By Raghuraman Krishnamurthy, Cognizant Technology Solutions
It is very interesting to see how the society changes with time. Primitive society was predominantly agrarian. Society was closely knit; the people worked in well-defined land boundaries. Trade was happening but was limited to the adventurous few.
In the 1700s, as Europe began to explore the world in a well-organized manner, the need for industrial enterprises emerged. Industries offered greater stability in jobs as opposed to being at the mercy of vagaries of nature in the agrarian world. People slowly migrated to centres of industries, and the cities emerged. The work was accomplished by well-established principles of time and materials: in one hour, a worker was supposed to assemble ‘x’ components following a set, mechanical way of working. As society further evolved, a lot of information was exchanged and thoughts of optimization began to surface. Ways of storing and processing the information became predominant in the pursuits of creative minds. Computer systems ushered in new possibilities.
With the emergence of the Internet, unimagined new avenues opened up. In one stroke, it was possible to transcend the constraints of time and space. Free flow of information enabled ‘leveling’ of the world in some sense. Enterprises began to take advantage of it by following the principle of ‘get the best work from where it is possible’. Established notions for a big enterprise like well-organized labor, building of mammoth physical structures, etc., were challenged.
In the creative world of today, great emphasis is on innovation and new socially/environmentally-conscious ways of doing business.
At every turn from agrarian to industrial to informative to creative, fundamental changes occurred in how business was done and in the principles of business management. These changes, although seemingly unrelated to a field like Enterprise Architecture, will help unravel the emergence of new forces and the need to adjust (if you are reactive) or plan for (if you are proactive) these forces.
Learning from how manufacturing companies have adjusted their supply chain management to live in the flat world provides a valuable key to how Enterprise Architecture can be looked afresh. I am very excited to explore more of this theme and other topics in The Open Group India Conference in Hyderabad (March 9), Pune (March 11) and Chennai (March 7). I look forward to seeing you there and having interesting discussions amongst us.
Raghuraman Krishnamurthy works as a Principal Architect in Cognizant Technology Solutions and is based in India. He can be reached at Raghuraman.firstname.lastname@example.org.