— written by Klaus-Christoph Mueller, Director Global Business Solutions, itelligence —
How easily can a user solve his management tasks with current IT systems? A simple question — but it leads to a quite complex answer if you take a closer look at it. As management deals with structuring, I have split this to three different Blog posts that I have written about this topic. In part 1 I concentrated on the challenges which managers (from my point of view this includes everyone who has to manage tasks in his or her job and private life) have to face. Part 2 of my Blog series focused on the answer to following question: Why are such tasks in general very poorly reflected in current IT systems? And in part three I will try to answer following question:
Will this situation go on forever?
The good news is: Separating OLAP from OLTP is a work-around for too-slow processors that we no longer need. SAP has started the invention of HANA two years ago, which is, together with mobile and cloud solutions, the basis for a management in real-time deserving this classification for the first time in computer industry.
What Is HANA? Starting as an analytics platform, HANA has grown in the meantime to a flexible deployment environment for managing OLTP, analytical and big data usage types, in-memory and on-disk, on-premise and in the Cloud in one system. And these options are not separated like before, HANA supports advanced applications that can mix OLTP, analytics, and big data in real-time
In times where everything can be recorded, data volume is growing extremely. HANA allows for an adequate acceleration for big data and fast movement of data to match this. It is incredible in terms speed, for instance I saw an operative CRM system which was migrated to HANA database delivering answering times which were up to a hundred times faster. But that is not the main feature for me: The new infrastructure changes software architecture, blurring the boundaries between systems and transactional and analytical applications and allowing for a complete new user experience in true real-time. And this is supporting the needs of today´s business life. Remember that we are all managers today?
What is the bottom line?
Globalization offers new business opportunities. Also small and midsize companies have become international players in recent years. But in order to stay or become successful in this environment, you have to be fast and be cost effective. You have to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and immediate access to information has become a critical success factor – absolutely vital to making the right decisions at the right time, to providing excellent customer service, and to making timely cost-reduction measures.
Things are happening at the same time, and IT systems have to reflect this by being true real-time systems. Firstly, this means to get rid of the boundaries between systems as well as of the distinctions of different application types. Secondly, make business processes and transactions accessible to the user as simply and effectively as possible. So if you tear down the boundaries in the system landscape, you mustn´t keep them up in user transactions! Radically rethink what really makes sense for this particular user, offer as much flexibility as possible and keep everything away from the user what he doesn´t need and what hinders him in is business tasks.
It is about reducing complexity!
And by the way, that is exactly where it comes back to management theory: Today, the systems theory is used as a framework. In a complex world it is about to manage complexity, so you have to reduce it in order to concentrate on the important things. So reduction of complexity is the most important challenge of a manager, and systems should help him in doing so and not adding to it!
If you are interested more in the details of management theory, I could recommend at least some starting point for further readings:
- Steinmann / Schreyögg, Management – Grundlagen der Unternehmensführung, 6. Auflage, Wiesbaden 2005, in particular chapter 4 (although only in German to my knowledge)
And of course as the first and most prominent examples on empirical studies Mr. Mintzberg himself, e.g.:
But there is much more to find!