What is Happening? Mobility and integration are critical to the existence and future of business as we know it, but are also leading potential disruptors and cost centers that could unfairly tax traditional enterprise IT organizations and architectures.
Saugatuck has developed the Boundary-free Enterprise™ model (see Figure 1 below) as the simplest and most accurate model for understanding and predicting innovation and change in IT and business through the planning horizon. The Boundary-free Enterprise™ (BFE) encompasses (and requires) a new master architecture that is not based on a single computing-platform paradigm, but rather on multiple technologies and platforms that build synergies through loosely-coupled and opportunistic exchanges of value.
Two key factors that are driving and enabling the Boundary-free Enterprise™ are Mobility and Data Integration. These two factors will be leading catalysts for driving enterprises to implement the Boundary-free Enterprise™ (“Integration: The Glue of the Boundary-free Enterprise™”; and “ What’s It Mean to be “Mobile?” Six Degrees of Mobile Separation Within the BFE”).
However, taking advantage of their capabilities in many if not most enterprises will lead to unnecessary costs, in large part because of the added complexity these factors introduce.
Why is it Happening? The BFE is happening because today’s businesses and individuals need to be less encumbered by constraints of time and place, permitting executives and knowledge workers to do their work through an expanded array of time- and location-independent computing capabilities – Cloud, Mobile, Social/Collaborative and Analytics (CMSA) plus Integration – that make the Boundary-free Enterprise™ possible. Integration is the glue that links these capabilities together and joins them to on-premises data assets in data centers where mission-critical money systems still operate behind highly-secure firewalls.
Meanwhile, developing for mobile platforms, especially in a “bring your own device” (BYOD) Boundary-free Enterprise™, introduces a series of critical technology tradeoffs and challenges, including the following seven:
- Designing look & feel -- especially cross-platform -- browsers, OSes etc., across smartphones and tablets, e.g. iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, Symbian
- Managing connectivity -- 3G/4G networks/WiFi signal interruptions, sleep mode, etc.
- Making use of client functions, e.g., geolocation, time, sound, etc.
- Ensuring security, privacy, data reliability and transactional integrity
- Doing quality assurance, user interface testing, etc.
- Managing product roadmaps, release schedules, etc.
Add to that the resulting increase in integration, combining data across Clouds and on-premises data stores, and the potential for degraded data quality arises. Data quality is about both control and ease of access to data. In the former case, control means putting technology and process in place that ensures consistent data practices across systems and across organizational boundaries within an enterprise (and sometimes across enterprise boundaries in inter-organizational business relationships), especially in the Boundary-free Enterprise™. Both technology and process are necessary to ensure that too much dependence is not placed on people, whose behaviors with respect to data implementation and integration will vary otherwise.
For an extended version of this Research Alert, visit Saugatuck Technology.