Thu 23 Nov 2006
Jari Sarasvuo stood out in Oracle’s Open Day at Kalastajatorppa today. His presentation “How to make an information system a true leadership tool” was as eloquent and energetic as his talks always are.
Sarasvuo expressed his concern about the commoditization of IT. He argued that as work is specified in more and more detail, productivity does not increase. Any further efforts to run down costs in the name of efficiency actually decrease productivity.
If we want to make IT the tool of growth, he proceeds, it should lead the innovation work from the outside of the company by offering new products to provide new value to new customers. IT should facilitate small people to make big decisions.
He? characterized the? juxtaposition? between Management and Leadership as follows:
Management is about risk aversion, the past and? towards the known, whereas Leadership increases the risk, is about the future and towards the unknown.
Without risk, he maintained, there is no potential for profit.? Sarasvuo would create the business from null.
Wed 22 Nov 2006
Today, I attended a BEA webinar on WebLogic Portal and SOA by Martin Percival, Senior EMEA Technical Evangelist, and Howard Davies-Carr, EMEA Portal Wizard. (Cool titles they have at BEA!)
I learnt that portals are “more than look-and-feel”. Portals provide right stuff to right people at the right time, while running down the cost of serving an individual. It’s all about responsiveness: how to bring new offerings faster to the market with an adaptable and flexible infrastructure.
Fri 17 Nov 2006
As if it was not complicated enough to comprehend what the much-hyped Web 2.0 is all about, John Markoff goes on and writes about Web 3.0 in his recent article in the New York Times.
While Web 3.0 appears as a clever rebranding of Semantic Web at first sight, it does not necessarily require “a vast new structure to supplant the existing Web”. Pragmatic new tools are being developed that can extract meaning from and make deductions based on the existing Web.
As an interesting token of the emerging Web 3.0 era, Markoff refers to an artificial intelligence system Cyc. The system was originally built by entering millions of common-sense facts that the computer system would “learn”, but today it is learning by mining the World Wide Web.
Whereas in Web 2.0 the meaning is designated in social collaboration of human communities, Web 3.0 discovers semantic associations through software. As I have argued before, both mechanisms would be needed to enable the “global brain“. This technological synthesis has already been referred to as Web 4.0.
Tue 7 Nov 2006
Today, I attended a technology briefing by IBM developerWorks on SOA governance. The presentations on IT and SOA Governance, the IBM Governance Model and SOA Best Practices were very well-thought-out, insightful and valuable.
Below is a summary of some of the key points. The entire slide deck can be found here.
Mon 6 Nov 2006
Steve Towers is the co-founder and CEO of the Business Process Management Group, founded 1992, exchanging ideas and best practice in Business Transformation and change management.
Today, I had the great privilege of attending a conference call in which Steve gave a presentation on customer-oriented BPM with the title “How To Succeed With BPM In The Age Of The Customer”, which is also the subheading of his recent book.
He started by proposing his definition of BPM:
“Business Process Management (BPM) is a natural and holistic management approach to operating business that produces a highly efficient, agile, innovative, and adaptive organization that far exceeds that achievable through traditional management approaches.”
Towers pointed? out that the single most compelling reason to improve and manage the enterprise’s end-to-end business processes and technology is to improve performance and thereby create value for customers and shareholders. He gave case examples of four companies: Zara, South West Airlines, Capital One, and Virgin that have outperformed their industry peers due to customer focus.
He argued for Successful Customer Outcomes and identified four steps to devise customer-oriented goals and strategies:
- Define your customer
- Articulate and Understand the customer needs
- Make those needs central to everything you do
- Align the organization to achieving those Successful Customer Outcomes
As a means to identify what the customer wants, Towers refers to the concept of Moment of Truth by Jan Carlzon (1986), ex-president of Scandinavian Airlines, defined as:
“Anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, …”
Why BPM and why now then? The world has become prohibitively complex. This complexity causes us to do the wrong things: act reactively from inside out rather than proactively from outside in. By making the interactions explicit, one can then engineer them to simplify, rationalize and optimize business.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci