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After EDM – the future of business

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The second part of my response to Dave Wright’s comment is about the kind of business one can run after one adopts EDM. To do this, let’s predicate the discussion a company that has adopted Enterprise Decision Management as a core management principle, implemented the technology and development approaches that support it and had long enough doing this to have updated and modernized its application portfolio. Let’s also assume that they have adopted business process management approaches and technologies and a service-oriented architecture to underpin it all (BPM/SOA). How might this look from a business perspective? What might be the characteristics of such an outfit?

  • Negative Response Time
    With a combination of detailed performance management and predictive reporting the company has a pretty good idea of what is about to happen and is able to change the way it responds before the situation to which it is responding occurs. Systems are ready to handle shifts in market dynamics, regulation, company direction before the outside world changes. Increasingly the company’s systems automate this responsiveness with continually adaptive rules and analytics.
  • Simulation
    Everything the company does has been simulated and the likely/possible outcome(s) assessed. Before something is changed it is clear to everyone how that change will affect everything and everyone else. Planning processes include links to simulations so that it is known what changes are required at an operational level to meet planned objectives.
  • Best Next Action
    Every interaction with a customer is made based on a selection of the most effective action to develop and extend (and make more profitable) a customer relationship. Customer support, service, sales and marketing all share a decision making environment that helps ensure the company is essential to its (profitable) customers and irreplaceable.
  • Predictive supply chain
    Decisions about supply and decisions about demand are integrated. Products are ordered, store, shipped and manufactured based on the sales and marketing decisions made or about to be made. The supply chain is tied to accurate predictions or customer demand, based on aggregated micro decisions not averages or estimates.
  • Explicit Decisions
    No decision, no matter how high volume, that affects the companies bottom line is taken accidentally or implicitly. The way a decision is made is known, externalized and managed so it can be measured and improved. This applies to big strategic decisions as well as small operational ones.
  • Event-based and process-centric
    The company combines activities based on its usual business cycle and on defined processes with defined responses to business events both internal and external. Whether something is ad-hoc or repeatable, event-based or process-centric, manual or automated is an explicit and carefully considered decision. The right mix of approaches is used.

What else could this kind of company do? The sky’s the limit I guess but I would love your thoughts.

Next week I will blog a summary of the bloggers who attended IBM’s IMPACT show and talk some more about agility.

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