Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hyperlinking ...

More and more people seem to be discovering connections between a wide variety of themes such as enterprise 2.0, web 2.0, SOA, commodification, BPO, cost, community, commoditisation, knowledge management, architecture of participation, worth, freedom of expression and enquiry, competitive advantage, cost of doing business, radical innovation, ubiquity, barriers to entry, open source, open innovation markets, XaaS, organisational structure and issues with outsourcing.

This is all good news, as these are all intertwined themes and should be explored together.

Let me show a simple example of such connections. Innovations whether radical or incremental are the main long term source of competitive advantage and can occur across all organisational functions of a business. Hence you will constantly get incremental and radical innovations in the operation of a utility computing environment. However if computing infrastructure is increasingly seen as a CODB (cost of doing business) due to its ubiquity, then such innovations will trickle through to consumers via price competition between such providers, assuming you have a competitive utility computing market. Obviously for providers there will be a constant battle in improving operations.

So I recently came across a post by Andew Mulholland who blogs for CapGemini that "Competitive advantage is shifting from the cost management of transactions in the back office to business optimisation in the front office and the external market."

Whilst this specific premise is highly questionable, the overall post "Mesh working rather than Matrix working" is relatively interesting.

Why interesting? Well, you can literally read how Andy is making the connections to some of the themes above. It's almost a written diary, as he tries to "tie together the pieces".

I find it fascinating that he talks about the " Mesh of people and systems is potentially a never ending huge open environment extending externally as well as internally rather than the closed internal world of Matrix working." which implies a constantly free-forming and fluid organisational structure. Whilst "the relationships in Matrix working are always pre determined, fully defined and use known data." implies a more structured approach.

This suggest a need for an organisational structure to match a change from uncertainty to certainty and from undefined to defined. Now this is something that I would agree with.

I also noticed he blogged recently about value vs cost. Now, I'm not actually interested in whether I find his analysis convincing but rather that he makes a strong distinction between cost and value (or worth), which is something I would agree with.

Andy also seems to be exploring the XaaS world, barriers to participation, the distinction between CA and CODB and the need for different mechanisms of management and governance. All fascinating areas - an overview of my thoughts on these subjects can be found in my web 2.0 talk.

Interesting person - I'm curious to which connections he will make.

I'm starting to see why Richard George used the term hyperlink when describing making connections between things.

Of course, you always start with amateurs (it's a novel and new field) and then the professionals (amateurs with experience) come in later on to tidy up the mess. It's the same with any innovation - whether it's a product or a process.