Real-Time Enterprise

AlwaysOn Network has an interview with Regis McKenna, who published the book “Real Time: Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer” in 1997. Exceprts:

In a very short span of history (about a decade), the entire world has come under the influence of real-time technology. It didn’t happen with a bang. It evolved and is still evolving. I wrote Real Time in 1995 and 1996, and it was first published in 1997. (Book publishing isn’t real time!) Most corporations were spending money on IT, but they weren’t forward-looking enough about coordinating their disparate databases. It was costly and time consuming to compare one database with another, let alone rebuild the enterprise architecture to meet the pressures of competition and the demands of customers. The data wasn’t very secure, but demand and growth continued unabated.

We have a lot to do. With a billion people moving into your neighborhood, the opportunities and issues are huge. It’s little wonder, then, that viruses, identity theft, and data integration, integrity, and security are major concerns. From a marketing viewpoint, the growth of CRM, web services, open systems, and self-service automation are all about maintaining a competitive edge and keeping it responsive and flexible because we now work and compete in a real time marketplace.

Services now comprise more than 75% of the U.S. GDP. For most other industrialized nations, services are 40% to 60%. We’ve automated all the factories, and now we’re automating services. We have to in order to compete. It’s evident that everything that can be codified in software will be. If you’re traveling, you’ll notice an increase in the number of self-check-in kiosks. Rent a car, and all the information has been pre-approved: You’ll find your name in lights notifying you where to pick up your carand you won’t have to interact with a single human being. Self-service is nothing new, but supporting and coordinating transactions from thousands or tens of thousands of customer requests per day can only be done efficiently with real-time networks.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.