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Revisiting the Evolution of Business Process


In my last blog, I discussed re-engineering your business processes with social collaboration. Prior to the availability of social collaboration tools, businesses re-engineered processes for automation, taking advantage of repeatable steps in order to cut out manual steps and wasted operation.  Adding social considerations opens the possibilities of collaboration, especially for the knowledge worker who needs to largely work person to person in order to exchange information, create content, and communicate across the globe.

We’re now on the brink of a new phase of business process evolution and it is coming with the Internet of Everything (IoE). This phase will be a combination of the first two phases, automating knowledge exchange, introducing machines into collaborative interactions with people, and using experience to continually learn and adjust processes on the fly. I am excited by the potential.

I envision a more immersive experience in my day to day processes, one where the collaboration tools are doing their job so well that the functionality is transparent to me after a few instructions and interactions. I can still provide tweaks to the instructions, but largely, the tools learn from my actions and predict where my attention is needed and with whom I need to connect for the proper expertise and at the proper time. Here are a few ideas that Cisco is kicking around:

  • Machine and facility sensors collect and distribute data analytics to management to any location on any device for collaborative decision making and response
  • Shipping agents receive real-time alerts based on field reports (e.g. messaging from dispatch, drivers, or customers) and environment conditions to optimize delivery logistics and order fulfillment
  • Healthcare providers continuously monitor health conditions and consult patients from remote locations
  • Service providers visit prospective and existing customers from any location using pervasive video from any device

Sounds a bit like a movie, right? The future is bright with potential.

So while the collective solutions in the marketplace are still perfecting social collaboration, making us connected and more conversational, the pain keeps moving and the proverbial carrot is pleading with us to evolve further. The next phase of business process re-engineering will focus on integrating the social experiences with automated business processes across the many platforms that exist in the enterprise.

How do you think IoE will change your business processes? Please share your thoughts.