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Putting Work in Context Duggal-Malyk COCOA2010 120610b

Putting Work in Context Duggal-Malyk COCOA2010 120610b

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Published by daveduggal
ABSTRACT: This paper outlines barriers to Enterprise Agility posed by distributed Information System architecture and proposes a solution. The relationship between agility and context-awareness is explored. The authors introduce the Ideate Framework™, a Context-Aware Information System. The Framework provides a unified process architecture layer, above legacy and Service Oriented environments, which coordinates loosely-coupled resources using dynamically configured contracts. The System induces the emergent properties necessary to achieve sustainable agility.
ABSTRACT: This paper outlines barriers to Enterprise Agility posed by distributed Information System architecture and proposes a solution. The relationship between agility and context-awareness is explored. The authors introduce the Ideate Framework™, a Context-Aware Information System. The Framework provides a unified process architecture layer, above legacy and Service Oriented environments, which coordinates loosely-coupled resources using dynamically configured contracts. The System induces the emergent properties necessary to achieve sustainable agility.

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 COCOA 2010 Proceedings Page 1 of 6
Copyright 2010, Consilience International LLC
 
Putting Work in Context for Enterprise Agility
Dave Duggal and William Malyk{dave, bill}@ideate.comPresented December 6, 2010The 4th Annual Workshop on Coordination, Collaboration and Ad-hoc Processes (COCOA 2010)HP Labs, Palo Alto California
ABSTRACT: This paper outlines barriers to Enterprise Agility posed by distributedInformation System architecture and proposes a solution. The relationship betweenagility and context-awareness is explored. The authors introduce the Ideate
Framework™, a Co
ntext-Aware Information System. The Framework provides aunified process architecture layer, above legacy and Service Oriented environments,which coordinates loosely-coupled resources using dynamically configured contracts.The System induces the emergent properties necessary to achieve sustainable agility.Enterprise Agility is the ability to respond to individual events and adapt to a continuously changingbusiness environment. This requires a fundamental rethink of information architecture. The last fiftyyears of mainstream business computing brought efficiencies through standardization, predicated ondiscrete and relatively static models of process, data, and capabilities.The problem is, as statistician George E. P. Box succinctly stated [1],
“All 
models are wrong, some are
useful.” 
Static models are over-specified; a reductionist abstraction that induces rigidity and constrainsvariance
. This is evidenced by the presence of ‘exceptions’ and the related need for continuous
improvement. Exception management depends on disciplined reporting; however, in practiceexceptions are often recorded separately in shadow systems, on paper, or not at all. Moreover,improvement programs themselves tend to stagnate [2], reinforcing informal behaviors. Implementing
c
ontinuous’ remedial intervention across distributed systems is not agility.
 
In today’s increasingly volatile markets, with innovation cycles accelerating and competition increasing,
standardization is an abstraction most organizations cannot afford. The only things predictable arechange, exceptions and events. A 2010 PriceWaterhouseCoopers publication [3] noted -
In business, as in all other complex aspects of life, the problem is relying on bad models that 
don’t allow for unpredictable behavior—
what m
odelers call the “emergent properties” of complex systems. Every company is itself a complex adaptive system. Often it’s the
unpredictable behavior of that complex system that leads to value creation in a company. For that reason, especially when it comes
to today’s rapidly changing business environment, how enterprises address the “messiness” factor can lead to success or failure.
 
 
 COCOA 2010 Proceedings Page 2 of 6
Copyright 2010, Consilience International LLC
 To increase responsiveness businesses need to address large volumes of interactions on anindividualized basis. To accommodate non-disruptive change applications need to co-evolve with theirconstituent parts. Adaptation depends on situational awareness and the operational flexibility toefficiently manage variance [4, 5].Transparency is not enough. Agility requires more than actionable business intelligence; it requires anintegrated and dynamic approach for working with process, data, and capabilities in context [6].Context is the web of relationships that give events and facts meaning. Context is so fundamental to
human understanding that we don’t notice it until it’s missing. While everyone would prefer that their
work be taken in context, the pillars of the modern enterprise application infrastructure make thispractically impossible.----------------------------------------------------------
Impediments to Agility
Business Process Management Suites, Relational Database Management Systems, and Services are threesystem components commonly used to manage process, data, and functionality respectively.Examination of these components reveals common constraints that limit system dynamics.The two root causes of enterprise inflexibility are: 1) schemas coupling model definitions with fixedrelationships; and 2) the indirection present in distributed component-based architecture.
Figure 1
 Business Process Management Suites (BPMS) couple Task descriptions with control flows as part of defined process. A process may have conditional paths, but for every condition there is a fixed response.There is no direct means for context (e.g. user discretion, events, or changes in relatedbackground/reference information) to influence the process
 –
the next step is always predefined.
 
 COCOA 2010 Proceedings Page 3 of 6
Copyright 2010, Consilience International LLC
 Moreover, while a BPMS captures transaction details about its running processes, it has no directconnection to the actual business data/content it collects in the course of those processes, which isstored separately in one or more Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). This arms lengthrelationship means process is removed from its context.Services are a common vehicle for exchanging data between a BPMS and RDBMS. Service OrientatedArchitecture (SOA) is a leading architectural style for sharing business data and functions betweensystems. SOA couples interface descriptions with functionality as part of a service definition. While aprocess may call a Service to retrieve information from the RDBMS, it has no means to influence whatthe Service will do - the implementation of the service is fixed.The RDBMS itself couples Business Entity descriptions with entity relations as part of a static schema.The range of potential relationships is consistent across every process. There is no meaningfulinteraction between the BPMS, a Service and the RDBMS other than feeding and retrieving information.There are no practical means for any combination of BPMS, RDBMS and Services to render context-awareness. The approach is intrinsically unresponsive to the unique conditions and circumstances of anyindividual business interaction.Introducing additional services via other middleware components (e.g. Event Processing; Business RulesManagement; Master Data Management; etc.) adds capabilities, but also increases cost, complexity andlatency. Adding such services, without unifying principles, does not address the fundamental limitationsof the overall system architecture.----------------------------------------------------------
The Ideate Framework™
 
Ideate connects work to its business context so people can make informed decisions.The Framework, patents pending [7], provides a flexible architecture with a unified approach to dynamicmodeling of process, data, and capabilities. It is optimized for unpredictable or highly-variableknowledge-work driven by human discretion and events [8]. In these situations static process modelswould result in constant exceptions, while ad hoc approaches would not provide the depth of regulationfor compliance [9] or convenience of time-saving automation [10].Ideate fuses the component-based distributed design principles of Service Orientation, the leadingenterprise architectural style, with the scalability and linked interrelationships of Representational StateTransfer (REST), the architectural style of the World Wide Web, to deliver a practical hybrid solution forEnterprise Agility.----------------------------------------------------------

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