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SAP Run Better Tour – Geoffrey Moore


After yesterday’s sneak peak the BI 4 launch event – the “Run Better Tour” – kicked off this morning with the main tent event. Geoffrey Moore focused on changes in enterprise IT – specifically the move from what he calls systems of record to “systems of engagement” driven by the consumerization of IT. Enterprise IT has spent, he says, about a trillion dollars on systems of record – mainframe systems, ERP/CRM etc. This is largely complete, from a software perspective, though companies continue to have lots of change to go through to really take advantage of this investment. Meanwhile the world of consumer IT has been innovating furiously the last few years, specifically with the digitization of human culture. Specifically an increasing number of people have:

  • Access to information across boundaries
  • Broadband mean that video and pictures, things that play on our emotions more, are widely available
  • Mobile means this access is always on, everywhere

Of course most enterprises have yet to redefine themselves in this respect – most people have more information power as consumers with their personal IT than they do as employees with their corporate IT. The vision of information on demand, instant communication with context and more involves a change from systems of record to systems of engagement. But this requires an ROI – some compelling forcing function to move enterprise IT.

His view is that the driving function for this is the ongoing change in global business dynamics: outsourcing has driven globalization which led to commoditization. To respond to this we must differentiate by specializing on our core capabilities and divesting the rest which leads back to outsourcing.

This leads to a world of collaborative business networks – much more horizontally organization and less vertically integrated. More communication, more collaboration, less command/control. A need to collaborate with these networks puts pressure on the middle of the organization and Enterprise IT has not really invested in supporting these folks as systems of record are about transaction worker efficiently and BI has been focused on executive information.

Systems of engagement then are:

  • Global
  • Mobile
  • Social
  • Virtual

And these systems must empower people. Enterprise versions of Facebook YouTube, App Stores, mobile etc. But also information applications that provide a fact base to underpin these engagement applications. And your processes remain the same, your metrics remain the same but now you can’t complete your processes or hit your metrics without your ecosystem.

Systems must become more collaborative, more interaction-oriented, more user-experience-centric, more learning etc. To build systems of engagement, he says, focus on moments of engagement. Every strategy is made or broken in a handful of moments of engagement so find these moments and build systems of engagement for them. And I would add that every strategic decision must be made real with a series of operational decisions so don’t forget to manage these decisions.

Update: There is a recording here.


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