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1.1. Introduction

Working in a large multinational software services company some years ago, I knew what to expect on the very first day of each new quarter—a speech from the head of the enterprise software delivery organization that started with the comment, “Today we begin the most challenging quarter in the most challenging year in the history of this company!”

Of course, the speech, intended as a motivational “call-to-action” for everyone in the company to redouble their efforts, was received with a collective sigh. But what if he was right? What if with each new quarter the challenges are more difficult, the stakes are higher, and the pressures on enterprise software delivery are increased?

Almost every day we hear that more and more people are connected to the Internet (already about 2 billion people, or about 28 percent of the world population),1 substantially more transistors are being packed on the newest generation chip (already in excess of 2 billion),2 greater numbers of people now carry around mobile Internet-connected devices in their pockets (with the number of mobile phone subscribers in early 2012 estimated at almost 6 billion, with 1.2 billion mobile broadband users),3 and a majority of businesses rely on online purchases to meet their objectives (with US online retail sales reaching almost $250 billion a year).4 Today’s world is significantly more technologically advanced than it has ever been. The drive to take advantage of these advances to make our world more interconnected and intelligent is changing our everyday lives and our businesses—giving us smarter cities, more innovative health care, more intelligent industrial systems, and improved consumer experiences.


  

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