Archive for abril \28\UTC 2010

C.K. Prahalad

abril 28, 2010

Notícia de hoje do blog http://innovationtools.com!

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“Any company that cannot imagine the future won’t be around to enjoy it.”

– Gary Hamel & C.K. Prahalad, in Competing for the Future

Dr. Prahalad recently passed away at the age of 68. He was one of the world’s best-known and respected management experts and authors. His insights and contributions to the practices of management and innovation will be missed.

The Age of Facebook

abril 26, 2010

Post de ontem do http://techcrunch.com!

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The Age of Facebook

by Michael Arrington on Apr 25, 2010

Two years ago I was on the Charlie Rose show and we talked about, among other startups and trends, Facebook. It wasn’t clear then that Facebook had what it took to become one of the great technology companies. They had conquered the college market and were destroying the hopes and dreams of MySpace. But they were also reeling from the Beacon debacle and hadn’t proven that they could turn those massive reach and page view numbers into sustainable revenue streams.

You can watch the whole discussion about Facebook, which begins at about the 22:00 mark. But the key question I asked then was, “Will Facebook Have their Google moment?” I was referring to Google’s ability to pair awesome search in the late nineties with, later, an amazing business model – a bidding system for text ads. In 2008 it was clear that Facebook had taken the first step and changed our culture, possibly permanently. But it wasn’t at all clear that they would create the massive revenue streams to allow them to effectively dominate tech culture.

Fast forward to today. Those questions have been answered. Facebook is profitable and probably is running at a billion dollar plus revenue run rate today. They have 400 million users and 500 million people visit the site each month. Only Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have more monthly visitors than Facebook. And only Google has more page views. And they aren’t done growing yet. In a year they will likely be second on the list of unique visitors. In two years, they’ll probably be first.

In a talk a few days ago investor Ron Conway spoke about the explosive growth of Facebook. “They are the universe,” he said. I asked him if we are in the Age of Facebook. His answer was yes. Ron has been investing in startups for thirty years and he has seen the rise and fall of many companies. This wasn’t just idle chatter.

Microsoft dominated the technology world in the 90s on the back of their Windows and Office products. Google was the champion for the last decade after perfecting the business model around search. Both are still huge companies.

But all the momentum is behind Facebook and how they are changing the Web, and our culture.

Last week Facebook unveiled a variety of new developer tools, and new consumer applications are set to be launched in the near future. What’s most interesting about these changes aren’t the debates about whether what Facebook is doing is good for the Internet or not, or how open or not open their solutions are.

Those debates are important but they don’t affect the Facebook revolution any more than debates about Adsense a decade ago affected the decade of glory that Google just experienced. The fact is that Facebook is permeating the Web. Publishers, us included, are clamoring to organize our websites in ways that please Facebook.

Their vision of an open graph of people and things (with Facebook at the center) is becoming reality, and debates by technologists won’t changes that. Facebook is taking over our identity and we are going along with that happily. It will take a new technology paradigm to disrupt what Facebook is doing.

Microsoft’s Windows platform wasn’t threatened by user complaints, lawsuits or even government actions to weaken it. It took the evolution of the browser as an operating system, and new applications like Google Docs, to give users the comfort to move beyond Windows. And while the Windows franchise is still going strong, the writing is on the wall. Eventually, it will fall.

Someday, maybe a decade from now, some new technology will rise and allow other companies to threaten Facebook. But until then there is little to stop them. Their march to dominance has just begun.

Read more: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/25/the-age-of-facebook/#ixzz0mDTVDAXz

Enterprise Architecture: Reality over Rhetoric

abril 23, 2010

Post do blog http://www.drdobbs.com!

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Enterprise Architecture: Reality over Rhetoric

By Scott W. Ambler, April 22, 2010

What’s actually working in practice — and what’s not

Scott Ambler is chief methodologist for Agile and Lean for IBM Rational

In This Issue

  • Enterprise Architecture: Reality over Rhetoric
  • Participate in the “2010 IT Project Success” survey and potentially win a copy of “Reflections on Management”
  • Hot Links

Enterprise Architecture: Reality over Rhetoric

For several decades we’ve heard that effective enterprise architecture programs are a critical success factor for medium-to-large size IT organizations. I have been a promoter of enterprise architecture, both in my writings and working with organizations around the world, yet after all these years it seems that the reality of enterprise architecture is nowhere close to fulfilling some of the rhetoric around it. So I decided to find out what’s actually working in practice, and what’s not working for that matter, in my January 2010 State of the IT Union Survey

The survey was announced in my January 2010 column and by Dr. Dobb’s editor Jon Erickson in a blog. As with previous surveys we had a robust set of responses, albeit with a bias towards North American respondents. There were 374 respondents in total, with 38% identifying themselves as developers, 27% in management or leadership roles, 13% were modelers, and 10% consultants. Four out of five respondents had 10 or more years experience in IT and 23% worked in organizations which had 1000 or more IT professionals. Two-thirds of respondents were from North America, 21% from Europe, and 10% from Asia Pacific. The original questions as they were asked, a summary slide deck, and the source data with identifying information removed for privacy reasons can be downloaded here free of charge. 

