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1.3 The Need for a New Enterprise Information Architecture

In this decade, businesses have leveraged technologies such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to help enable their business process transformation efforts, propelling them to greater efficiencies and productivity. Today, it is the advances in information management and business intelligence that drive the level of transformation that empowers businesses and their people.

What “smart” company leaders realize is that a new approach to Enterprise Information Architecture is needed. The current chaotic, unplanned environments do not provide enough business value and are not sustainable over the longer term. The proclivity for system build outs over the years has created too much complexity and is now at a point where enterprise oversight and governance must be applied.

By embracing an enterprise approach, information-enabled companies optimize three interdependent business dimensions:

  • Intelligent profitable growth—Provides more opportunities for attracting new customers, improving relationships, identifying new markets, and developing new products and services

  • Cost take-out and efficiency—Optimize the allocation and deployment of resources and capital to improve productivity, create more efficiency, and manage costs in a way that aligns to business strategies and objectives

  • Proactive risk management—Reduces vulnerability and creates greater certainty in outcomes as a result of an enhanced ability to predict and identify risk events, coupled with an improved ability to prepare and respond to them.

For the information-enabled enterprise, the new reality is this: Personal experience and insight are no longer sufficient. New analytic capabilities are needed to make better decisions, and over time, these analytics will inform and hone our instinctual “gut” responses. The information explosion has permanently changed the way we experience the world: Everyone—and everything—creates real time data with each interaction. This “New Intelligence” is now increasingly embedded into our Smarter Planet.™

1.3.1 Leading the Transition to a Smarter Planet

Today, Enterprise Information and Analytics is helping to change the way the world works—by making the planet not just smaller and “flatter,” but smarter. At IBM, we have coined the term Smarter Planet to describe this information-driven world. A central tenet of Smarter Planet is “New Intelligence,”4 a concept that is focused on using information and analytics to drive new levels of insight in our businesses and societies. We envision an Intelligent Enterprise of the future that is far more of the following:

  • Instrumented—Information that was previously created by people will increasingly be machine-generated, flowing out of sensors, RFID tags, meters, actuators, GPS, and more. Inventory will count itself. Containers will detect their contents. Pallets will report exceptions if they end up in the wrong place. People, assets, materials, and the environment will be constantly measured and monitored.

  • Interconnected—The entire value chain will be connected inside the enterprise and outside it. Customers, partners, suppliers, governments, societies, and their corresponding IT systems will be linked. Extensive connectivity will enable worldwide networks of supply chains, customers, and other entities to plan and make interactive decisions.

  • Intelligent—Advanced analytics and modeling will help decision makers evaluate alternatives against an incredibly complex and dynamic set of risks and constraints. Smarter systems will make many decisions automatically, increasing responsiveness and limiting the need for human intervention.

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