In this post I thought that I should comment on why I think that an organization of tomorrow needs to start to connect, engage, and innovate in order to grow an outperform its competitors. These are words that one can find highlighted in the DIRA Framework within the manufacturing industry. But as you will see I think that these concepts apply cross industry.

Extend! The power of “And”

The IT-industry have talked a lot of moving things to the cloud. And in many aspects this has been confusing for the customers. The picture of having things down there or up there give rise to a lot of irrelevant questions. How do you move to the cloud? Do I need a balloon or maybe a rocket?

Customers don’t want a revolution, they want an evolution. Here it is more relevant to talk about how one can extend the on-prem environment with cloud power. That is, customers want the strengths of their on-premises investments and the flexibility of the cloud. It’s not only about on-prem or the cloud, it’s about hybrid scenarios.  The cloud should be an enabler for innovation, and an extension of your organization’s IT environment, not just a fancier way to describe cheap infrastructure and application hosting.

Extend the Power of And

If I look back of our discussions we have had with our clients in relation to the cloud I think these can be divided into 3 phases.

The first one (around 2009) was focused on cost reduction and scalability. In some sense I think that the industry did a big mistake by talking about cost reduction since the things you get in the cloud is in many aspect a lot of better and provides a new type of flexibility that I think that we are willing to pay for. And from a scalability perspective there was few cases of dynamically scaling. So from that perspective the early days did not show too many cases that used “true” cloud computing.

Cloud Innovation and collaboration

In the second phase the focus become more on the agility and the speed. The possibility for a marketing department to have a new website for a short camping without going through the traditional processes which often was time consuming was a common used example. Neither do this example show the true benefits of the cloud.

It is first now, in the third step that I think we see the true values of cloud computing and this is how the cloud will be a catalyzer for innovation and collaboration.

Innovation intersection

In relation to innovation one talks about how a new innovation often is the combination of two old ideas. Take for example the crossing of the horse and the steam engine that became the train.

In relation to information this can be compared with combine data that traditional never has been close to each other but when they entering the cloud new possibilities appear. From this perspective it will be important to be connected to the inside as well as the outside information flow. Through the use of a common infrastructure it is now possible to build Smart process Apps that offers capabilities such as information capture, analytics, and collaboration as a described in an earlier post.

To help our clients with innovation intersection and to engage with partners or customers we have developed a SharePoint App named InnovationOne that can run in Office 365 or on SharePoint which gives the client the possibility to manage the innovation process and the different ideas that appears.

Innovation on top of dataWe are entering the world of Big Data and we would like to share and collaborate in order to create new innovations or services that helps us optimize our organization. The trend is to refer to data as the new gold. But how do we turn it into actionable results?

The cloud will introduce new integration patterns and if used wisely the information intersection may increase and new offerings may appear.

Focus on efficiency – Move to the system of Engagement

I think one needs to be able to go from a system of records to the system of engagement. And maybe most important understand that the IP of tomorrow is the insights from the data – Not the data by itself!

In the world of engagement one needs to focus on efficiency and the value for the customer not the internal organization.

An example in healthcare is if we look at the efficiency for the doctor that meets patients in his/her office all the time during the day, rather intense day I should guess. But, if we look at the patient’s process who is traveling to the doctor, sits in the waiting room, meets the doctor, traveling home, and waiting and worrying for the results, needs to travel back after a few weeks, maybe meet some new doctor, etc. Viewed from this perspective the efficiency is rather low.

The great challenge is to become flow efficient but at the same time have a high resource efficiency. This is the basis for Lean principles.


Below you find a short film about of a Smart Process App together with the CoIT (in this case Xbox) in many aspects helps to transform this corresponding process into “the perfect state”.

To summarize, the key aspect for the organizations of tomorrow are how to

  • Connect – Ensure to connect to the information flow and transform information to insights and actionable results. Focus on efficiency for the information flow rather than the efficiency for the resources. Think Lean!
  • Innovate – Ensure that the next generation innovators and entrepreneurs can contribute to your success. Open up your legacy system and democratizes the data
  • Engage – Move from system of records to system of engagement. Ensure that partners and customers can make better decisions based on the data and services you provide