Neil Ward Dutton Layering it on at bpmNEXT

  • April 26, 2017
  • Scott
Neil Ward-Dutton

Neil Ward-Dutton also delivered a talk at bpmNEXT to help kick things off.  As in previous years, Neil presents a mental model that I find pretty useful.

First, he presents a model in three layers of innovation:

  1. Interaction layer.
  2. Insight layer
  3. Integration layer

Each of these is evolving independently.  But the evolution in each area is multiplied by the others to amount to a revolution in the whole experience.

  • The interaction layer is evolving to more human sensing and responding. From command line to graphical to conversational.  From operator interfaces to human interfaces.
  • The insight layer is moving from static to interactive, from retrospective to predictive. From information to recommendation.
  • Integration is moving from closed to open, from IT to Business-driven. From programming to visual design.

This is great insight into why it feels like so much is changing – and why it will still work together despite it feeling like everything will change at once – because each layer has well-defined boundaries with the layers adjacent to it.

Another theme in Neil’s talk was the shift from scarcity to abundance.  For most of those of us in the room, we were taught that computing resources were scarce and we were trained to conserve them. But today, compute is cheap. Storage is cheap. Connectivity is cheap. And so new design patterns are evolving with those assumptions in mind, and producing new business models. Physical resources are now (relatively) scarce and expensive, and digital resources are (relatively) infinite and inexpensive.  It’s a new world.

Neil also presented a novel way to think about how you design systems for a world described on two axes – one being Task Expertise (low-to-high), and the other being Task Volume (low-to-high).

And where does business process fit in?  The brave new world for business process is making sense of these changes to three layers, and organizing the company around the customer.

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