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iTTiGloss: Benefits Realization

Thursday, 13 February 2014 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

One of the objectives of governance. The bringing about of new benefits for the enterprise, the maintenance and extension of existing forms of benefits, and the elimination of those initiatives and assets that are not creating sufficient value.” Source: ISACA Glossary.


Benefits realization is a continuous process of envisioning results, implementing, checking intermediate results and dynamically adjusting the path leading from investments to business results. Benefits realization is a process that can and must be managed, just like any other business process.” Source: John Thorn. “The Information Paradox”, pag. 22. Fujitsu Consulting.


The Principles of Realizing Benefits from IT:

  • IT has no inherent value.

  • Benefits arise when IT enables people do things differently.

  • Only business managers and users can release business benefits.

  • All IT projects have outcomes but not all outcomes are benefits.

  • Benefits must be actively managed for.“

Source: Joe Peppard, John Ward, Elizabeth Daniel. Managing the Realization of Business Benefits from IT Investments. 



Benefits Realization of investments in business added value projects with a core IT component is THE key goal. Its processes should encompass all project-live activities, form cradle to tomb. These should include or take for granted proper risk management.


Related perspective(-s):


1.- iTTi Gloss: Enterprise Architecture

2.- iTTi Gloss: Alignment

3.- iTTi Gloss: Corporate Governance of IT

4.- iTTi Gloss: Accountability

5.- Origen y evolución del concepto "Gobierno Corporativo de TI"



iTTi Gloss: Digitization

Thursday, 06 February 2014 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

  “Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format. In this format, information is organized into discrete units of data (called bit s) that can be separately addressed (usually in multiple-bit groups called bytes). This is the binary data that computers and many devices with computing capacity (such as digital cameras and digital hearing aids) can process.”  

Source: WhatIs TechTarget.



“The business world is rapidly digitizing, connecting individuals, enterprises, devices, and governments, and enabling easier transactions, collaboration, and social interaction.”


Source: The Next Generation Enterprise: Thriving an increasingly Digital Ecosystem. By Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner. MIT Center for Information System Research.



 “This is the world of total digitization: a multitude of digital devices and sensors creating streams of data, as well as any number of digital services and products for both internal and external use, distributed throughout the enterprise, and sometimes, but not always, connected. As the drive toward increased digitization continues, enterprises have to get a handle on this total digitization — and corporate CIOs have to step up to the challenge.”


Source: Is Your Organization Ready for Total Digitization? By Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner. HBR Blog Network.



 “Consider the possibilities of a different definition of digitization as: The degree to which an enterprise’s products and service value and revenues are realized through technology.”


Source: A different definition of digitization is based on value and revenue not atoms and bits. By Mark P. McDonald. The Gartner Blog Network. 



The concept of digitization has evolved as digitalization technology did. In a first stage numeric data was coded as ones and zeroes for computation purposes. That transformation into 1's and 0's became more as applied to other kinds of data such as text, images and sounds, thus enlarging the panoply of possible digitizations. Later on, the concept of digitization spilled over from the data format to the data users. Nowadays, besides talking about “digital information” we talk about “digital entities”: society, company, city, etc. according to the level of their utilization of information and IT in pursuance of their objectives.


In the corporate realm there is an emergence of concepts like “Digital Company”, according to the way it uses IT; “Digital Director”; “Digital Officer”; etc.   



Related perspective(-s)

1.- iTTi Gloss: Dark Data

2.- iTTi Gloss: Big Data

3.- iTTi Gloss: Social Business

4.- "Big Data": ¿un nuevo concepto? 


iTTiGloss: Dark Data

Friday, 31 January 2014 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

Gartner defines dark data as the information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes (for example, analytics, business relationships and direct monetizing). Similar to dark matter in physics, dark data often comprises most organizations’ universe of information assets. Thus, organizations often retain dark data for compliance purposes only. Storing and securing data typically incurs more expense (and sometimes greater risk) than value. 


Source: Gartner IT Glossary 


In fact, it might be more properly termed «dusty data»”. It’s that neglected data that accumulates in log files and archives that nobody knows what to do with. Although it never sees the light of day, no one feels comfortable destroying it because it might prove useful someday.


Source: “What Is Dark Data?”. Elizabeth Gaines. SAP-BUSINESS INNOVATION. 10/2012.


Dark data is usually defined as data that is kept “just in case” but hasn’t (so far) found a proper usage, or can be harvested and leveraged beyond its primary (intended) usage.


Source: IT Briefcase. 04/2013.



The issue of Dark Data (DD) -or perhaps better “Data in the Darkness”- is really important, is getting increasing attention (see as an example, “Dealing with Information Growth and Dark Data – Six Practical Steps”) and deserves further research. The definitions above, combined, might result in the following key ideas: 

  • DD are Big Data resulting from logs and archives nobody knows yet what to do with.

  • DD produce cost (storing and securing) and risks (IP piracy).

  • They are kept, in certain cases, for compliance purposes; usually well beyond the legal retention periods.