Room to Improve

A critical issue that I wanted to explore is the adoption rate of enterprise architecture within organizations. Overall, only 47% of respondents indicated that their organizations had an enterprise architecture program currently in place. Of this group, 36% indicated that their program was expanding whereas the other 64% indicated that the program was stable. 9% of respondents indicated that their organizations were thinking about starting an enterprise architecture program and 34% indicated that they had no enterprise architecture program at all. However, when it came to people working in organizations with one hundred or more IT people the results were a bit better — 63% of organizations had an enterprise architecture program (38% expanding, 62% stable) and 6% were thinking about starting one. It makes sense that larger organizations would be more likely to be focused on enterprise architecture than smaller ones as the need for an effective enterprise architecture program increases in step with the size of your IT department. 

I also explored the benefits that organizations were experiencing as the result of their enterprise architecture program. I presented a list of 16 potential benefits and asked people to rate them on a scale of much improved to much worse. Although all of the potential benefits were rated positively, none of them stood out as clear winners. All of them averaged out to being somewhere in between no change and improved, but none approached much improved. However, individual respondents did indicate that some factors are now much improved since the introduction of their enterprise architecture program, so averages can be deceiving some times. The top five benefits were improved system integration, improved IT governance, greater chance that development teams follow a common technology infrastructure, improved business efficiency, and increased data integrity. Considering the low averages, my fear is that we may be over promising and under delivering when it comes to enterprise architecture programs. 

What Works, What Doesn’t

One of the things that I was hoping to do with the survey was identify the most important success factors for enterprise architecture programs. Not surprisingly, the survey showed that the “soft” people-oriented issues are most critical to your success. In fact, the top five were all focused on people: active involvement of business leaders in the enterprise architecture program, active involvement of IT leaders in the enterprise architecture program, the enterprise architects must be active participants on project teams, the enterprise architects must be trusted advisors of the business, and you need flexible enterprise architects. Coming in 6th, of 11 issues, was having a business case for your enterprise architecture efforts, something which I thought would have placed higher considering the current economic climate. 

The survey also explored the potential pitfalls leading to the failure of enterprise architecture programs, with business issues and people-oriented issues being common culprits. The top five pitfalls, in order, were providing insufficient time for the enterprise architecture program to succeed, project teams not taking advantage of the enterprise architecture, it’s too difficult to measure benefits of the program, the enterprise architects were perceived as “ivory tower”, and development teams couldn’t wait for their enterprise architects. Enterprise architecture programs are a long-term investment, granted if you’re smart you’ll show some tangible results on a regular basis, but the main benefits can take years to materialize. Considering that not giving the enterprise architecture program sufficient time is the leading cause of failure, the implication is that some organizations may not understand that enterprise architecture is a long-term play. 

Issues such as project teams not taking advantage of the enterprise architecture, the enterprise architects being perceived as ivory tower, and development teams not being able to wait for the enterprise architects can all be addressed by taking a more agile approach to enterprise architecture. Effective enterprise architects collaborate directly with development teams, rolling up their sleeves and helping the development teams to implement the solution. Yes, this may imply that the architects get involved with actual coding. One of the unfortunate aspects of developer culture is that many developers don’t respect other technical people who don’t write code, so if the enterprise architects aren’t willing to get their hands dirty every so often to write code it can lead to them being perceived as ivory tower. Furthermore, the concrete feedback of seeing code actually run, or not run as the case may be, can help to bring architects down to earth. The enterprise architects also need to invest some of their time mentoring people in architecture skills, work closely with the business to understand their needs, evolve the enterprise architecture artifacts, and share learnings with one another so that they can evolve the enterprise architecture appropriately. 

Exploring the Hype

Technology platforms and strategies are first and foremost the most hyped topics when it comes to enterprise architecture. One of the questions presented a list of platforms and strategies and asked respondents whether their enterprise architecture included them. In order respondents indicated: 

  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) 65%
  • Common Frameworks 55%
  • Business Process Management (BPM) 52%
  • Components 43%
  • Software as a Service (SAAS) 37%
  • Product Line Architecture 31%
  • Cloud Computing 22%
  • Semantic Architecture 14%

I suspect that several of the platforms — particularly SOA, frameworks, and components — rated highly because they are mature and proven technologies. Cloud computing did surprisingly well considering that it’s a relatively new strategy and I suspect its adoption will grow over the next few years. I was surprised that product line architectures rated as highly as it did considering that they require a fair bit of sophistication to implement effectively. Semantic architecture was likely rated low due to the difficulty of coming to a consensus around, and then actually implementing, common data definitions. 

