Modern information technology has delivered many smart systems.
A smart system is defined as “one that has a lot of processing options built into it”. These various use cases get brought into play depending on what’s presented to the system.
It takes a lot of the guesswork out of things if, for instance, you’ve built in logic to look up a supplier’s or customer’s record, found that they’re exempt from taxation, and don’t bill them for taxes accordingly. No person needs to remember that X falls into that category, or remember to look.
We’ve done such a good job of this, in fact, that we don’t need a lot of intelligence to be in play within our organizations: the systems do a lot of the heavy lifting.
But there’s a problem with that. If you’re looking for value generation, you need lots of intelligent action.
Think about the last time you needed the counter rep at the airport to rebook flights for you, in a hurry, and hopefully without change fees. There’s an example of where you want smart systems coupled with smart people who can make a business decision and satisfy your need.
Do hundreds of these little things, and soon some innovations for the business start to emerge.
For IT, it’s time to start decoupling the component parts and providing a little looseness in the systems.
It’s time to make sure sub-processes can be “assembled” into unique interactions as needed. It’s time to define some use cases as “human-handled” rather than coded.
Value-generating, opportunity-seizing, more dynamic businesses require that we make it possible to have both rigour and freedom, compliance and change — and have it on the front lines where it can make a difference.
In a tough economy, we in IT can give our enterprise its best competitive advantage: room to manoeuvre, flex, innovate, prosper.