  • Destroying them might prove difficult -if not impossible- given the probably high number of copies (e.g.: for backups).

  • When analytics (BI, data mining) become more cost effective DD might prove useful.

  • In any case, organizations with processes in COBIT 5 PAM (based on ISO/IEC 15504-2) Level 4 (Predictable Process) or Level 5 (Optimizing Process) are currently in the need to exploit some DD with the appropriate analytic tools. 


Related perspective(-s)

1.- iTTi Gloss: Big Data

2.- iTTi Gloss: Social Business

3.- "Big Data": ¿un nuevo concepto?


IT Project Flops

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 Manolo Palao Posted in IT Consequences

The Standish Group was formed in 1985, with a vision. It was to collect case information on real-life IT failures and environments. Why? We do this in order to profile your projects and environments against those cases and deliver advice based on collective wisdom.”


Since then they have published an amazing number of cases of IT project failures and a rich series of analysis and good/bad practices.


Their “CHAOS Manifesto 2013 .Think Big, Act Small” presents empirical evidence of the higher failure risk of large projects. 


A study of IT banking projects ranging from 2003 to 2012 shows that small projects (less than 1 million USD in manpower) succeeded in 66% of the cases, while they failed or were challenged in the other 34% of the cases. On the contrary, in the case of large (more than 10 million USD in manpower) projects, successes were only 7%, the rest being failures or challenged projects.


The Standish Group has developed a guideline for the Software Innovation Center, with “four basic tenets … The first tenet is that software ideas and projects are done in levels. The second tenet is that there are no project budgets or estimates; funding is by level only. The third tenet is that each level is optimized. And fourth, iteration is the underlying methodology” (From “CHAOS Manifesto 2013 .Think Big, Act Small”)


There are 4 progressive levels (the Standish Innovation Funnel concept) with decision points where a committee decides whether a project remains at that level or passes to the next one.


Breadbasket budgeting’ is used to segment budgets to allow carrying out activities such as business opportunity discovery, specifications, etc. without being committed to a specific project.


Each level is optimized considering capability, focus, risk, value, budget, timing and conflict.


The process is agile, based on iterative development, for rapid delivery.



Fiascos en Proyectos TI

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 Manolo Palao Posted in IT Consequences

El Standish Group se formó en 1985 con una visión. La de coleccionar información de casos sobre fracasos y entornos TI reales, para perfilar los proyectos y entornos de Uds. Contra dichos casos, y prestar consejos basados en sabiduría colectiva.”


Desde esa fecha ha publicado un asombroso número de casos de fracasos en proyectos TI y una rica serie de análisis y buenas/malas prácticas.


Su “Manifiesto de CHAOS 2013. Piense en grande, actúe en pequeño” presenta evidencia empírica de que los grandes proyectos tienen mayor riesgo de fracasos.


Un estudio de proyectos TI en la banca entre 2003 y 2013 muestra que los proyectos de TI pequeños (menos de 1 millón de USD en mano de obra) tuvieron éxito en un 66% de los casos, pero fracasaron o fueron cuestionados en el otro34%. Por el contrario, en el caso de proyectos grandes (más de 10 millones de USD en mano de obra) los éxitos fueron sólo el 7%, y el resto fueron fracasos o proyectos cuestionados.


El Standish Group ha desarrollado una directriz para el Centro de Innovación de Software (Software Innovation Center), con “cuatro principios básicos… “El primero, que las ideas y proyectos de software se desarrollan por niveles. El segundo, que no hay presupuestos ni estimaciones por proyectos. El tercero es que cada nivel se optimiza. Y el cuarto, que la metodología subyacente es la iteración”. (DeCHAOS Manifesto 2013 .Think Big, Act Small”).


Hay 4 niveles progresivos (el concepto de Embudo de la Innovación [Innovation Funnel] de Standish), con puntos de decisión en que un comité decide si un proyecto se mantiene a ese nivel o pasa al siguiente.


Se emplea una ‘presupuestación de panera’ [‘breadbasket budgeting’] para segmentar los presupuestos para permitir desarrollar actividades como descubrimiento de oportunidades de negocio, especificaciones, etc. Sin que estén comprometidas para un proyecto específico.


Cada nivel se optimiza considerando la capacidad, el enfoque, el riesgo, el valor, el presupuesto, el calendario y los conflictos.


El proceso es ágil, basado en desarrollo iterativo, para entregar rápidamente.

iTTi Gloss: Enterprise Architecture

Thursday, 23 January 2014 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

Enterprise Architecture. Description of the fundamental underlying design of the components of the business system, or of one element of the business system (e.g., technology), the relationships among them, and the manner in which they support enterprise objectives.


From ISACA Glossary.


The enterprise Architecture is the organizing logic for business processes and IT infrastructure, reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the conpany's operting model.


From “Enterprise Architecture as Strategy”. Ross, Weill and Robertson. Harvard Business School Press. 1992. 


La Arquitectura de Empresa se podría definir como la forma de racionalizar y formalizar los procesos y sus relaciones, recursos y objetivos, dentro de una organización.