Architectural frameworks can be a contentious issue within the enterprise architecture community, with several to choose from and ardent supporters in each camp. This survey should shed some light on this debate because it explored framework usage within the context of successful and unsuccessful enterprise architecture programs. When it came to successful enterprise architecture programs, 39% of respondents indicated that they didn’t know if their organization had adopted an enterprise architecture framework, 38% believed they had created their own, 19% were TOGAF, 9% Zachman, and 6% M/DODAF. On the other hand, for unsuccessful enterprise architecture programs, 60% created their own, 27% didn’t know, 13% adopted Zachman, 7% adopted TOGAF, and nobody was following M/DODAF. Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to determine causal relationships, it may be that adoption of a proven enterprise architecture framework increases the chance of success for your enterprise architecture program. Furthermore, it may also be that adoption of M/DODAF or TOGAF is more likely to lead to enterprise architecture program success than adoption of the Zachman Framework, something that frustrates me because I prefer the Zachman Framework. More investigation is needed on this issue, and your mileage may vary (YMMV) depending on the culture of your organization. 

A relatively minor issue that I explored was what modeling notations people were using to describe their enterprise architectures. I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that the notation war was starting to rear its ugly head again, with people arguing between Unified Modeling Language (UML) and domain specific languages (DSLs). In the survey, 53% of respondents indicated that UML was being used in their enterprise architecture, 36% created their own notations, 25% were using Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), 13% had no visual models at all, and 11% were using DSLs. So, although UML was being used by the majority of organizations it clearly doesn’t dominate the enterprise architecture landscape, contrary to the claims of some UML bigots. Furthermore, for all the hullaballoo about DSLs they’re not as popular as “standard” notations such as UML and BPMN. I’m happy to see these results as for years I’ve promoted in Agile Modeling that you should use the right model type for the situation that you find yourself in, and it appears that many organizations are in fact doing that when it comes to enterprise architecture modeling. 

In conclusion, the survey appeared to show that a large percentage of organizations, particularly larger ones, are trying their hand at enterprise architecture. Many of these efforts are doing well, although on average enterprise architecture programs in practice don’t seem to be living up to their promises. I hope that this survey has helped to shed some light on the current status of enterprise architecture, and better yet provide some insights for improving your approach.

What’s actually working in practice — and what’s not

Survey: 2010 IT Project Success

You are invited to participate in Scott Ambler’s 2010 IT Project Success survey. The goal of this ongoing survey series is to find out what IT professionals are actually doing in practice. The survey should take you about 5-7 minutes to complete, and your privacy will be completely protected. 

At the end of the survey you will be given the chance to be entered into a draw for one of 10 copies of Reflections on Management: How to Manage Your Software Projects, Your Teams, Your Boss, and Yourself by Watts Humphrey and William R. Thomas published in April 2010 by Addison Wesley. 

The results of this survey will be summarized in a forthcoming newsletter by Scott Ambler. Furthermore, this is an open survey, so the source data (without identifying information to protect your privacy), a summary slide deck, and the original source questions will be posted at http://www.ambysoft.com/surveys/ so that others may analyze the data for their own purposes. Data from previous surveys have been used by university students and professors for their research papers, and hopefully the same will be true of the data from this survey. The results from several other surveys are already posted there, so please feel free to take advantage of this resource. 

Hotlinks

The survey results from Scott Ambler’s January 2010 State of the IT Union Survey which focused on enterprise architecture are available now. 

There are several enterprise architecture frameworks described online, include the Zachman Framework, the Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF), and the British Ministry of Defence Architectural Framework (MODAF). 

I co-authored the book The Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture which provides a lot of advice for implementing a successful enterprise architecture program. 

I’ve written several enterprise architecture articles which are available online, including Agile Enterprise Architecture and Extending the RUP with the Zachman Framework

The Enterprise Unified Process (EUP) describes how to extend the software development lifecycle to address the full lifecycle of a system and how to apply agile strategies to enterprise-level issues. 

My Agility@Scale blog discusses strategies for adopting and applying agile strategies in the complex environments. 

A special report on innovation in emerging markets

abril 22, 2010

A revista The Economist publicou esta semana mais um dos seus imperdíveis relatórios.  Abaixo segue a primeira parte do mais recente relatório (Innovation in Emerging Markets) que você pode acessar aqui!

