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.

Agile-Adaptive Voices from the C-Suite: Jeff Smith, Former IBM & Suncorp CIO

Jim Highsmith
Jeff Smith dreamed of making an Agile culture something you could learn, practice, measure, and improve. In this Amplify Update, the second in a series, we follow Smith as he moves from Suncorp to IBM and then World Kinect, defying conventional wisdom to lead these companies on a digital transforming journey. Even as Smith communicated the journey’s purpose simply and clearly, mandated culture change, radically reformed the middle management layer, and modernized delivery, he never forgot the importance of balancing performance with people.

Agile-Adaptive Voices from the C-Suite: Ginni Rometty, Former IBM CEO

Jim Highsmith
Agility prepares us for our turbulent future. But how do we achieve enterprise agility in light of the magnitude of that turbulence and the overwhelming number of failed transformation initiatives? In this Amplify Update, we suggest that growing agile-adaptive leaders who are adventurous, inspiring, and, of course, adaptive is critical to success. We then seek to validate that assumption by listening to the voice of a former CEO of IBM. By understanding this brand of leadership, digital and Agile transformations can be more successful. However, lurking in the shadows of even the best agile-adaptive leaders are the formidable obstacles of rigid cultures, financial myopia, and performance hacking.

Innovating for the Competitive Edge in the Age of Disruptive Tech

Michal Zigelman, Raz Heiferman
The world is changing rapidly, and we are witnessing a plethora of significant events, including the outcomes of a global pandemic, climate change and extreme weather, global supply chain disruptions, the war in Ukraine, the emergence of innovative technologies, and more and more smart products. These are all shaping the business environment, forcing organizations to adapt and change at unprecedented speeds. Consequently, senior managers are asking themselves how their organization should respond to deal with the technological storm and what steps they should take to prepare the organization for the future. As we explore in this Executive Update, the range of actions managers must take is broad and includes, among others, the development of organizational innovation processes, digital transformation, making the organization agile, adapting ways of doing business that meet new expectations of customers, and more. One theme runs through all of these initiatives — innovation.

Knowledge Graph Implementation: Costs & Obstacles

Michael Atkin
Breaking through psychological barriers to entry is key to succeeding with any data management initiative. This is doubly true when seeking to adopt semantic standards to implement a knowledge graph within your organization — because change is risky. Application owners don’t want to give up control. Most key stakeholders don’t really understand the principles of data; they just want a near-term solution to an isolated use case. And the data dilemma is often viewed as too low-level for C-level executives to get their arms around. In this Executive Update, we explore how to fundamentally fix data so that it becomes a resource organizations can truly leverage.

Tech Debt: Can It Stop Your Business from Flying?

Myles Suer
Cutter contributor and data business leader Myles Suer set out to get some CIOs’ perspectives on the tech debt problem, what happened at Southwest, and what steps can be taken to get Southwest’s CEO (and CIO) off the collective hot seat. This Executive Update shares some insights gleaned from those conversations.

Sustainability 2022: Unlocking the Benefits

Stefano Milanese, Martijn Eikelenboom, Carlo Stella, Stefano Decadri
In Part II of this Executive Update series on operationalizing sustainability, we set out key recommendations to unlock the benefits of sustainability by adopting an ecosystem approach, integrating sustainability reporting, redefining culture, and focusing on innovation.

Sustainability 2022: Current State & Challenges to Adoption

Stefano Milanese, Martijn Eikelenboom, Carlo Stella, Stefano Decadri
ADL recently ran a global study exploring organizations’ current maturity in integrating sustainability into their business models. This two-part Executive Update series analyzes the results of that survey and offers insight into operationalizing sustainability. Here in Part I, we explore the current state of sustainability as well as challenges to effective business sustainability.

A Bimodal Lens on Digital Transformation

Michal Zigelman, Raz Heiferman
By its very nature, digital transformation involves a bimodal process during which an organization must launch changes at two levels: tangible and intangible. Both types of processes could lead to a disruptive transformation. But there is a second set of actions that must occur along with the tangible and intangible changes: (1) linear, organized exploitation processes and (2) chaotic, disruptive exploration processes. This second pair of changes has increased potential to impact an organization’s path to meeting its goals. As we explore in this Executive Update, the Bimodal Management™ model offers a lens that organizations can use to examine the processes and outcomes as they work toward digital transformation.

Transformation Under Fire: How CIO Strategies Changed During COVID-19 Crisis

Myles Suer
This Executive Update explores CIO lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can better prepare for the next crisis.

Are You Heeding Your Customers’ Reality?

Scott Stribrny
Customers are more demanding than ever. In this Executive Update, we explore two questions related to meeting customer expectations: To what extent are you incorporating your customers’ reality into your product development processes? How can a rigorous voice of the customer (VoC) solution help your company grow with significant and sustainable margins?

