Sometimes you have great ideas and don’t execute, which is pretty lame when all you need to do is blog it. But it happens.
One key concept that I have been working out for a long time is what I called The Synchronised Web. I have plenty of delicious links on it, but have kept spinning the wheel, without putting it down to get some traction. The idea came from thinking about online/offline and the convergence of client and webside services. Its no good having a bunch of cool services you use online that you take around with you, or work with when no network is available. The Synchronised Web is what comes after Web 2.0… and there are many cool new companies emerging there. Microsoft’s acquisition of Groove Networks was a key event in kicking off the Synchronised Web, mostly because Ray Ozzie is going to make online and offline, and loose-coupling work at Microsoft.
But last year (I can’t believe it was a year ago I sat down and worked this out, and discussed it with Ambuj Goyal and Tom Inman of the IBM Information Management group. So here I am finally getting the idea down. Crazy).
The Synchronised Web allows for sloppiness, even celebrates it – open data, loosely coupled services, synchronisation tools, i need to take this with me, and its ok if there are some overlaps.
So what about The Synchronised Enterprise?
In The Synchronised Enterprise information and data are synchronised across organisational and technical silos, with quality of information as the key tenet. Master Data Management is a core underpinning of the Synchronised Enterprise. CRM is synched with ERP with order and billing and so on. Data, rather than process, is at the heart of the Synchronised Enterprise. Building an infrastructure for the Synchronised Enterprise gives you much more process flexibility, because if the data is coherent, processes can be rapidly iterated, with lower risk.
Why build a Synchronised Enterprise? SOX and other industry regulations is one good reason. If you’re going to attest to a set of accounts, you better make sure your data is in synch. For Governance, Risk and Compliance Synchronised Enterprise makes a great deal of sense.
Synchronised Enterprises don’t lose customer data. Synchronised Enterprises don’t make business decisions on data they can’t trust. There are a lot of technologies associated with the concept – and I plan to start talking to those over the next few months.
SynchWeb and Synchronised Enterprise are related concepts. I think they could provide a useful framework for thinking about technology adoption over the next couple of years.