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A special report on innovation in emerging markets
The world turned upside down

The emerging world, long a source of cheap labour, now rivals the rich countries for business innovation, says Adrian Wooldridge (interviewed here)

Apr 15th 2010 | From The Economist print edition 

IN 1980 American car executives were so shaken to find that Japan had replaced the United States as the world’s leading carmaker that they began to visit Japan to find out what was going on. How could the Japanese beat the Americans on both price and reliability? And how did they manage to produce new models so quickly? The visitors discovered that the answer was not industrial policy or state subsidies, as they had expected, but business innovation. The Japanese had invented a new system of making things that was quickly dubbed “lean manufacturing”. 

This special report will argue that something comparable is now happening in the emerging world. Developing countries are becoming hotbeds of business innovation in much the same way as Japan did from the 1950s onwards. They are coming up with new products and services that are dramatically cheaper than their Western equivalents: $3,000 cars, $300 computers and $30 mobile phones that provide nationwide service for just 2 cents a minute. They are reinventing systems of production and distribution, and they are experimenting with entirely new business models. All the elements of modern business, from supply-chain management to recruitment and retention, are being rejigged or reinvented in one emerging market or another. 

Why are countries that were until recently associated with cheap hands now becoming leaders in innovation? The most obvious reason is that the local companies are dreaming bigger dreams. Driven by a mixture of ambition and fear—ambition to bestride the world stage and fear of even cheaper competitors in, say, Vietnam or Cambodia—they are relentlessly climbing up the value chain. Emerging-market champions have not only proved highly competitive in their own backyards, they are also going global themselves. 

The United Nations World Investment Report calculates that there are now around 21,500 multinationals based in the emerging world. The best of these, such as India’s Bharat Forge in forging, China’s BYD in batteries and Brazil’s Embraer in jet aircraft, are as good as anybody in the world. The number of companies from Brazil, India, China or Russia on the Financial Times 500 list more than quadrupled in 2006-08, from 15 to 62. Brazilian top 20 multinationals more than doubled their foreign assets in a single year, 2006. 

At the same time Western multinationals are investing ever bigger hopes in emerging markets. They regard them as sources of economic growth and high-quality brainpower, both of which they desperately need. Multinationals expect about 70% of the world’s growth over the next few years to come from emerging markets, with 40% coming from just two countries, China and India. They have also noted that China and to a lesser extent India have been pouring resources into education over the past couple of decades. China produces 75,000 people with higher degrees in engineering or computer science and India 60,000 every year. 

The world’s biggest multinationals are becoming increasingly happy to do their research and development in emerging markets. Companies in the Fortune 500 list have 98 R&D facilities in China and 63 in India. Some have more than one. General Electric’s health-care arm has spent more than $50m in the past few years to build a vast R&D centre in India’s Bangalore, its biggest anywhere in the world. Cisco is splashing out more than $1 billion on a second global headquarters—Cisco East—in Bangalore, now nearing completion. Microsoft’s R&D centre in Beijing is its largest outside its American headquarters in Redmond. Knowledge-intensive companies such as IT specialists and consultancies have hugely stepped up the number of people they employ in developing countries. For example, a quarter of Accenture’s workforce is in India. 

Both Western and emerging-country companies have also realised that they need to try harder if they are to prosper in these booming markets. It is not enough to concentrate on the Gucci and Mercedes crowd; they have to learn how to appeal to the billions of people who live outside Shanghai and Bangalore, from the rising middle classes in second-tier cities to the farmers in isolated villages. That means rethinking everything from products to distribution systems. 

Anil Gupta, of the University of Maryland at College Park, points out that these markets are among the toughest in the world. Distribution systems can be hopeless. Income streams can be unpredictable. Pollution can be lung-searing. Governments can be infuriating, sometimes meddling and sometimes failing to provide basic services. Pirating can squeeze profit margins. And poverty is ubiquitous. The islands of success are surrounded by a sea of problems, which have defeated some doughty companies. Yahoo! and eBay retreated from China, and Google too has recently backed out from there and moved to Hong Kong. Black & Decker, America’s biggest toolmaker, is almost invisible in India and China, the world’s two biggest construction sites. 

But the opportunities are equally extraordinary. The potential market is huge: populations are already much bigger than in the developed world and growing much faster (see chart 1), and in both China and India hundreds of millions of people will enter the middle class in the coming decades. The economies are set to grow faster too (see chart 2). Few companies suffer from the costly “legacy systems” that are common in the West. Brainpower is relatively cheap and abundant: in China over 5m people graduate every year and in India about 3m, respectively four times and three times the numbers a decade ago. 

