In this chapter the impact of the technology trends implied by web 2.0 and beyond, on IT Governance and sourcing will be addressed. The remainder of this chapter will provide a description of the evolution of IT developments through to the introduction of Web 2.0 technology, as it relates to IT Governance and sourcing strategies.
The Web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect—to help people work together.” (Berners-Lee, 1999, p.123)
That said, despite the initial aspirations of Berners-Lee in the early 1990s, it is only now that many of these aspirations are being realised. The most important of these is the facilities the Web now provides for people to not only work together, but socialise in a way that had previously not been possible. Web 2.0 is forcing individuals to think seriously about their work/life mix. From an IT Governance and sourcing perspective, the ability to control what staff do with IT and what IT they choose to use is continuously diminishing. In this chapter the impact of the technology trends implied by web 2.0 and beyond, on IT Governance and sourcing will be addressed.
The remainder of this chapter will provide a description of the evolution of IT developments through to the introduction of Web 2.0 technology, as it relates to IT Governance and sourcing strategies. Automating business processes has been the “bread and butter” IT application. Business process management technologies are still being actively developed to push the limits of business process automation. Today however, tacit knowledge intensive business practices do not lend themselves to automation. The role of technology therefore becomes a symbiotic sharing of responsibilities between the human worker and IT technology. The changing technology needs required to support knowledge based business practices will be addressed here. The final part of the chapter identifies new measurement technologies appropriate for managing in a networked business environment. These emerging “Net Mining” techniques can be used to provide the necessary business monitoring and intelligence capabilities with networks, that data warehousing techniques provide for conventional business processes.Top
Business Process Vs. Business Practice
The concepts of codification, explicit knowledge, tacit knowledge, routine work, processes and practices are not new, but still engender a degree of confusion through their different interpretations. It is important to delineate “process” from “practice” if one is to attempt to operationalise them. “Process” is strongly associated with concepts like “explicit knowledge”, “routine” and “codification” while “practice” has similarly strong associations with “tacit knowledge”, “heuristics” and “non-codification”. Three themes can be traced back to Simon’s theory of “bounded rationality” (Simon, 1979). This theory identifies the limitations within which managers can employ rational decision-making techniques. Rational decision-making implies an ability to make explicit the “process” of decision-making. Outside the bounds of rationality, managers will rely on intuition and emotion to guide their decision-making (Simon, 1987).