Has Case Management Arrived At Last?

Craig Le Clair

Interest in case management will climb higher and higher throughout 2010. The drivers are a mix of old and new an include.  The most important - there will be an increased need to manage the costs and risks of servicing customer requests — like loans, claims, and benefits. Customer experience has evolved to where fundamentals of the product are secondary. Its now about design and the personality of the experience. I tried to help my daughter buy a car the other day. The Ford Focus didn't make the cut.  Why? No lighted mirror.  I then knew I was in for a long process. 

There is also a greater emphasis on automating and tracking inconsistent "incidents" that do not follow a well-defined process.  Does homeland security come to mind? And lots of new pressure on government agencies to respond to a higher number of citizen requests.  But this next one is the killer.  We will see new demands from regulators, auditors, and litigants  on businesses to respond to external regulations.  After Bernie "made off" with 50B or so the SEC had an epiphany of sorts. Gee.Lets give the field agents more authority to investigate — and perhaps depoliticize the process. Brilliant. Lets let the folks that actually know the regulatory target actually make decisions. Well. Great. We think this will lead to a ramped up number of investigative inquires and guess what?  Each one is best handled as a case where consistent policies, audit trails, and analytics can apply.  Lastly, there is the increased use of collaboration and social media to support unstructured business processes.

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Who Owns Information Architecture? All Of Us.

Leslie Owens

Fellow analyst Gene Leganza wrote an excellent overview of Information Architecture, available for free via this link: http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/topic_overview_information_architecture/q/id/55951/t/2

Gene briefly explores the misunderstanding between “Enterprise IA” and “User Experience IA.” This tension was well characterized by Peter Morville almost 10 years ago (See “Big Architect, Little Architect.” Personally I think it’s clear that content is always in motion, and unsupported efforts to dominate and control it are doomed.  People are a critical element of a successful IA project, since those who create and use information are in the best position to judge and improve its quality. Many hands make light work, as the saying goes.

For example, if you want a rich interactive search results page, you need to add some structure to your content. This can happen anytime from before the content is created (using pre-defined templates) to when it is presented to a user on the search results page. Content is different than data, a theme Rob Karel and I explored in our research on Data and Content Classification. For this reason, IA is both a “Back end” and a “Front end” initiative.

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Leveraging Architecture For Business Impact

Alex Cullen

The Forrester Enterprise Architecture Forum 2010 North America (San Diego) is about two weeks away, and the EAF 2010 EMEA (London) is about five weeks away.

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Where architects are spending their time

Alex Cullen

Where do architects spend their time, and is this where they should be spending it? I participated in a webinar this week hosted by Architecture & Governance magazine, along with George Paras. We discussed ‘the state of EA in 2010’ and the transformation of EA from a technology focus to a business focus. During this webinar, I showed this data from Forrester’s annual State of EA survey.

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What Does $100 Million Buy You? A Semantic Search Engine That Works.

Leslie Owens

The technical folks behind Monster.com invited me to visit last week. I somehow couldn’t convince them to show me any Superbowl ads but they did demo their cool new search engine. It’s based on technology they acquired when they bought Trovix in 2008. What can it do?

  • Understand the meaning of words: The search engine knows the difference between “development” in the fundraising context and “development” in the software context.
  • Appreciate the relationships between words: A custom ontology fortifies the search engine. The ontology rolls up skills like auditing into the larger category of finance. It differentiates between a top ranked school and a lower ranked school. It understands that years spent working as a prosecutor should count towards a candidate’s overall legal experience.
  • Cut text-heavy resumes into nimble content components: Recruiters can use the power resume search to compare candidates side-by-side, because the search mixes and normalizes the information into simple, clean categories like “Experience,” “Education,” and “Skills”.
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Crafting your technology strategy for business impact

Alex Cullen

That your technology strategy should be driven by business is a truism. We all know this -  architecture, strategy and IT overall should be driven by business needs, strategies and outcomes.

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SharePoint 2010 Helps With Nagging Process Headaches

Craig Le Clair

Craig LeClair Photo 9 22By Craig Le Clair

SharePoint 2010 unleashed a host of improvements for line of business (LOB), security and compliance, developers, and the data center. But unlike SharePoint 2007 that grouped a set of diverse technologies into a single platform, SharePoint 2010 takes dead aim at improving business processes by connecing people more directly to them. Visual Studio, SharePoint Designer, social features, enhancements to Visio and improved enterprise content management (ECM) support all directly benefit LOB process execution. SharePoint 2010 platform is not going to replace core transactional business process management (BPM) or provide needed infrastructure for continue improvement, but it will bring social computing into business and connect information workers to formerly siloed business processes.  The best news is Business Connectivity Services ehich allows -among other things - to more easily publish content from enterprise apps. and core transaction systems to SharePoint team sites and portals - and keep them live. This gets a rid of a host of non-value-added activity - copying, updating, moving to spreadsheets etc. that often plagued infromation workers. I've got a more indepth analysis of 2010 in  the works for January publication.

Staples - Moving into Managed Print Services

Craig Le Clair

 

Craig LeClair Photo 9 22By Craig Le Clair

Staples Technology Solutions - a separately managed part of the growing company - will outsource your desktops or address print management needs. So this means IT outsourcing as well providing Managed Print Services for printers, imaging equipment, copiers, and fax machines. They are strong in volume pricing and support coverage and will do well in the mid part of these markets. I would have liked to have seen more connection to their print and copy retail service centers. For example allowing jobs to be routed from a business to a retail center for special preparation - the type of things corporate print centers use to do.

The Archetypes of EA

Alex Cullen

This past summer, Forrester conducted a series of in-depth interviews of architects to further our understanding of their roles:  how they saw the role in the context of their organizations, how they are evaluated by senior management, their key success imperatives and their information needs.  We undertook this not just as research to publish, but also to inform how we support individuals in the EA role.

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The State Of EA In 2009 – A Disconnect Between Goals And Activities?

Alex Cullen

In September-October Forrester conducted its State of Enterprise Architecture survey – a broad look at EA in the context of the IT & business organization. We asked respondents questions ranging from where does the architecture function report, to the state of completeness of various architecture domains, the key technologies firms will be making significant architecture decisions about, and the degree of support for EA by various constituencies ranging from application developers to corporate business management. An upcoming series of reports from Forrester will discuss the survey results.

Last week, I conducted a webinar for the survey respondents – highlighting the results and discussing ‘what it means’. Webinar participants were very engaged in the discussion of the results – and with the broader question of the relationship and impact of EA to the larger business organization it is part of. 

Two figures that really stood out and generated discussion: 

We asked survey respondents – who were primarily architects in large enterprises – to identify the drivers for the EA program – essentially the mission and charter for the architecture organization.

 1 graphic

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