How do we move Data Accessibility and, therefore, Decision Intelligence closer to the business users?

Clearly, there is great benefit in providing seamless and secure accessibility to the right data as and when it is needed…such a capability provides your business with the means to make the right choices at the right time at the coal face…to be more proactive. So why does such a key need so often get relegated to the “Reporting” area, an afterthought…a downstream data warehouse driven solution? Why can it not be inbuilt? Why is it not a seamless part of the flow of work that your business users do every day?

There is obviously something fundamentally wrong with the way we build business systems…and also failing at such a large, almost industrial scale….that it can be seen happening in every business. Nobody seems to be working on localised inline decision intelligence capabilities…but rather focusing on AI, ML and Big Data solutions to cure all ills…why is this?!!! It’s not that the way we generally and currently do this downstream from the business user is easy or particularly successful either! It is costly, time consuming, specialist work…it is riddled with hype and false promises.

I’m a huge fan of getting to root causes…and then subsequently stripping out all IT Industry provided solutions that are self-serving and create a technology dependency on the business community that is not actually doing the business any favours…unfortunately, over the years, this is become a huge portion of the IT proposition…it is how the IT Industry Machine makes it’s money…it’s all about billable hours.

So, as an industry, we so often direct businesses towards curing symptoms…and also ones that IT actually created in the first place…the fact that this has been going on for decades explains many of not all of the current difficulties we face in harmonising IT with business.

The systemic lack of focus on foundational information management and governance is telling us a story also here…maybe the business managers and leaders can see automatically what data people are choosing to not see?….or possibly can’t see?

The application-centric IT estate IS UNGOVERNABLE…so why waste time? Tried it before…got nowhere…still hearing the same messages of bad data after all this time and effort…so why should it work now?

Well indeed! Why should it work?…the application estate is the same as before…nothing has suddenly become automatically interoperable by magic…we still need to write loads of code to do anything…APIs have only punched small holes in the hard walls…you can’t data model or technically integrate your way of of this mess!

New thinking is required…the application as we know it…must die…but what do we replace it with? This is the 6 trillion dollar question! There are very possibly very many approaches to get us there, my preference is business model executable systems construction…the enterprise meta data approach…but there may be others…what is common though, is the shape of what any approach must look like. It needs:

  • To be primarily business language, communication, flow and event driven
  • To be industry, domain and technology agnostic
  • To be virtually code free and schema less
  • To be globally scalable and multi-lingual
  • To support historical, current and future business operations, choices, decisions and trends
  • To concurrently handle personal, tribal, functional, enterprise and global view points
  • To be business intuitive, quick, flexible and proactive
  • To be both accessible and secure, data and process harmonised and optimised with no geographic, functional or technology barriers to interoperability
  • To be federated, accountable, governable, auditable, traceable and architecturally sound

When you look at what is currently out there using these requirements, you will see what has gone wrong…the application-centric mindset has failed us badly….and to achieve true data accessibility….to reach that pinnacle of organisational interoperability we all want so badly…the IT Industry Machine must be dismantled and reborn…otherwise we are all just treading water.

Data-Driven is not enough….this must be Business-driven…we must start to construct business systems for humans, by humans.

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About the author 

Robert Vane

Robert Vane is the co-founder of the Q6FSA Method for Global Information Management, a freelance full enterprise scope data architect with over 25 years experience of getting it all wrong, now dedicated to solving the foundational root causes of failure within the information management space and getting it all right.

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