This combination of challenges and opportunities is producing a fizzing cocktail of creativity. Because so many consumers are poor, companies have to go for volume. But because piracy is so commonplace, they also have to keep upgrading their products. Again the similarities with Japan in the 1980s are striking. Toyota and Honda took to “just-in-time” inventories and quality management because land and raw materials were expensive. In the same way emerging-market companies are turning problems into advantages. 

Until now it had been widely assumed that globalisation was driven by the West and imposed on the rest. Bosses in New York, London and Paris would control the process from their glass towers, and Western consumers would reap most of the benefits. This is changing fast. Muscular emerging-market champions such as India’s ArcelorMittal in steel and Mexico’s Cemex in cement are gobbling up Western companies. Brainy ones such as Infosys and Wipro are taking over office work. And consumers in developing countries are getting richer faster than their equivalents in the West. In some cases the traditional global supply chain is even being reversed: Embraer buys many of its component parts from the West and does the assembly work in Brazil. 

Old assumptions about innovation are also being challenged. People in the West like to believe that their companies cook up new ideas in their laboratories at home and then export them to the developing world, which makes it easier to accept job losses in manufacturing. But this is proving less true by the day. Western companies are embracing “polycentric innovation” as they spread their R&D centres around the world. And non-Western companies are becoming powerhouses of innovation in everything from telecoms to computers. 

Rethinking innovation

The very nature of innovation is having to be rethought. Most people in the West equate it with technological breakthroughs, embodied in revolutionary new products that are taken up by the elites and eventually trickle down to the masses. But many of the most important innovations consist of incremental improvements to products and processes aimed at the middle or the bottom of the income pyramid: look at Wal-Mart’s exemplary supply system or Dell’s application of just-in-time production to personal computers. 

The emerging world will undoubtedly make a growing contribution to breakthrough innovations. It has already leapfrogged ahead of the West in areas such as mobile money (using mobile phones to make payments) and online games. Microsoft’s research laboratory in Beijing has produced clever programs that allow computers to recognise handwriting or turn photographs into cartoons. Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant, has become the world’s fourth-largest patent applicant. But the most exciting innovations—and the ones this report will concentrate on—are of the Wal-Mart and Dell variety: smarter ways of designing products and organising processes to reach the billions of consumers who are just entering the global market. 

No visitor to the emerging world can fail to be struck by its prevailing optimism, particularly if his starting point is the recession-racked West. The 2009 Pew Global Attitudes Project confirms this impression. Some 94% of Indians, 87% of Brazilians and 85% of Chinese say that they are satisfied with their lives. Large majorities of people in China and India say their country’s current economic situation is good (see chart 3), expect conditions to improve further and think their children will be better off than they are. This is a region that, to echo Churchill’s phrase, sees opportunities in every difficulty rather than difficulties in every opportunity. 

This special report will conclude by asking what all this means for the rich world and for the balance of economic power. In the past, emerging economic leviathans have tended to embrace new management systems as they tried to consolidate their progress. America adopted Henry Ford’s production line and Alfred Sloan’s multidivisional firm and swept all before it until the 1960s. Japan invented lean production and almost destroyed the American car and electronics industries. Now the emerging markets are developing their own distinctive management ideas, and Western companies will increasingly find themselves learning from their rivals. People who used to think of the emerging world as a source of cheap labour must now recognise that it can be a source of disruptive innovation as well.

The Shallows: What The Internet is Doing to Our Brains

abril 17, 2010

Nicholas Carr está com novo livro na praça => “The Shallows: What The Internet is Doing to Our Brains” (ver site do livro em http://www.theshallowsbook.com/nicholascarr/The_Shallows.html.

Não li o livro, mas li o artigo que o originou (“Is Google making us stupid?”). Creio que ele tem um ponto interessante, mas estamos muito longe de aceitar este argumento pelo simples fato de que a humanidade não está experimentando a Internet como algo único, exclusivo, ou isolado da presença do livro ou outras mídias.  Ou seja, estatisticamente falando, fica difícil isolar o significado estatístico da Internet na sugerida (por Carr) “perda de nossa capacidade de concentração, contemplação, e reflexão“!

Anyway, vou aguardar o livro!

The right approach to developing enterprise architecture?

abril 16, 2010

 Post de hoje do blog http://www.silicon.com!

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The right approach to developing enterprise architecture?

Four different ways to tackle it – time to decide which is for you

By Brian Burke , 16 April 2010 12:41

COMMENT

Developing an enterprise architecture can help organisations respond to change better and more quickly – and more cheaply. But different organisations require varying approaches to enterprise architecture and often need to employ a combination of methods argues Brian Burke, research vice president at analyst group Gartner.

