Can Agile Really Work in Heavily Regulated IT Environments?
For the past several decades, Waterfall has been the leading software development methodology in heavily regulated IT environments. However, Waterfall’s popularity has declined in recent years as heavily regulated industries have increased acceptance of Agile software development practices. For example, the Federal government has released a number of recent publications and policy initiatives encouraging the use of Agile development practices and is establishing a new contract vehicle for Agile delivery services 1. The gradual emergence of Agile methodologies is encouraging for IT service providers looking for opportunities to leverage iterative development and delivery strategies to propel heavily regulated IT industries to the next level of efficiency. Waterfall vs. Agile There are a number of reasons that the government and other heavily regulated industries, such as health care, life sciences, energy and utilities, are shifting to Agile software development practices, but the major reason is likely the very low success…

Read More

IT without the IT Department
Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote in a ZapFlash that the IT department would have to make significant changes to its structure and value proposition to prevent its inevitable demise as a core part of the enterprise. In our conversations with enterprise architects, and venture capital investors (as part of our new ZapThink Startup Insights newsletter), we can now definitively state that the value proposition of the IT department is continuing to erode, and in many cases, we will see the entire department disappear within a few short years. In many ways, the formation of the IT department starting in the mid-1950s was a direct consequence of the cost and complexity of making computers do what you wanted them to. Back in the day, it literally took armies of highly skilled engineers to corral expensive pieces of equipment to…

Read More

Why Cloud Computing Scares the Platform Vendors
There’s a battle brewing in the Cloud Computing marketplace analogous to the SOA platform war fought over the last few years. Just as platform vendors like IBM and Oracle sought to co-opt the SOA story to sell more middleware, leading to customer disillusionment and the “SOA is dead” meme, the battle today is over Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings. PaaS is essentially the delivery of a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service. “We make our money on traditional systems integration,” say the platform vendors, “so let’s move traditional systems integration to the cloud!” After all, you’d think with all the hullabaloo surrounding Cloud Computing, that platform vendors would be jumping into this new area of opportunity with two feet. And in spite of Larry Ellison’s initial resistance, it does seem that the platform players are all over this market. If there’s an opportunity to sell new stuff to their existing…

Read More

The Christmas Day Bomber, Moore’s Law, and Enterprise IT
Amid the posturing and recriminations following this past December’s ill-fated terrorist attack by the Nigerian Christmas bomber, the underlying cause of the intelligence breach has gone all but unnoticed. how is it the global post-9/11 anti-terrorist machine could miss a lone Nigerian with explosives in his underwear? After all, chatter included reference to “the Nigerian,” his own father gave warning, he was on a terrorist watch list, and he purchased a one-way ticket to Detroit, paid cash, and checked no luggage. You’d think any one of these bits of information would set off alarms, and the fact that the intelligence community missed the lot is a sign of sheer incompetence, right? Not so fast. Such a conclusion is actually fallacious. The missing piece of the puzzle is the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of monthly air travelers, and millions of weekly messages that constitutes the chatter the intelligence…

Read More

ZapThink Training Offerings
ZapThink Training ZapThink offers a range of different courses and training options for both individuals and organizations. We offer a regular schedule of open enrollment courses, and we can also bring any course we offer in-house anywhere in the world for a discounted fee per student. Licensed ZapThink Architect Program ZapThink’s flagship offering is the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) program. The LZA program includes: A four-day Bootcamp course offered by ZapThink’s master architects A globally recognized, renewable credential A community of over one thousand architects and other practitioners who have received the credential. Learn more about the Licensed ZapThink Architect program. Custom Training and Round Tables If our Licensed ZapThink Architect Bootcamp or SOA & Cloud Governance course don’t quite fit the bill, we’d be happy to create a custom course just for your needs. From seminar-length Executive Round Tables to technically-focused deep dives for various technology audiences,…

Read More