A Tool Of Boundaryless Information Flow - Administration
The meeting comprised four panels: Business, Technical, Legal, and Social and Ethical, each of which featured an introduction of the issues and follow-up with an interactive discussion between the speakers and the audience. The aim was to capture and publish the issues discussed in order to raise the industry awareness of the benefits of Open Source.
Excerpts from: Keynote: Open Source as a Tool of Boundaryless Information Flow Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group
[Allen began by establishing a context for the event within The Open Group’s vision and program.]
What CIOs tell us is that they are under a significant amount of pressure. And that pressure is coming from the changes within their organization. The pressure is to be able to deliver information when and where it’s needed in a timely and reliable manner. Why is the pressure on them? The problem is that organizations are changing and they need to be able to reliably deliver integrated information when and where it’s needed. That has required changes in when, where and how information goes from one person to another. So their key issue is integrated information and access to it—they’ve got to be able to provide that to people.
We took this finding to our Customer Council. The Open Group is a consortium–a partnership between vendors and buyers—and the Customer Council reflects the thinking of members who are buyers. These members worked on something called the “Interoperable Enterprise”, which is a Business Scenario [The methodology we use for describing a problem in a business context] available on the web free of charge. That Business Scenario describes the pain that large customers have with delivering integrated information. Let me describe the issues it covers.
Enterprises were originally established in an end-to-end process. They buy raw materials, make them into something, and they sell them. For many years, we organized people into departments in a particular field, and within them, started to get situations where people would become experts.
There were two great benefits to doing it this way. Departmental experts could do things faster because they did things more repetitively, and they could improve quality because they built best practices for their particular area.
But what resulted is what we all know today as stovepipes or silos. So if you look around, you find that within an organization we developed a lot of stovepiped departments. We’d even go so far as to call some parts of our organization “divisions.” Over the last ten years or so, most of us have been trying to break down those stovepipes. Whether we tried business process re-engineering or other approaches, the person who really pushed this home was Jack Welch at GE.