For many years, enterprise architecture pundits have advanced the idea that employing a single standard approach – based on their methodology, naturally – will yield an ideal solution to an organisation’s problems. However, our research indicates there is no single approach to developing an enterprise architecture that will be correct for every organisation.

I would go as far as to say that enterprise architects are often adamant on using a single approach, but it is far more effective to apply the right approach for any given situation.

Different organisations require different approaches to enterprise architecture, or may even require different approaches within the same organisation. Having worked with thousands of clients, Gartner has been able to classify four different approaches that can be used as a starting point for defining the correct approach, or indeed set of approaches, for a particular organisation’s enterprise architecture needs.

Traditional

A traditional approach to enterprise architecture is one that has evolved over many years, and results in an architecture that is driven by strategy and is highly prescriptive. Most of the standard industry frameworks and processes support a traditional approach which delivers very specific directives to projects on how to develop solutions that will meet business requirements, while reducing complexity in technology, information and business processes.

The traditional approach is supported by strong governance structures that ensure projects are compliant. This approach tends to work well in organisations that have a clearly defined business strategy and are relatively stable in terms of the pace of change, and where decision making is largely centralised. Conversely, it works less well in organisations that seem to lack a business strategy or organisations that are in highly dynamic industries where the pace of change seems to exceed management’s ability to define strategy.

Federated

In large, complex organisations, decision making is often largely decentralised, with business units having considerable autonomy over the enterprise architecture that is required to support the needs of their particular business. In organisations that use a federated architecture approach, there is an explicit split in decision-making authority between the business units and the group level. Some components of the architecture may be standardised across the organisation, and other architecture components may be decided at the business unit level.

A federated architecture approach is well suited to large organisations that are intending to achieve some level of standardisation across the organisation – to achieve interoperability or to reduce process or information diversity. It is an approach often used in organisations that are moving to implement a “one company” strategy. This approach does not suit centralised organisations or organisations where business units or partners have total autonomy in decision making.

Managed diversity

Many organisations struggle to define and implement a single set of rigidly enforced standards. In cases where there is also weak governance, the result is often a total lack of compliance, making matters as bad as having no enterprise architecture at all. A managed diversity approach seeks to strike a balance between the chaos of no policy and the stifling effect of a very small number of standard choices. This approach reduces complexity and costs by having a limited set of standards, with multiple choices for each architectural component, service, pattern or model. Project teams can decide which product best fits the project needs, rather than having a single standard imposed on them.

The advantage of this approach is that it enables users and project teams to select the right tool for the job, enabling innovation through diversity. The disadvantage of this approach is that users and projects must accept more responsibility for their choices – the enterprise architecture team is not going to tell them specifically how to solve their problem. There is also a risk of allowing too many standards, resulting in an architecture that is ineffective.

The middle way

Increasingly, the goal of enterprise architecture is to enable interoperability and information exchange without imposing product-level standards on projects, business units and partners. A middle way approach focuses on architecting the lines, not the boxes – to achieve interoperability by defining a small but rigidly enforced set of general, stable interface standards that include semantic definitions, while allowing complete autonomy of decision making for the specific technologies and products that are used.

A middle way approach is highly suited to very large organisations and business ecosystems, where the business units, partners, and suppliers are not under the direct control of a central enterprise architecture team. While this approach has been employed for some time in very large and complex organisations, our research indicates that smaller and less-complex organisations are starting to move towards taking this approach to resolve the political, cultural and governance problems that more prescriptive enterprise architecture approaches must deal with.

The primary advantages are that decision making is decentralised, and innovation is enabled through bottom-up diversity. The primary disadvantages of a middle way approach are that total costs may increase, and it is extremely difficult to define durable interface standards.

Of course the reality is that most organisations do not apply a single approach in a pure form; rather, they use a number of different approaches in different areas, resulting in a hybrid reality that meets their needs. The bottom line is that enterprise architecture teams must consider the various EA approaches and select the combination approaches that are viable for their organisations.

Brian Burke will co-chair the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit 201, taking place 17-18 May at the Lancaster London hotel. For more information or to register for the event visit www.europe.gartner.com/ea

Will Twitter’s Ad Strategy Work?

abril 15, 2010

Post de hoje do blog http://www.technologyreview.com!

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Will Twitter’s Ad Strategy Work?

Twitter will have to overcome several challenges for the scheme to be successful.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

By Erica Naone

This week Twitter launched Promoted Tweets, an advertising platform that sheds light on its much-discussed business model. The platform takes a page out of Google’s advertising playbook by letting advertisers sponsor posts that will appear at the top of Twitter search results.

