should determine the “golden mean” between total planning and full agility that best meets the specific needs of their organizations.

IPA in the Enterprise, Part II: Strategy Plans & Dedicated IPA Groups

Curt Hall
Here in Part II of this Executive Update series, we examine findings pertaining to surveyed organizations’ plans for adopting IPA into the enterprise, the establishment of dedicated enterprise IPA groups, the groups that are taking the lead on IPA, and the reasons such groups oversee enterprise IPA initiatives. 

Implementing EA in the Scaled Agile Framework

Avinash Malik
SAFe has emerged to provide the organizational context and hooks needed to support operating Agile at the level of an entire IT organization. Unfortunately, architecture has been left out of the conversation, leaving IT departments struggling to retain the benefits of architecture in Agile. But perhaps it is time to answer the question: SAFe is fine, but what about enterprise architecture? This Executive Update shows how to innovate on enterprise architecture, bringing it into the Agile model, using a technique called “wave alignment.”

Underdogs to “Wonderdogs”: Technology Trends for 2021 & Beyond

Steve Andriole
Each year, research organizations publish lists of the top technologies to watch in the new year. Many of these trendy “celebrity” technologies appear on every list we see. But what about the ones that don’t always make the lists but are important to our personal and professional lives? In this Executive Update, we present a list of seven underdogs — technologies to watch closely. Look out — they just might become “wonderdogs” in 2021 and beyond.

Business Architecture: An Enabler to Achieving the SDGs

Whynde Kuehn
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a bold global agenda helping the world move beyond traditional indicators such as GDP growth and per capita income to a broader set of objectives that include well-being, environmental sustainability, and social fairness. In this Executive Update, we describe the individual and organizational benefits of contributing to the SDGs as well as how organizations can leverage business architecture to achieve these goals.

DevSecOps: Driving Culture Change with Metrics

Kristin Curran, David Lipton, Steven Woodward
DevSecOps is becoming the dominant software engineering culture. It strives to unify software development, security, and operations. Users and businesses alike expect solutions that will be inherently secure by design and expect developers to be more responsive to business needs. This Executive Update explores the role of measurement in the organizational culture changes required for the successful implementation of DevSecOps. (Not a member? For a limited time, read it here.)

Information Superiority from Operational Excellence

Richard Veryard
Of the three value disciplines, operational excellence is the one where real-time data streaming is most critical. While product development should operate at a reasonably fast and agile tempo, and customer engagement assumes a reasonably up-to-date picture of the customer, some of the most interesting benefits of real-time data collection and analytics sit in operations.

If Your EA Program Isn’t Leading Your Digital Transformation Effort, Start Over

Avinash Malik
The days of EA managers who are not involved closely and directly in the digital transformation of their companies are numbered. Digital transformation has stolen their value proposition. Digital transformation is telling a powerful and compelling story to the leaders of the organization: change is needed now. If EA is truly the bridge between strategy and execution — if it is the key to enabling change — then digital transformation should leverage EA.

Transforming Clinical Trial Management with the COVID-19 Prediction Dashboard

Ben van der Schaaf, Thomas Unger, Michael Eiden, Ben Enejo, Craig Wylie, Tom Teixeira, Richard Eagar, Carl Bate
One of the many consequences of the COVID-19 crisis has been difficulty in continuing to enroll and run clinical trials, which typically involve large numbers of people interacting in multiple geographies. In this Executive Update, we highlight a new, risk-based predictive analytical approach, powered by machine learning.

Becoming a Company of Tomorrow: Strategic Capability Management

Carlos Mira, Juan Gonzalez, Gregory Pankert, Florence Carlot, Rafael Martínez
Businesses have traditionally organized themselves to ensure optimal effectiveness in each of their business functions. In today’s business climate, however, shorter product lifecycles, demand for customization, rising consumer expectations, and the growth of automation and data challenge this model. This Executive Update explains how success requires organizations to decouple capabilities from business functions in order to deliver best-in-class performance and enable the “company of tomorrow.”