People are the heart and mind of your business. Processes form the backbone of your operations. Data is the lifeblood that feeds everything you do. For your business to operate at peak performance and deliver the results you seek, people, processes and data must be healthy individually, as well as work in harmony. Technology has always been important to bringing people, process and data together; however technology’s importance is evolving. As it does, the relationships among people, processes and technology are also changing.
People are the source of the ideas and the engine of critical thinking that enables you to turn customer needs and market forces into competitive (and profitable) opportunities for your business. The human brain is uniquely wired to interpret a large volume of information from the environment, analyze it and make decisions about how to respond. The human intellect, combined with passion and creativity, serves as the source for your company’s innovative ideas – both to create new and to improve existing products and operations. Ironically, most companies have historically viewed human resources as the “brawn” of their organization (workers), not the brains (thinkers).
Business and manufacturing processes provide the structure of your company’s operations – aligning the activities and efforts of your people into efficient and predictable workflows. Processes are critical to enable the effective allocation of the organization’s resources and ensure consistent and repeatable outcomes in both products and business functions. As companies mature, they develop the capabilities to improve operational performance by observing processes in action.
Operational data enables the people and process elements of your company to work together, providing both real-time and historical indications of what activities are taking place and how well they are performing. Data is also the key enabler of scalability – multiple people are able to perform related activities independently and communicate amongst each other. Without data, separation of responsibilities and specialization of job roles would be almost impossible.
The relationships among people, process and data are changing. Since the first industrial revolution, processes were seen as the primary focus of businesses, with people serving as resources to execute those processes and data being created as a by-product of the work taking place. Technology adoption and the introduction of IT and manufacturing automation functions have primarily centered on the concept of business process automation – retaining the process focus and seeking to increase output and reduce costs through the elimination or streamlining of human activities. A new generation of business-process data enabled better monitoring and controlling of the processes to identify further opportunities for automation.
With the maturation of the information age, the benefits of investing in business-process automation are reaching a point of diminishing returns. Enterprises have been addressing those activities that could be easily and cost-effectively automated, and the majority of recapturable human resource costs involved in executing business processes have been harvested.
Optimizing business performance in the current business environment requires companies to re-think the relationship between people, process, data, and the technology that enables them. Forward-looking companies are transitioning to a data-centric perspective, viewing data as the strategic asset of the organization and framing people, process and technology as enablers to the creation, management and consumption of data. Re-framing the relationship in this way unlocks a new set of business optimization opportunities.
People are no longer viewed as workers to execute processes, but as interpreters of environmental and operational data – making critical, time-sensitive decisions and continually adjusting activities to improve business performance. Processes are no longer viewed as the rigid backbone to which all other parts of the organization must be attached, but, instead, become the source of operational data and the mechanisms for implementing change. In the modern paradigm, technology becomes more data-centric, capturing larger volumes and diversity of data elements and assisting humans to correlate them together to drive large-scale and real-time operational insights.
The ability of companies to fine tune their organization effectively for optimal business performance will be largely dependent on the quality and trustworthiness of the data assets they have at their disposal. Business processes have become more data-centric, and technology adoption has expanded the possibilities for new and diverse instrumentation. Bringing all of the operational, environmental and strategic data sources together to enable decision making has become critical to business success.
Blazent’s service intelligently unifies disparate sources of IT and operational data into a single source that supports decision making and process refinement. While people and process are critical, it is not just the enabling data, but the quality of the data, that determines whether a company accelerates or stalls when pressure is applied. Blazent’s core role in the management of data quality has always served as a catalyst for growth and innovation.