I’ve recently returned from IDS Scheer’s ProcessWorld Conference held February 13-15, 2008 in Orlando, FL. Although I missed the closing day, it was a brief but information-packed day and a half that afforded me the opportunity to meet with the firm’s leadership and share perspectives with their clients during the afternoon of the pre-conference user day and day one.
In his keynote, Thomas Volk, IDS Scheer’s CEO and President, proclaimed 2008 the year of the “rise of the operational CEO” who, in order to return shareholder value, increase market valuation, grow the top line, and mitigate risks:
• sets objectives prescriptively
• manages accountability objectively
• monitors execution constantly
• sees potential problems early
• makes adjustments regularly
To accomplish the above tasks, Volk described ARIS as the platform to provide “corner office command-and-control of the operational strategy”. While this could stir up visions of a corporate “Big Brother”, I prefer to see it as useful advice for today’s executives to keep an eagle’s eye view of their organization’s process performance at a high level.
Yet at the same time, this strategic view must be complemented at the operational and tactical levels. This theme of transparency at all levels is reflected in the ARIS Business Performance Edition for 2008. Dr. Helge Heß, a Director for the Process Intelligence/Performance Manager solution and Dr. Wolfram Jost of IDS Scheer’s Executive Board and IDS Scheer’s executive product steward, shared some product highlights ahead of the Q2 official release:
Just for fun. What if the next President of the United States of America was an application developer? What programming language would he/she use? No contemplation allowed. For each candidate, the first thing that came to mind (in alphabetical order):
Hillary Rodham Clinton would program in Java. Java was the hot language of the Internet boom in the 90's during Bill Clinton's presidency sometime just after Al Gore invented the Internet. It continues to be one of the go-to development languages for new enterprise application development.
Here's the lightning account of what's happened at General Motors over the last ten years. The company lead all automakers in cost. Even though its IT was outsourced, it ignominiously sported the most expensive IT costs per car. Enter Ralph Szygenda as CIO with the charter to fix the mess. Ralph (along with then CEO Roger Smith) realized that they had to change an out-of-control decentralized culture in which every brand did things their own way. So Ralph didn't focus on tech -- he centered on standardizing process -- designing, engineering, manufacturing, and selling vehicles the same way, all over the world. The results have been amazing: costs down, quality up, speed increased. With a single process language the company can now design a car in China and build it in Detroit. It has gone from total decentralization to global in the space of a decade -- an amazing achievement for an organization of its size.
One of my roles here at Forrester for the past year or so has been chief Web 2.0 cat herder. I'm by no means a Web 2.0 expert -- I've just helped to coordinate our coverage. A large team of analysts has put our heads together to try to create a well-rounded Web 2.0 research agenda and formulate a consistent way to conceptualize and communicate about this giant hairball of a topic. We hope you're seeing the results in our published research. Below is one result of our team meetings: a high-level Web 2.0 framework.
It has been a busy few weeks of news for whistleblowers. Earlier this month, former Merck sales manager H. Dean Steinke was awarded $68 million of the roughly $400 million recovered by states and federal agencies when the company settled a lawsuit he brought against it seven years ago. (This was part of a larger $671 million Merck paid to settle complaints of overcharging government health plans and offering inappropriate incentives to doctors to prescribe its products.)
While a number of whistleblowers have been lauded by the press over the years, Steinke’s $68 million presents the possibility of more tangible incentives to those aspiring to expose corporate crimes. Other recent, related news includes:
- Court extends SOX whistleblower protection. Last week, a US District Court judge in New York found that whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act applies to employees outside the United States, helping empower virtual armies of international employees that may have something to report.
Everyday, you are in the trenches building apps that the business needs to be successful. Our number one job at Forrester is to help make you better, faster and stronger. That means helping you understand best practices, tools, technologies, architectures, platforms and methodologies that are aligned with your success imperatives. But, it also means hypothesizing about the future of application development and especially what the future means to you.
This weekend I listened to a great panel discussion about virtual worlds and their impact on the future of work at the MetaverseU conference at Stanford University . The panelists were Byron Reeves, Co-Director of Stanford’s Human Sciences and Technology Advanced Research center, Christian Renaud, Chief Architect of Networked Virtual Environments for the Cisco Technology Center, and Reuben Steiger, CEO of virtual worlds agency Millions of Us. The key takeway from the panel: work is changing dramatically and virtual worlds have a potentially — though not inevitably — huge role to play.