Organizations no longer have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for an opportunity to react. Corporate performance depends on intercepting the emerging future quickly, thus putting a premium on the Database of Now. We can see many examples of the inability to pre-build strategic responses to emerging conditions such as inverted yield curves, new super competitors, hyper disinflation, currency shifts, pandemics, ECO events, and geopolitical shifts. So how do organizations take advantage of the database of now and build for interacting response cycles? The answer is to create a database of now and leverage it differently at different levels in the organization (See Figure 1) while trying to extend reaction to preemption. The interaction will be changed at different levels and cascading levels of strategy, tactics, and operations.
Figure 1 Interacting Response Cycles
Organizations are running in an automatic mode within normal conditions; they take actions without a lot of thinking or bother. The problem today is that automatic mode is not happening consistently with profitability like it has in the past because of emergent conditions. These conditions can emerge from a variety of sources represented by fast and large growing sources of data. These conditions can come from outside the organization in either an anticipated or unanticipated manner where they are not as controllable. These conditions can come from inside the organization to optimize business outcomes through observation or management influence in a controlled fashion. See figure 2 for the common sources of new conditions. The causes include changes in data, patterns, contexts, decision parameters, results from actions, changes in goals, or new risk management desires/demands. These changes are occurring on a more frequent basis and at a faster speed, thus creating the need for the Database of Now.
Figure 2. Sources of Emergent Conditions
Keep in mind that each level's triggers in Figure 1 will likely be different, iterative, and possibly influenced/interconnected by other levels.
Operations of Now:
Operations are focused on completing business events, customer journeys, and work journeys with the support of humans, software, bots, and physical infrastructure. The operations are often iterative and monitored in a near real-time fashion. Today's operations require a Database of Now where the dashboards reflect actual progress/completion of work. When exceptions emerge, responses are required within the constraints of existing operational goals to make minor adjustments. Also, significant adjustments need projects that may leverage a fail-fast approach to make corrections. Operational goals are often influenced by changes initiated by tactical and strategic decisions and adjustments. Analysis and reporting help make appropriate adjustments without unseating other operations.
Tactics of Now:
Tactical management within the constraints of strategy tends to optimize interrelated outcomes that may look across multiple operational domains. Real-time forecasting based on real-time data is essential to predict the direction of aggregated operations. The Database of Now plays a crucial role in making better decisions by quickly changing rules to optimize business outcomes in support of strategic goals and directions. Tactical changes may imply shifting resources, changing rules, goals, and constraints of aggregated operations. Often key projects identified at this level, like recognizing patterns that might indicate the need for a new product or service. This is also the level that decides the amount and type of automation that will help reach the currently selected strategy.
The Strategy of Now:
Strategies tend to stay stable and are highly linked to the organization's missional operations within Its typical communities and common scenarios. Predictive and prescriptive analytics help shape expected scenarios that may be sitting on the shelf with their associated tactics and operations ready to jump in at a moment's notice. Of course, the Database of Now can point to a playbook for switching scenarios when expected patterns emerge. Still, unexpected patterns can generate the need to apply new scenarios generated by more predictive and prescriptive analytics.
It is pretty easy to see that fast monster data will create the need for the Database of Now necessary for better performance at all levels (strategy, tactics, and operations). It is also clear that fast data without time lags generated by too many synchronizations and transformations is necessary for better corporate performance while keeping all contributing resources aimed at business outcomes.