Twitter hopes to take Promoted Tweets further in the long run by dropping advertising messages into the multithreaded conversation that goes on between its users. But it may find it difficult to ensure that these advertisements are relevant and useful, and it will need to tread carefully so as not to alienate its vocal, opinionated community of users.

Cofounder Biz Stone said in a blog post that Twitter plans to display “relevant Promoted Tweets in your timelines in a way that is useful to you.” If the company can do this successfully, it will have solved one of the biggest issues for social networks–turning explosive popularity into explosive revenue.

But even the most popular social network, Facebook, has not yet become a goldmine for its backers. The hope that it would be possible to serve perfectly tailored ads based on users’ profiles and activity has faltered because of poor click-through rates. Even so, companies are still searching for the formula that will make social advertising work.

Michael Bernstein, a researcher at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, has been developing algorithms for automatically identifying the subject of tweets. The good news, Bernstein says, is that a lot of the interaction on Twitter happens around trending topics (the most popular subjects of conversation at a given moment). Bernstein thinks Twitter could easily insert ads into these conversation streams, much as advertisers already target the audience of a particular show on television.

However, Bernstein points out that this is not how online advertising brings in big amounts of money. A huge percentage of Google’s ad revenue comes from ads that only interest a few users a day. So to get a truly successful ad platform going, Twitter will need to identify and target much smaller groups of users who are involved in less popular topics of conversation.

This turns out to be a hard problem. The algorithms designed to extract meaning from a piece of text were intended for longer documents that usually provide plenty of cues to suggest the focus, Bernstein says. For example, a blog post about Apple’s iPad will repeat the name of the product several times. In the cramped 140 characters of a tweet, users tend to avoid repetition, making it harder for an algorithm to identify the writer’s focus. However, Bernstein says analyzing users’ previous messages, as well as those of their networks of contacts, could make the process easier.

Several companies are already trying to find ways to identify Twitter users who wield the most influence around particular brands and topics. Raj Kadam, cofounder and CEO of Viralheat, a San Jose, CA-based analytics startup that measures real-time conversations on social media sites, says that companies can reach out to these users through direct messages or other personal interactions. Promoted Tweets might serve the same purpose while requiring less expense and effort, he suggests.

But Twitter will also have to figure out how to measure the success of individual Promoted Tweets. Vishal Sankhla, Viralheat’s cofounder and CTO, says it could be difficult to figure out who’s actually seeing which Promoted Tweets, because the most engaged users access the service in a number of ways: via the Web, via text message, or through third-party applications. Twitter will have to make changes to its application programming interface in order to make Promoted Tweets work properly with third-party applications.

Depending on how Twitter decides to implement Promoted Tweets, computing power could become another challenge, says Michael Rubenstein, president of AppNexus, a real-time advertising company. Tweaking ads based on user behavior and other factors requires a great deal of computation and platform stability, he says. It is unclear how much Twitter will try to adjust the behavior of Promoted Tweets on the fly, but Stone’s post suggests that ones that don’t perform well will be removed.

Promoted Tweets won’t appear in user timelines for a while yet. By the time they start appearing, Twitter hopes to have fine-tuned its algorithms so that users don’t mind–or even like–the ads.

Reciprocal Attention and Norm of Reciprocity in Blogging Networks

abril 14, 2010

Paper novo da REPEC sobre blogging networks!

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Reciprocal Attention and Norm of Reciprocity in Blogging Networks
Date:2010-03-22
By:Alexia Gaudeul (Graduate School “Human Behavior in Social and Economic Change”, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena)
Chiara Peroni (Statec & Centre de Recherche Publique Henri Tudor)
URL:http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-020&r=ict
Bloggers devote significant time not only producing content for others to read, watch or listen to, but also paying attention to and engaging in interactions with other bloggers. We hope to throw light not only on the factors that gain bloggers significant readership and lively interactions with their audience, but also on the rules that govern their relations with others. We relate bloggers’ activity with the size and structure of their network of fellow bloggers. A blogger’s readership increases with his activity, while bloggers who read back proportionally fewer of their readers tend also to be more active. We find evidence that those bloggers who read back proportionally fewer of their readers have less readers than bloggers who reciprocate more, but tend to receive more comments per posts.
Keywords:Blogs, Bloggers, Community, Friendship, Internet, LiveJournal, Reciprocity, Social Media, Social Networks, Social Norms, Web 2.0, Weblogs
JEL:D64

What’s Next For Mobile Apps?

abril 13, 2010

 Post de hoje do blog http://www.readwriteweb.com!

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What’s Next For Mobile Apps?

