Onward and upward. That classic phrase describes not only optimism as IT heads into a new year, but also a literal expression of what organizations must do to maintain their competitive edge.
Through layoffs, outsourcing and the first disruptions from what will eventually become the great baby-boomer retirement bubble, businesses must capture core knowledge so they can push onward, despite the loss of institutional wisdom. And to become smarter organizations that can twist and turn with market changes, business and IT execs must focus upward to a higher level and bring clarity to processes, rules and services.
Capturing the knowledge of departing employees and empowering business analysts so they can design agile organizations are two of seven trends identified by INTELLIGENT ENTERPRISE as we mark the turn into 2007. A third is the business imperative to improve data quality and integration, exemplified by the halting progress toward standard electronic medical records. Three key technology trends are the shift to parallel programming to take advantage of new computing architectures; changing strategies for business intelligence aimed at delivering real-time information value; and the race to establish new forms of business integration through service orientation.
As Internet innovation combines with growing information sophistication, "2.0" visions are upending entire industries. Thriving in the new age will demand more than tools and technology; success will also require evolved thinking about people and processes.