Thursday, January 9, 2014

Do you have a digital consciousness in your enterprise?

Can we dream of an enterprise that is self aware, self organized, self prioritized and yet running on certain well defined economic and social principles? In today's world, such an enterprise must be digitally conscious all the time! 

With the emergence of semiconductor electronics, telecommunication networks and internet, technology has become the key game changer for market economy and social business. Technology has started influencing governmental and non-governmental programs in a big way. However, it was short of a comprehensive organizational transformation for long time. 

As reported in about data integration challenges, 99% of the businesses undertake integration projects every year. Over half of those integration projects are obsolete before completion. Again, 86% of the integration projects experience delays. Thus 25% of the IT budgets are spend on integrations. Thus the enterprise integration projects posit a huge opportunity for a system wide transformation and conscious effort.

The key steps to resolve data integration challenges were the pilot attempts at building an enterprise transformation capability within technology. WebServices, Service Orienter Architecture, Business Process Management tools, Machine to Machine communication and so on has enriched the middleware platforms with enterprise integration capabilities. Business intelligence and analytics engines were the next step in this evolution. They have added spice to the otherwise passive data stores and data marts. When I write this post today, even implementing mainframe analytics is not a daunting task for an enterprise. 

As the tools became strong enough for integration, we wanted our communication protocols and data formats to be light weight. XML has been a good document format to begin this journey. JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) has made the communication between web services and repositories further more light weight. REpresentational State Transfer (REST) architecture has been the other communication model that helped the distributed communication easier to model and abstract. Machine to machine communication protocols like XMPP, MQTT etc have helped the communication more seamless and automated. QR Codes and RFID technologies have also been highly beneficial for easier deployment of network data services and supply chain optimization. The list of innovations is not just countable. 

World information society and networked economy are no more isolated. Consumer electronics and social media networks has connected them in close knits. Thus world of business and social engagements have become digital. In this scenario, a globally integrated enterprise is possible only through a digital front office. 

Now integration is no longer tool driven. Customer experience and expectation determines the reach of technology. Down the lane, society has become more techno-centric and personalized. People and community groups began actively participating in the market dynamics. It is a kind of social business which offers 360 degree view of business processes and market dynamics. Social networks and social media centric business transactions reflected the customer sentiments in finer details. Hence customer experience and usability of products and services determined the longevity of brands in a big way. Thus information and analytics have become key components in the Enterprise architecture. Further more, when the world of communication is increasingly become digital, future enterprises need a 'digital edge' at affordable cost. 

Thus as the world marches to new terrains of digital experience and business opportunities, digital front office is a key to integrated enterprises and agile transformations to operations. The world around us demand an equal visibility of people and their data, to the say the least! We want easier access and transparency to people and their information. Thus in other words, digital eye is the key to agile enterprise. 

PS: The views are personal and does not represent any organization or enterprise.

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