Written by Richard MacManus / April 13, 2010 1:21 AM

 

Yesterday we looked at DASH7, a wireless sensor networking standard that may play an important part in next generation mobile services – including location-based services, Internet of Things and social networking.

In this post we analyze some use cases for DASH7, which also point to where the Mobile Web is heading. We’ll look at how location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla could evolve. Then we’ll explore the potential of long distance mobile advertising and mobile coupons.

Extending Location-Based App Functionality

Given the growth of location-based apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla in 2010, it’s intriguing to think about what’s next for these services.

According to an as yet unreleased white paper by the DASH7 Alliance, enhanced loyalty programs could be the next big thing. With a DASH7-enabled phone, the white paper states, “a user could set his or her preferences in the Foursquare or Gowalla application that would allow the user to be automatically “discovered” or “checked in” at the coffee shop/restaurant/gun store/etc. and thereby accrue loyalty points passively, i.e. by just being “in” the establishment, rather than requiring active/conscious user behavior to participate in the program.”

Even more advanced services could offer customized promotions created “on the fly”, targeting a certain user’s preferences.

Mobile Advertising From Long Distance and On-The-Go

A long-held goal of the Mobile Web – at least for retailers – is using mobile phones for mobile advertising, loyalty programs, couponing, and other ‘personalized shopping’ experiences. Of course there are privacy issues with these things, but nevertheless these scenarios are (finally) coming soon.

NFC-enabled phones have shown glimpses of this functionality, via smart posters, kiosks and billboards. As discussed in a previous post, NFC technology is limited to a 4 centimeter range – so the phone needs to be held close to the media asset in order to initiate the data transfer. Also it requires a tag reader application to be installed on your mobile phone.

According to its white paper, the DASH7 Alliance thinks that “a far larger set of customers would be willing to execute the same applications provided that they were executable a) from a longer distance, b) while moving, and c) in some cases, passively/without any conscious initiation of their own.”

DASH7 has a range of hundreds of meters and can be used while on the move. While point 3 might scare some privacy advocates, it’s very likely that customers would need to opt in before they “passively” received such advertising messages.

If this is still too abstract for you, here’s a potential scenario: I’m driving down a street and I pass a smart poster pasted onto a building wall. This elicits a beep from my phone, because my phone has ‘passively’ scanned the poster and discovered something that I want to be notified about (I’ve opted into receiving notifications only about certain things). Because it’s against the law where I live to check my mobile phone while driving, I wait till I’m parked and then I check what the beep was for. Turns out that one of my favorite bands is playing in the city tomorrow night! The smart poster I’d driven past was an advertisement for that band. So I then proceed to book a ticket, using my phone of course.

Mobile Coupons

Mobile coupons are a hot area of activity already, with Google and others offering them. However, currently mobile coupons are limited to short-range and active receiving. Soon we might have long-range couponing, real-time interaction and ‘passively’ receiving coupons.

The DASH7 Alliance white paper offers a scenario of Paramount promoting its upcoming movie Iron Man 2, using a smart poster. In the NFC scenario, someone could walk past the Iron Man 2 poster and download a 2-for-1 coupon to see the movie. However, according to the DASH7 Alliance:

“…a combination DASH7/NFC-enabled smartphone could still support the default NFC scenario, but could also provide for a) longer distance distribution of the coupon b) “passive” acquisition of coupons according to a user’s pre-defined “coupon acquisition criteria” (e.g. “auto-accept coupons for any movies starring Al Pacino” , and c) real-time interaction with the media asset (e.g. “answer the following three questions correctly and win a 2-for-1 coupon to see “Iron Man 2″.)”

Those are just some of the next generation mobile services we can expect to see soon, thanks to wireless technologies like NFC and DASH7. Let us know in the comments if you have other potential use case ideas!

Photo credits: David Berkowitz; kengo

Don’t miss the ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit on May 7th in Mountain View, California! We’re at a key point in the history of mobile computing right now – we hope you’ll join us, and a group of the most innovative leaders in the mobile industry, to discuss it. Register now »

The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will not Solve Our Global Problems

abril 11, 2010

Post do http://innovationwatch.com!

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The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will not Solve Our Global Problems. By Henry Petroski. Alfred A. Knopf.

The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will not Solve Our Global Problems

by Henry Petroski

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010

From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, The Essential Engineer is an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources. While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental, and other factors that science often does not consider, that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns.

Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy — among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol — explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a “sunshade” in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What’s needed is not so much invention as engineering.

Just as the great achievements of centuries past — the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing — once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems — and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action.

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. The author of more than a dozen previous books, he lives in Durham, North Carolina, and Arrowsic, Maine. 


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