A Comprehensive Approach to Strategy Execution

Whynde Kuehn
This Executive Update describes the strategy execution challenges companies face today and shares some ideas for bridging the gap. With a new vision for strategy execution, leadership, and a commitment to action, organizations can transform their end-to-end strategy execution from a disconnected set of activities to an organizational capability.

Taking the Lead in Corporate DEI: Strategies for Thought Leaders

Benjamin Duke
Companies continue to explore DEI and implement initiatives to create a culture of acceptance and understanding, while carrying out their missions and remaining profitable. But building an effective DEI strategy calls for a new mindset among business leaders if current and future initiatives are going to succeed. This Executive Update offers four “mini-starters” to explore the DEI issue in more depth.

Rethinking Sustainability: A Process Perspective

Deishin Lee
In this Executive Update, we explore taking a process perspective to show how concepts such as sustainability and the circular economy look in the physical world. Making these concepts concrete reveals a singular criterion for achieving a circular economy: every output generated by every process should have a consumer who uses it productively. This criterion provides managers with actionable steps and ways to measure their organization’s progress toward sustainability.

How to Explain? Explainable AI for Business and Social Acceptance

Bhuvan Unhelkar
Explainable AI (XAI) goes deep within the AI system to identify the reasoning behind recommendations, verify the data, and make algorithms and results transparent. Such explainability reduces biases in AI-based decisions, supports legal compliance, and promotes ethical decisions. This Executive Update explores the need for, importance of, and approaches to making AI systems explainable

When Should You Kill a Project? Avoiding the Trap of Sunk-Cost Fallacy

Scott Stribrny
Experienced project managers with strong project management acumen still occasionally take part in a project that seems to take on a life of its own, devouring organizational resources. This Executive Update examines a few failure scenarios that could have been avoided with better decision-making processes and offers a set of key questions project managers should continue to ask along the project’s journey.

Supply Chain Sustainability Risk Management & Value Creation

Tom Teixeira, Thomas Black, Kurt Baes, Martijn Eikelenboom
This Executive Update explores how organizations with an effective sustainability strategy that covers both internal and external supply chains, combined with effective and proactive risk management systems, will become more competitive and attractive as business partners in the future.

Balancing Growth & Sustainability: Technology-Led Business Model Transformations

Pradipta Chakraborty
Companies can’t choose between growth and sustainability — they must have both. This Executive Update explores this issue and proposes ways to identify the right technology portfolio to support new business models that lead to growth while ensuring sustainability goals.

Do NFTs Democratize Art? Or Are They Just a New Money Maker?

Nilesh Khandelwal, Conner Feldman
Although most individuals associate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a form of “digital art,” as we explore in this Executive Update, they more broadly open up models for anything to become tokenized.

IPA in the Enterprise, Part XII: Remaining Key Industries

Curt Hall
In this final installment of our series on intelligent process automation (IPA) in the enterprise, we cover the remaining key industries where surveyed organizations see IPA having its greatest impact.

IPA in the Enterprise, Part XI: 5 More Key Industries

Curt Hall
In Part XI of this Executive Update series on intelligent process automation (IPA) in the enterprise, we cover another five key industries in which organizations see IPA having its greatest impact.

DEI and Agile: Beyond Buzzwords Toward Transformation

Samin Saadat
This Executive Update seeks to illuminate two concepts that are extremely important but are at risk of becoming mere buzzwords: “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) and “Agile teams.” Most teams do not have an accurate understanding of these terms. And while the majority promote their workplace as embracing DEI and Agile methodologies, they often do not “walk the talk.”

The Role of Business Architecture in Shaping Software Design

William Ulrich
This Executive Update details how organizations can utilize business architecture to inform and shape software designs to achieve more stable, maintainable, and scalable software systems.

Opportunity to Rethink Role for Sustainable Future

Stefano Milanese, Martijn Eikelenboom, Carlo Stella, Stefano Decadri
As we explore in this Executive Update, there are tangible benefits to basing corporate purpose on sustainability drivers, and sustainable business models are gaining pace. Therefore, businesses should rethink their role in the context in which they operate and adapt their strategy, organization, resources, processes, and culture accordingly.

Secrets for Socializing Business Architecture

Whynde Kuehn
This Executive Update presents best practices to help you succeed on your journey of establishing business architecture within your organization, whether you are just starting out or seeking ways to fine-tune engagement with your existing practice.

Looking to CPaaS for Cohesive Market Structure

Christoph Uferer, Lars Riegel, Sean McDevitt, Arvind Rajeswaran
In this Executive Update, we explore how communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) allows businesses to develop and manage communications features without needing to develop and maintain the infrastructure on the back end of the service. CPaaS makes it easier than ever for companies to create differentiating customer communications experiences while promising to reduce costs and speed up innovation.