A recent article on CRN on Seven Business and Tech Trends for '07 stress the importance of capturing core knowledge and empowering business analysts to do their job better.
This article lists the following trends for 2007:
- Capture Expertise Before Boomers Retire.
- Designing for Agility: Business Analysts Step Up.
- Integration as Cure: the Future of Medical Records.
- Manufacturing's Job One: Improve Information Flow
- Parallel or Bust: Computing at a Crossroads.
- Let's See Action: BI Adapts to Real Time.
- Build Up From SOA to Business Integration.
- Capture Expertise Before Boomers Retire - IT shops need to be concerned not only with employees who are about to retire, but with key employees leaving for other jobs. A lot more people change jobs with different employers than the number of people retiring. It is easier to capture explicit knowledge rather than tacit knowledge. Some tools might help, but getting tacit knowledge documented will be difficult. How do you maintain close relationships (customers or professional colleagues) that these ex-employees had? Sure, they can list who they worked with, but it will be difficult to document characteristics about the "relationships". Companies have to start somewhere and so the reference to use blogs and wikis is a good start. However, there's still a lot of manual work (trial and error) to recover from key employees leaving that I'm not sure could be automated (at least in the near term).
- Designing for Agility: Business Analysts Step Up - The analyst role is evolving. Besides BPM and UML tooling, information consolidation/integration is important for a business analyst. QEDwiki, an IBM application wiki, which has been discussed several times on this blog, is a good example of how a business analyst can be empowered to select and integrate critical information to use. With QEDwiki, a business analyst can "design" an on-line information portal to service his or her needs.
- Integration as Cure: the Future of Medical Records - I agree with the author that there is a strong need to integrate systems and information via electronic medical records. The federal government will need to take a leadership role here, but it will cost money. (We all know there's not a lot of extra money sitting around Washington, DC these days, so a solution won't be easy.) However, integrated EMRs will need to happen soon. More and more documents are online. Fraud and waste from Medicaid/Medicare could be much more easily detected if there was some common integrated system. There are a lot of privacy issues that will need to be resolved, but hopefully in 2007 people will start a dialog to explore possible solutions.
- Manufacturing's Job One: Improve Information Flow - I see the use of software standards being a key solution for hetergenous systems such as using Web Services/SOAP. IBM and other vendors have invested heavily in enabling software products to conform to standards.
- Parallel or Bust: Computing at a Crossroads - The graph showing that 'microprocessor hitting the wall' and not keeping up with Moore's Law is interesting. I was not aware that Moore's Law was not being kept up within the microprocessor industry. Programmers have been spoiled for a long time because even if they wrote inefficient programs, Moore's Law was there to save the day by continually providing faster microprocessors. Many programs got bigger and bulkier. It will be interesting to watch this trend. I'm confident that researchers will discover new manufacturing process or utilize new materials to make even faster microprocessors and address the power dissipation issues.
- Let's See Action: BI Adapts to Real Time. - In a way, search engines (such as Google) provide common business users with basic BI information. It's amazing what information is available and being collected on the web. It's a big difference from just a few years ago. Of course, real BI tools provide more useful and better quality of data. Data Quality will be the key differentiator because there's still a lot of "junk" data available on the web. People are willing to pay a premium for reliable data and thus BI vendors need to continually ensure that their BI data library is of the highest quality and most up-to-date.
- Build Up From SOA to Business Integration. - Agree with the insights mentioned about this trend. SOA and Web Services will provide companies a way to integrate legacy applications. But the more importantly, SOA opens up new business opportunities that companies need to consider.
Manager, Emerging Technologies Development, IBM Software Group