Business Design for the Service Oriented Enterprise
Design patterns for the smart, continuously evolving, virtual enterprise.
Business design is set to undergo a dramatic transformation. The convergence of ecosystem automation and autonomics, architecture for continuously evolving business, together with the merger of consumer and business IT will have a profound impact on conventional business models, which will in turn affect business modeling techniques and enterprise architecture. In this article we provide an outline of what we believe will become de facto best practice using some new and not so new patterns to guide the design process.
The way we design business is undergoing profound transformation. For the past 100 years business design has been directly influenced by Frederick Taylor , focused on how we do work and how we can make it more efficient. The LEAN and Six Sigma movements are the visible manifestation of that thinking. Together with BPM they have focused on incremental improvements of primarily internal processes and tasks encoded in process orchestration and workflows that control how the enterprise works.
But this is equivalent to looking in the rear view mirror to design tomorrow’s business. In this article we will look at three major trends that are going to break this conventional model.
- Smart behaviors enabling cross ecosystem processes
- Capability services (independent business components) enabling continuously evolving business models
- The convergence of consumer and business IT enabling the real “end user”
Along the way we identify and list a number of primary patterns that describe this new world. Most of which by the way, are not new.
Smart Behavior in the Ecosystem
Just over ten years ago when you walked into an airport you would stand in line for an agent and collect your boarding pass. When you wanted to purchase a book you visited a bookshop. In each of these use cases we transacted with human beings.
Today, in each of these use cases, we interact instead with an automated interface that actually does more than the human interface. In the case of Amazon of course they have moved far beyond the scope of a book shop, the interface is considerably improved because Amazon provides extensive customer reviews and a virtual market in which we can interact with vast numbers of specialist providers to acquire niche or second hand products. In the case of the boarding pass collection, not only has the airport check-in process been replaced with self-service, the physical pass itself is eliminated and we can have an image of the boarding pass sent to our smart phone which is scanned at the security checkpoint. At the same time the boarding pass frequently contains personalized advertising and vouchers for airport shops and behind the scenes the airline system may be checking with security agencies as well as perhaps establishing lounge access and in some territories checking with immigration and passport control as well.
What’s happening in these examples is that we have moved beyond automation of the basic process and integrated services from an ecosystem of providers that span numerous enterprises, to deliver an enhanced and more efficient service to the consumer, and in the process, eliminated unnecessary human intervention.
These examples have some very important lessons for us all. First, enterprise architecture must increasingly be scoped around an ecosystem that encompasses traditional and new participants in the process. Second intervention in the business process should be eliminated except where it is an intrinsic step in the process for a human or some form of node or agent to play a part. The real end user places an order. A toll barrier detects and reports a vehicle. A scanner detects and reports a piece of luggage has been received at an airport terminal. But be careful, because apart from customers and physical actions, most “human” interventions can and should be substituted by rules, and alerts used to bring humans into play only on an exceptional basis.
In recent years there has been a focus on autonomic or smart systems and there has been much attention on fully automating certain processes in verticals such as energy, climate change, transportation and healthcare. These processes are rather obvious candidates for rules based mediation and intervention, often using sensors to drive rules based processes, but we should look beyond this relatively narrow definition of smart systems and apply the same thinking across the entire enterprise architecture and business process design.
(Readers that wish to explore this topic in greater detail should refer to a further CBDI Journal Report Information Services Architecture for Responsive Process Management .)
Continued in PDF
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Research Report: Business Design for the Service Oriented Enterprise Business design is set to undergo a dramatic transformation. The convergence of ecosystem automation and autonomics, architecture for continuously evolving business, together with the merger of consumer and business IT will have a profound impact on conventional business models. By David Sprott
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Published: 26 Jun 2012 06:59