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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where Art Thou Information? - Lost in Technology!

As another year of technology hype draws to a close, I wonder where the focus on the Information is. Information is the subject matter of “IT”, where the technology enables a proper capture, processing and presentation of the Information. Most of the focus is shifted to technology led transformation of businesses…..

Appification – a word coined to make an “App” (short for application!) that can be downloaded to perform a generic task on a mobile device.

Gamification – Again a word coined to create a simulated / augmented reality that “Engages” the user with the subject under consideration in a generic manner.

Cloudification – Deploying an elastic, self-provisioned, pay-per-use model of computing performing generic functions.

“Appliance”ification – pre-configured hardware + software bundles pushed in by the vendors to provide “optimized” & “efficient” solutions to problems following a generic pattern.

“Package”fication – deploying vendor provided generic package to provide predefined information flows by the vendor.

With all these “ifications” we have ended up with several suites of “products” that are branded as ERP, EIM, ECM, BPM etc., also we have “anything” as a service (saas, paas, iaas, dbaas, what not aaS!) providing everything on the move i.e, mobile.

So, what is the point I am trying to bring up? With all the possibilities of customization and promises of near zero time to market, and all the solutions around, we lost the focus on the “problem” that we are trying to solve!

If all these are solutions then what is the problem?

All the past year I have been working with the information management of the Insurance companies across the globe and interacting with the different levels employees representing the IT and business functions of those enterprises, the problems seems to lie in fundamental definitions of information flows. Legacy policy administration systems, multiple systems holding the data about quotations, pricing, products, policies & claims causing the “entropy” of not having the correct information to the different operational units within the business in the right time to make decisions seems to me the key problem.

As long as the real problem is not rightly understood with respect to the information flows between the organization units and within the operating environment, implementing newer technology solutions will not solve the problem.

I hope the new year 2013 gets the focus right on the problem of information and transforms the business based on facts i.e., what I call “Information led transformation” rather than the current trend of “technology led transformation”

Happy New Year 2013!!
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