Tuesday, August 12, 2014

IoT and Process: Process Must Step Up the Awareness Factor

While the Internet of Things (IoT) promises more process participation, processes are not being designed with enough awareness to step up to the coming demands. Processes need to step up their cognition to another level beyond just responding to being called or just triggered when needed. I see a need for processes to have the ability to have three kinds of increased awareness enumerated below:

Through Pre-planned Signals and Patterns:

Processes do well when they respond to planned stimulation (through data, triggers or beckoned response). Analysts, designers and programmers know how to get this done, but they do not understand the amount of trigger points (external or internally generated) are going to emerge with fury as the relation of process and IoT grows. This may become overwhelming at some point as unknowns become visible and understood as something to respond to in the future. This may become explosive in nature as organizations learn to deal with the volume generated by the IoT and agents.

Through Reactive Unknown Signals and Patterns:

How many times are business professionals, analysts and developers are taken by surprise signals and patterns that need attention? This is going to happen and accelerate over time, so those organizations that can transform the unknowns to knows the fastest will out perform those that don't. Processes need to be equipped to catch unknown signals and patterns and inform process managers and participants that need to consider measured responses.

Through Proactive Context Scans for Signals and Patterns:

Another approach to awareness to have processes check context for new and unusual patterns and have those patterns match against expected and unexpected threats or opportunities. Organizations that do scenario planning, both likely and unlikely, will have an advantage to seek out patterns that represent scenarios of interest. This will allow organizations to turn way from reactive approaches only.

Net; Net: 

The best approach is to employ all three of these methods of building awareness in the proper balance for a point in time, but any increase in process awareness is a good thing. As we head to a very interactive world rife with M2M, H2M, M2H and H2H interactions the awareness to identify better alternative practices will become important.

Additional Reading: