An organism is a body whose components, or organs, work together for the continued life of the whole, the organism. An organism has a central nervous system in which the intelligence of the organism resides. There are different levels of intelligence systems. The most advanced think abstractly, reasoning and organizing large quantities of information about environment. The same is true of the organization. It is composed of parts: departments and divisions that work together for the betterment of the organization. The organization's central nervous system is its information infrastructure. Organizations that have implemented a BI system, as described by the BI loop, have achieved the highest level of intelligence.
The Internet has changed BI as well as the organization. As the organization's information infrastructure expands across the Internet to encompass the entire value chain, so does BI. In the end, the organization, BI, and the Internet all undergo a transformation by being combined in a solution we have described as IEBI. Figure 3.1 presents the BI loop. Compare this loop to Figure 3.19.
Figure 3.19. The IEBI loop.
The primary source systems for BI are the internal operational systems, while IEBI integrates data from partner and supplier information systems. The recipients of BI, the decision makers, are also more than just internal users. What truly differentiates IEBI from BI is the ability to collect and aggregate data across the value chain. Data is then analyzed and the results distributed to all parties along that chain, regardless of location.
There is enormous value to a centralized, Internet-enabled data warehouse. In Chapter 2, we explained that in a peer-to-peer network, the value of the network is the number of nodes on that network squared. In a network of many simultaneous connections, this value is the number of nodes raised to the power of the number of nodes. Apply this to IEBI. As the IEBI system spans more of the value chain, the value increases sharply. We are also expanding the most critical element of the IEBI loop, the decision maker. This also increases the value of IEBI. If multiple simultaneous connections of a network increase the value of the network exponentially, what does the expansion of IEBI do to the value of BI? Is it hyperbole to describe this increase as logarithmic? Is it an understatement? In either case, it is extraordinarily important to centralize the intelligence system.
The Internet has changed the organization, turning an entity bound by four walls into a single virtual organization that spans the value chain. This new organization has transformed BI to IEBI. Finally, IEBI has changed the organization to be a smarter, more competitive animal in the marketplace. It has also changed the Internet to be a much more competitive environment—a place where only the most intelligent survive.