Monday, October 12, 2009

Future Enterprise- The Networked Enterprise

The enterprise of the future will be driven by a networked architecture- patterns of linked decision processes; constantly morphing, reforming and adapting to a continuously changing social and business environment.

The traditional hierarchical management model of the 20th century will be incapable of supporting the vastly more complex and competitive 21st paradigm of technological and social evolution.

Tomorrow's enterprise can be most effectively represented as a decision network model with decisions as nodes and information flows linking the relationships between them. This model represents an extremely powerful mechanism for understanding and optimising the adaptive enterprise of the 21st century- linked to but extending far beyond current simplistic process models.

Although process and object representations are a necessary and logical intermediary step in the evolution of enterprise system modeling and management, they fail to represent the underlying decision complexity of the real world and therefore fail to realise the true potential of a dynamic enterprise.

The core of the Networked Architecture will be the Decision Model, incorporating engineering methods based on decision pathways, with the capacity to dynamically route information and intelligence resources to critical decision-making agents in the enterprise.

This will not only involve the deployment of computing and information resources to adaptive decision nodes, but facilitate direct targeting of intelligence and problem solving capacity, enabling critical decision outcomes to be implemented in optimal time frames.

The latest 'Smart Planet' paradigm, in which the infrastructure and processes of the planet- whether manufacturing supply chains, electricity grids, water networks or traffic flows, are being re-engineered to optimise performance and achieve greener outcomes, will be the major driver for the networked enterprise of the future. The Smart Planet will demand that decisions be made more rigorously, efficiently, adaptively and therefore largely autonomously.

While SOAs focus on basic services, their capacity to implement complex decision processes is far from optimal. Current business intelligence and data warehouse software represents a halfway house towards this goal. But predictive techniques utilising AI will be the next stage, layered on current data mining and pattern recognition software and supported by a new generation of network-oriented database management systems.

Although the more far-sighted businesses are becoming aware of the need for such flexible small world network linkages, the support provided by today’s rigid organisational management architectures and philosophies has lagged well behind.

Tomorrow’s enterprise management must be far more pro-active and sentient in relation to environmental and structural change, avoiding being caught passively flat-footed in a bewildering flux of global evolution and competitive pressures.

No comments: