Informatics for Business Is More than Process Automation: i-Business > e-Process

In the rapidly changing, global markets of the early 21st century, many businesses – not only IT businesses – are forced to evolve quickly to remain competitive. New tools have made possible the real-time collection, analysis, and display of enterprise data, that can help business executives to make enterprise-level decisions quickly. This has spawned a new trend for tools for “business design”, “business process integration”, etc.

Business process design and automation is not new to IT and manufacturing companies. When asked how to design and analyze a business, many technical practitioners think of business process. However, process alone is not sucient to design and analyze a business, and tools that focus solely on process will isolate many business practitioners. Furthermore, focusing on process for the purpose of automation ignores many important aspects of collaboration among employees in a business, the interest and capabilities of individuals in developing relationships with clients, the understanding of the situation and conditions emerging from the market or sector that the organization serves, etc.

Many tools, designed by IT practitioners, classify their design, monitoring, and analysis techniques into one of “strategy” or “operations”. This hierarchy ultimately shows the relatively poor theoretical understanding on which tools for e-business have grown. In this paper, we lay some stronger foundations and a more solid theoretical framework. We show that informatics for business design and analysis require a toolkit of models, including process and others. The impact of people on the business is also included in the model, and an example shows the importance of this inclusion. We introduce an approach for utilizing multiple models together for electronic assistance for design, analysis, and management of business.

By: J. Q. Trelewicz, J. L. C. Sanz, D. W. McDavid, A. Chandra, S. C. Bell

Published in: RJ10325 in 2004


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