Best Practices To Avoid Marginalization

Alex Cullen

Architecture teams often spend a significant amount of their time working with or consulting for IT project teams. This is a recognized best practice for ensuring that project teams execute in line with the architecture and for demonstrating that the architecture team provides tangible value, but it is also a double-edged sword. The downside is when IT management perceives that the EA team's primary value is in tactical problem solving.

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As Expected, Data on Q3 2009 US IT Market Showing Continued Decline, But With Signs of Nearing Bottom

Andrew Bartels

This morning, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released preliminary data on the US Gross Domestic Product in Q 3 2009, which included data on business investment in computer equipment, software, and other IT equipment (principally communications equipment).  The headline news is the 3.5% increase in real GDP in the US from Q2 2009 to Q3 2009 (at a seasonally adjusted annual rate).  That is the first positive growth in US real GDP since Q2 2008, and the strongest since 2007.  Some special factors, such as the cash-for-clunkers program in autos and the tax incentives for first time home buyers, contributed to this strong growth, so growth in coming quarters will be closer to 2% since these incentives have expired or are likely to do so.  Still, the economic data does suggest that the recession is over. 

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The GRC Groundswell

Chris McClean

Chris McClean

As GRC practices continue to gain traction, I’ve had a lot of great conversations lately with clients about the importance of peer interaction for professionals in governance, risk, and compliance roles. With his finger apparently on the pulse of all major technology trends, Forrester’s Josh Bernoff must see this as well. This week he announced the winners of the 2009 Forrester Groundswell Awards, with two top GRC vendors among the winners. (For those of you not familiar with Josh Bernoff or Groundswell, check out the book info here.)

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A Third Grade Field Trip To The Apple Store

Ted Schadler

Ted-Schadler by Ted Schadler

When I stopped into an Apple Store in Palo Alto last summer, it was swarming with cute kids in hot pink tee shirts, logoed with the name of a local day camp. Okay, I figured what the heck, 8-year olds learning how Apple's stuff and software works is a cool way to kill a couple of hours.

Then I learned that my eight-year old daughter (self portrait below) was "super excited" to be going on a class field trip to the Apple Store in the local mall. The class of third graders would take the local bus to one side of town and pick up another local bus to the mall (itself an adventure in our car-centric town).

The goal was to learn iMovie, which the kids have access to at school, and to make a movie. Actually, it's a pretty good idea to outsource movie production class to someone else, especially someone passionate about making movies. Regardless of where they are. Smart guy, Mr. C. (her teacher).

But now I'm starting to think that this is a master plan coming from Cupertino, indoctrination through the school system. And it's something that HP and Dell and Microsoft can't replicate right now (though Best Buy could). So I asked my daughter to do some investigative reporting and ask how many school field trips the Apple Store has every month.

Yesterday morning, I came down at 6:30 as usual to let the dog out and empty the dishwasher. Unusually, the kitchen wasn't dark. My eight-year old was already up and ready to rock. "I couldn't go back to sleep, Dad. I was too excited," she bubbled. Ah, the Apple Store awaits.

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Is COBOL The Root Of All (Technical) Evil?

Phil Murphy

OK, so I used a tongue-in-cheek title to attract your attention, forgive me. A recent blog about the Boomer retirement phenomenon provoked some comments by a colleague with strong opinions about COBOL's useful life. I felt that his comments raised a topic that is substantial enough to warrant its own place in the blogosphere. The comments read, in part:

" I am a boomer myself ... But as a software architect who has to look ahead and figure out what customers and users want I can't wait for the 3270 green screen boomer generation to retire.  It will allow for the acceptance of a new application paradigm. Those stepping up to the plate will not hesite to dump the COBOL garbage and use modern tools to create modern mobile apps that will finally end the drama of IT as today's business disabler. ..."

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Questions From The Next-Gen EA Teleconference On October 23, 2009

Gene Leganza

Questions From The Next-Gen EA Teleconference On October 23, 2009

Jeff Scott and I presented a teleconference entitled “Next-Generation Enterprise Architecture” last week. It was a lively session with a lot of material on our side and a lot of questions from attendees. We focused on the questions over the phone in the live session and decided it was best to handle the written questions that came in via the Webex chat in a blog post.

Two closely related questions kick things off:

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Boomer Retirement And IT - Are You An Ostrich, Chicken-little, Or an Owl?

Phil Murphy

The rock-band R.E.M. sang a song about the "end of the world as we know it" and to hear some people talk - the end is near! 

The Chicken-littles of the world would have us believe that retiring Baby Boomers will wreak untold havoc. Half the world's population will suddenly disappear from the workforce - collapsing world markets, straining national pension systems to the breaking point, and burdening younger generations with unmanageable national debt.

Other folks are at the opposite end of the spectrum - they're in denial, like ostriches with their heads deep in the sand - if they don't look at how bad the problem is, it can't hurt them, right? No staffing problems here - look we can still hire people, let's deal with today's problems and not go looking for tomorrow's troubles!

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Telepresence Jumpstarts Video Collaboration

Claire Schooley

Claire-Schooley By Claire Schooley

Telepresence is the life-size, true color, no latency video meeting technology that creates a “wow” reaction from participants, especially those who have experienced some traditional videoconferencing that gave poor picture quality, out-of synch audio/video, and added no sense of presence to a meeting.  Here are some factors that make telepresence different:

  • Video provides high quality 1080p pictures with hidden cameras placed to achieve eye contact no matter where people are seated around the conference table.
  • Audio is full duplex with microphones and speakers that allow sound to come from the direction of the speaker.
  • The environment is purpose-built with lighting arrays, speakers, and cameras all configured for the optimum experience.  Conference tables, chairs, and even the wall paint are the same at all sites to convey a uniform sense of presence.
  • Managed service and support assure that this expensive system is going to work. Many organizations buy a concierge-type service model so participants just need to push a button to start the videoconference.
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Telepresence Jumpstarts Video Collaboration

Claire Schooley

Claire-SchooleyBy Claire Schooley

Telepresence is the life-size, true color, no latency video meeting technology that creates a “wow” reaction from participants, especially those who have experienced some traditional videoconferencing that gave poor picture quality, out-of synch audio/video, and added no sense of presence to a meeting.  Here are some factors that make telepresence different:

• Video provides high quality 1080p pictures with hidden cameras placed to achieve eye contact no matter where people are seated around the conference table.
• Audio is full duplex with microphones and speakers that allow sound to come from the direction of the speaker.
• The environment is purpose-built with lighting arrays, speakers, and cameras all configured for the optimum experience.  Conference tables, chairs, and even the wall paint are the same at all sites to convey a uniform sense of presence. Managed service and support assure that this expensive system is going to work. Many organizations buy a concierge-type service model so participants just need to push a button to start the videoconference.

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Is application consolidation keeping you up at night?

Phil Murphy

Murphy_p_small I've written a lot of research around the topic of application portfolio management (APM), and how the tools are slowly maturing from their application mining roots. Although the process of APM applies equally across packaged and custom-appls, the mining tools, until recently anyway, have excluded packaged applications.

Our application development team recently expanded with some new colleagues, and one of the topics a new colleague - George Lawrie - and I intend to take on as a joint effort is application consolidation across custom and packaged applications.

We'd like to know - how important is this topic to you - what are the nuances of it that keep you awake at night, or is it a non-issue? If it is a non-issue, why? Have you done such a good job of staving off redundant and obsolete technology, or is it someone else's responsibility? Please chime in, we'd love to hear about your application environments.