De “Arquitectura de Empresa. Mecanismo para el gobierno corporativo de TI”. Cuadernos de ISACA-Madrid. Nº 2. 2010.




Government Enterprise IT (GEIT) and Enterprise Architecture (EA) GEIT are related and intertwined concepts. Understanding EA concepts is important for analyzing and anticipating the interdependencies between GEIT and EA adoptions in the organization.


Related perspective(-s):


1.- iTTi Gloss: Alignment

2.- iTTi Gloss: Corporate Governance of IT

3.- iTTi Gloss: Accountability

4.- Origen y evolución del concepto "Gobierno Corporativo de TI"



iTTi Gloss: Adware

Thursday, 19 December 2013 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

A software package that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertising material to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. 


From ISACA Glossary 


Adware is free software that is supported by advertisements. Common adware programs are toolbars that sit on your desktop or work in conjunction with your Web browser. 


From TechTerms 


Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically renders advertisements in order to generate revenue for its author. 


From Wikipedia 



Adware permeates vary many instances of application SW and SaaS (SW as a Service) and accordingly our own lives. Unless voluntarily installed or tolerated it is considered malware of diverse or unknown severity ranging from a nuisance or pain in the neck to spyware or other sorts of Trojans. 


It is important that adware features are scrutinized in detail and published so that users are aware of the toll they pay and the exposures to which they are subject. No need to say that stealth malware may be even worse.


iTTi Gloss: Alignment

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

[Strategy-I/T] Alignment. “... business and I/T strategies should be linked or interdependent. Indeed, the operative word, linkage is used by many researchers to characterize an approach to I/T planning that responds to, as well as shapes, business strategies ...”


From Henderson & Venkatran. August 1989. MITSloan. “Strategic Alignment: a Framework for Startegic Information Technology Management.”


[Alignment] A state where the enablers of governance and management of enterprise IT support the goals and strategies of the enterprise.


From ISACA Glossary.



The IT strategic alignment with the business is a necessary condition for IT to fully serve the organization in synchrony and deliver all IT's potential, contributing to shaping the business. This means moving from a tactical role to a strategic one.


Re ISACA's definition, iTTi sees alignment not just as a 'state' but also as a 'process'.   



Related perspective(-s):

1.- iTTi Gloss: Corporate Governance of IT 

2.- Origen y evolución del concepto de "Gobierno Corporativo de TI"

3.- iTTi Gloss: Accountability



iTTi Gloss: Big Data

Thursday, 28 November 2013 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.


From Gartner. “IT Glossary”.


Big datarefers to datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze.


From McKinsey Global Institute  “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity”


“... big data refers to data sets that are too large or too fast-changing to be analyzed using traditional relational or multidimensional database techniques or commonly used software tools to capture, manage and process the data at a reasonable elapsed time.


From ISACA “Big Data: Impacts and Benefits”.

(May require registration)



Where do so many data come from? They come from date harvesters about humans or digital activities -credit cards, mobile devices, computers, cameras on the street or buildings, and so on-, also data that produced by machines working in our environment such as sensors, or from logs of automated processes.


What can we do with them? We have to face the challenges from these data floods in such a way that the their analysis results in useful knowledge for science, governments, business, and finally, to improve our wellbeing. Such analysis is often done 'profiling' something banned by the Spanish privacy law (LOPD).



Related perspective(-s)


1.- "Big Data", ¿un nuevo concepto?

2.- iTTi Gloss: Social Business

3.- Uso de las redes sociales en la empresa: riesgos de seguridad


iTTi Gloss: Accountability

Thursday, 21 November 2013 iTTi, Innovation & Technology Trends Institute Posted in iTTi Gloss

  1. The ability to map a given activity or event back to the responsible party.

Source: CGEIT Review Manual 2013 pg 165. ISACA.


  1. [Activist] accountability [goes beyond traditional notions of passive accountability. It] includes the concept of “ownership” — meaning active, continuous involvement in managing a program and, most importantly, clear ownership of each measurable outcome and the associated benefits.

Source: The Information Paradox. Pag. 167. Fujitsu Consulting/ John Thorn.


  1. Accountability: The board should be able to justify its decisions and actions to shareholders and other stakeholders who require it to do so.

Source: King III Report. Institute of Directors in Southern Africa.  


Reporting and accountability are different, both in objective and in subjective terms. Reporting is about the successful or unsuccessful outcome of an action. Reporting is addressed to those interested in said outcome (the stakeholders). Accountability / liability refers to performing the action and the way it was carried out as judged by the individuals or institution entitled to such judgement.

  1. Definition a) above, rather defines traceability, which certainly is a requisite of accountability;

  2. Definition b) would be more correct, in our opinion if instead of reading “…and the associated benefits” would read “and the associated benefits or losses”.

  3. Definition c) asks the BoD to be able to justify its decisions and actions to shareholders and other stakeholders. 


Related perspective(-s):

1.- iTTi Gloss: Corporate Governance of IT 

2.- Origen y evolución del concepto de "Gobierno Corporativo de TI"



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