Executive Brief: Selecting & Working with IT Consulting Firms

The global information technology industry is on pace to reach $5 trillion in 2019, according to the research consultancy IDC. The U.S. share of this enormous pie is $1.6 trillion in 2019, which represents 31% of the world’s tech market.

It’s exciting to participate in the biggest and most vital economic segment in the world. But it also means intense competition for skilled IT professionals who realize the market value of their highly in-demand expertise. No wonder many organizations engage IT consulting firms who can bring highly experienced consultants who put your interests first.

This Intertech Executive Brief provides insight into how to select an excellent consulting firm that fits your particular needs and to leverage that consulting relationship for maximum value.

Click here to get the Selecting and Working with IT Consulting Firms Executive Brief

Executive Brief: An Agile Methodology Overview for CIOs & Executives

Executive Brief_ An Agile Methodology Overview for CIOs & Executives

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with many C-level executives about the high level, strategic challenges they’re facing when it comes to building software. Through these conversations, common themes emerged. To help with these challenges, I’m excited to introduce Intertech Executive Briefs.

Based on 25+ years of building enterprise software for our clients, each Intertech Executive Brief outlines the challenge along with recommendations and insights for the busy executive.

Agile Methodology Overview for CIOs & Executives

In February 2001, 17 software developers came together to discuss how to improve software development. They defined a compelling philosophy about how to develop software-based on 12 core principles. These principles have significantly impacted the practice of developing software: making it more flexible, people-oriented, communications-friendly and product-delivery focused.

Use of agile is becoming increasingly widespread. Almost three-quarters (71%) of global organizations surveyed in a Global Project Management Survey (2017) by the Project Management Institute reported using agile approaches “sometimes, often or always.”

Click here to read the Agile Methodology Overview Executive Brief.

Executive Brief: A CIO’s Guide to Avoiding Cost Estimation Errors in Software Development

Executive Brief_ CIOs Guide to Avoiding Cost Estimation Errors

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with many C-level executives about the high level, strategic challenges they’re facing when it comes to building software. Through these conversations, common themes emerged.  To help with these challenges, I’m excited to introduce Intertech Executive Briefs.

Based on 25+ years of building enterprise software for our clients, each Intertech Executive Brief outlines the challenge along with recommendations and insights for the busy executive.

CIO’s Guide to Avoiding Cost Estimation Errors

In the inaugural issue, the Software Development Cost Estimation Executive Brief, shares commonly overlooked costs when building enterprise software applications along with practical insights to make sure every project has an accurate budget.

Key factors include:

  • Hidden project infrastructure costs
  • Costs related to staff turnover and the need for new skills
  • Expenses due to project dependencies and communication
  • Underestimating costs by assuming who is doing what
  • The Triangle, Choose Your Two: Speed, Cost, Quality (SCQ)

Click here to get the CIO’s Guide to Avoiding Cost Estimation Errors

Let’s Invest in Minnesota’s Future

Image result for state of minnesota

Minnesota’s low temperatures and high taxes don’t make our state the easiest place to do business. Yet, our world-class workforce has made Minnesota a hub for innovation and economic growth. While I think we can and should do more to address other barriers to growth (at least the tax climate), we should start by preserving our biggest advantage—the quality of our people—which is threatened by rhetoric and policies that discourage international students from attending our colleges and universities.

The fact is nearly 70% of Twin Cities college graduates stay in the metropolitan area after graduation. As our current population continues to age, Minnesota businesses need access to talented people from around the world to keep pace.

Unfortunately, instead of looking for ways to attract the world’s best and brightest, the president obsesses about building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out immigrants. It’s not surprising that many top foreign-born students are choosing to skip the U.S. of their own accord—with negative consequences for our economy, particularly our engineering and technology sectors. I’m referring to international students at U.S. colleges and universities who used to come here in record numbers to study STEM subjects.

In 2018, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities ranked 21st of all leading institutions in the country hosting international students, with 7,212 international students. That number has decreased to 5,500 international students today. This distressing higher education trend is happening nationwide.

Why are the world’s brightest students skipping the U.S.?

“Many schools attributed the trend to problems with student visa delays and denials, as well as the U.S. social and political climate and student decisions to enroll outside the United States,” reported the Washington Post (11/13/18). With some education leaders noting, “Trump’s advocacy of immigration restrictions, travel bans and a U.S.-Mexico border wall is not helping the nation compete for academic talent in the global market.”
As foreign-born students say “no thanks” to what they perceive as a hostile United States, many are saying “yes” to higher education institutions in Canada and Australia. Their gain is our loss.

These are deeply disturbing trends to owners of IT consulting firms like me. We compete on a global basis and losing access to some of the world’s most talented science and technology students and professionals is a major blow.

And you should be worried too. Not only do these foreign-born students help grow the U.S. IT industry—IT workers represent about 2.9 percent of the U.S. workforce says the U.S. Census Bureau—but when they stay and start new businesses they create good jobs for people born in the U.S.

There’s another worrisome side effect of this growing trend: the loss of millions of dollars in tuition payments at American colleges and universities, including our own U of M. Since foreign-born students pay higher rates than U.S. students, their tuition dollars are vital to keeping costs lower for students here. If current trends continue, the next state budget might need to include funding support for struggling state colleges and universities.

Leaders in Washington appear to live in a U.S.-centric bubble these days, but here in Minnesota (and the rest of the country) it’s one highly competitive global economy. We need to do everything possible to make foreign-born students feel welcome at our colleges and universities.