07 Jun Real-Time Economy: Part 2
Real-time thinking will grow our states economy
It’s a strategy, process and technology
Wisconsin’s economy is very real. It reaches across the entire spectrum of local, state, national, and international borders. Real-time economies create new opportunities in the life sciences and information technology. We can help our current economy by helping our state’s traditional businesses in tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture to operate in real- time. This is big opportunity!
Lets start logically with best practices and foster creativity and innovative thinking. Real-time will become a method and cost of doing better business. It’s a process in which technology is an enabler and not a panacea. It requires a change in the status quo. Government, education, and private industry must re-align together and all begin to collaborate.
Working in real-time is all about being open to change. It’s about being inclusive and accessible for everyone, not just a few. It’s about adaptability and not conformity or consensus building.
The concept of running a real-time business is about taking risks and having the courage to change. It requires having insight into the cultural aspects of your company or organization. It’s about the integration of new systems with existing ones to improve processes, workflow, and procedures to provide more access to information when and wherever it’s needed. It’s about lowering costs per transaction, superior competitive intelligence, lower inventory levels, sharing of information in a real-time manner that reduces expensive human input, creating better decision making and improved visibility of the supply chain, and the ability to optimize situations in times of uncertainty and global crisis.
Companies that operate in real time include GE, Dell, Cisco, Wal-Mart, Fed-EX and Lands’ End. They all have digital nervous systems that connect “anything and everything” involved in their entire business process structure. Businesses must strive to have the ability instantaneously react to changes. Those changes may be a reaction to changing market conditions that are caused by world politics and economies. The result is not a new economy but a “now economy.”
GE managers monitor everything in real-time. They utilize a “digital dashboard” that provides them with a continually updated view of all processes, and their ability to monitor, measure response time, and to change processes when necessary in real-time. Managers are alerted if changes are detected, and they can then act, instantaneously!
Wal-Mart, FedEx, Lands’ End and Dell are four companies with very different business models, but what they all have in common is the ability to react to change. They all benefit from real-time logistics management. As world events constantly change, these companies can adjust their processes in real-time. This is a very significant differentiator over their competitors.
Silicon Valley with all the challenges it faces today has adopted the concept of real-time. VC’s firm like Klein, Perkins, Caufield & Byers are promoting it. Oracle, HP, IBM, Intel, Sun, EMC, Cisco and Microsoft, all have products planned or available now, as well as visions surrounding their networking and software efforts. Let’s hope they move beyond another buzzword and deliver real value.
Real-time is about realizing the full potential of what technology can do, according to Andrew Odlyzko, director of the Digital Technology Center at the University of Minnesota. He believes we need to drive the lags and latencies out of the economy and make it more efficient. Breakthroughs in the processes and technologies that speed up information flow and access might prove in hindsight to be as significant as the invention of the telegraph in 1837.