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Modern Biz focuses on IT

By FluxIt ·
Lorenz, a meteorologist, postulated a Theory in 1962 called the ‘Butterfly Effect’ that gave birth to the modern Chaos concept. For 10+ yrs it was rejected as silly until others began rediscovering the findings too. In the late 70’s, science and engineers applied the concept to develop advanced products and model ecosystems but companies ignored its merits for another 20+ yrs.

Today an emerging business model is forming that centers on an organic approach to organizational architectures. The approach is to break the organization into small autonomous units centered on a process or product similar to a self-direct U shape work cells in J.I.T., activity-based accounting practices, or other constructs in the past. The difference is that these units are building blocks that have databases behind them and can be arranged in differing interrelated ways or networked manner. Information Exchange Requirements would establish links between them. Neural Agents could sit on top of the databases and monitor for specified content. These agents by communicating over the WAN could automatically create lines of logic or knowledge that is presented to decision makers.

The benefit of this construct is that companies would be more responsive to changing conditions. Unprofitable or obsolete building blocks could be disposed and the business would become evolutionary, not revolutionary.

The challenges are continuous and information is at the center of this architecture. It could on a wide spread basis minimize the impacts of economic down turns. More importantly, these autonomous building blocks could be ‘outsourced’ to small businesses that specialize in the service the building block offers.

As upcoming technology people, are you prepared to support this concept?

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Many Simliarities

by FluxIt In reply to Modern Biz focuses on IT

Many of you may see similarities to past rages such ISO, TQM, JIT, Activity Based Accounting, Conglomerates, right sizing, down sizing, or process re-engineering. However, the difference is tremendous. The other efforts were only partial efforts towards an endstate and reactive.

Complex adaptive management is a architecture that incorporates change into its way of doing business or continuously 'evolving'. In it far more comprehensive than any other effort.

The challenges for IT professionals are immense as this may require numerous small databases, use of intranets, and places IT professionals in more responsible positions.

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Organic approach

by generalist In reply to Modern Biz focuses on IT

It looks like the business/technology world is finally catching up with concepts that have been a part of general system theory for the last twenty plus years. This organic approach appears to consider the building blocks to be living systems that are part of a larger living system called the business. The building blocks have subsystems that allow them to interact with other building blocks. Successful building blocks survive, often but not always promoting the success of the larger organism. Unsuccessful building blocks die.

Call it a large scale example of what happens in an organism like a human or a plant. Or call it a small scale example of what happens at a multi-national level.

I suspect that James Grier Miller's book "Living Systems" would be a good source for those who are interested in the theory behind the concept. It looks at systems ranging from cells to multi-national organizations and shows how they are similar to each other in terms of subsystem functions.

While technology has changed the physical manifestations of those subsystems at the macro level of an organization, the functions haven't changed. And since these functions could be considered to be building blocks...

Hmmmm. I may have to reread that book again with an eye toward setting up a business or two.

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I agree...

by FluxIt In reply to Organic approach

A book called 'Multiple Streams of Income' discusses a future where most people are self-employed in information services. These are really the building block services that companies outsource or expense. The building blocks themselves may have numerous other building blocks that it adds value to.

The system is scalable. I am would like to start my own business under this concept. However, many companies are far too short sighted today.

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by generalist In reply to I agree...

I haven't seen the book "Multiple Streams of Income" but I have seen the phrase used in several areas in recent years.

The concept is a good one that applies to multiple systems, not just business. Think of animals that have more than one type of food source. Depending upon conditions, they have different mixes of food at different times of the year. Call it redundancy combined with risk spreading.

As far as starting your own business, all you need are a few successes with clients thatare far sighted before others start to notice.

Getting those initial clients will be the hard part. Unless you have really tight connections to those who understand such things, you may have to come up with a way to present it to a wider audience in hopes that somebody will try it out just for the heck of it.

This might be a good topic for further discussion...

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You'll have to be Innovative

by FluxIt In reply to Interesting...

What you'll have to do is begin with a bunch of small databases such as access. Build a prototype system on a lan of 5 users. Leverage a web server and code access to the various database building blocks.

Once you have success carry to other levels.

Or build your business where you are a building block composed of several building blocks yourself.

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I am surprised...

by FluxIt In reply to Modern Biz focuses on IT

that more people are not interested in this concept as IT people. Although I imagine most are busy with the BS of the day.

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Once more in English, Please!

by road-dog In reply to Modern Biz focuses on IT

OK guys, assume I don?t know too much about these management paradigms. (You?d be pretty accurate in that assumption) My experience with TQM was upper management quoting Demming from behind a podium in the early 90?s. "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, SILOS, BLAH,BLAH, FLATTEN THE ORG CHART, BLAH BLAH"

If these new scenarios are the next big thing, for rank and file techies, what skill-sets will become in demand besides advanced DBA? I?m telecom, mostly layer 4 and below. Can you give me a few pointers asto infrastructure, architecture, topology that will need improvement?

If this catches on, I will be asked for support it about 2 weeks after these concepts hit SKY magazine.

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My thoughts...

by generalist In reply to Once more in English, Ple ...

My personal thoughts on this would be that you would have to think small, fast, reliable, simple and flexible in terms of hardware and software.

The infrastructure behind the building block units needs to be able to be set up quickly with minimalcost so more resources could be spent on the database and end products. Think of a shoe string startup that could be thrown together with used hardware and open source software. And remember that this shoe string startup needs to be ready in a week...

Because the building block can't afford a full time tech person at the start, the hardware and software infrastructure needs to be simple and reliable. Forget the latest and greatest techology unless it is essential to the building block's purpose.

Over time, however, the infrastructure needs to be able to grow as the building block grows. That is where having a good modular design on the front end would prove priceless. This design would need to be at the hardware, software and human factors levels.

When the building block gets large enough, it better split into other building blocks or it will die of bureaucratic constipation.

Given all of the above, can you suggest anything?

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OK, so forklift upgrade is out

by road-dog In reply to My thoughts...

Up front development costs will be large, so customers implementing this model would expect existing infrastructure to support in the near term with little modification.

However, if a large organization, say 500+ employees at a site were to haveall these people acessing databases all day long, rather than the bursty existing traffic patterns, then congestion will certainly become a crippling issue, particularly with short timeouts / lock / recovery / retransmission cycles. Maybe the infrastructure issues need to be addressed at specification.

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Congestion and specs

by generalist In reply to OK, so forklift upgrade i ...

Congestion would certainly be a problem if you started with a large organization. Of course, if that were the building block the parent organization created, it would probably have the resources needed to handle the congestion.

When you get downto it, large and small are relative. For that matter, low cost and expensive are relative too. So if a multi-national megacorp created a 'small' organization that was 'low cost', the result might be a 500+ employee company with a heavy duty serverfarm and lots of specialized apps. Compared to the megacorp it would be small and low cost. So the front end infrastructure specs would definitely include congestion and other concerns.

At the other end of the spectrum would be the five person organization whose definition of 'low cost' would be $500 or less and who are trading 'sweat equity' for cash on a part time basis after their day jobs are over. If this group comes up with a killer app type product that brings in lots of clients, they may have a problem upgrading the infrastructure fast enough. Fast growth can be fatal to small companies that make it big, believe it or not.

For this small organization, a forklift upgrade might be the best option. That or a group of miracle workers on the IT side.

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