SOGETI UK BLOG

masterDefining master data for an information service in an organization can be a tedious task. It usually involves many meetings with all the different departments in the organization and they’ll all have different aspects of the business object that is being defined, e.g. a customer. A customer will often mean different things for the sales division and the manufacturing division, so both departments will need to be interviewed and have their needs satisfied before the customer definition is implemented.

This approach will often lead to a rigid construct and a system that is hard and costly to maintain. This scenario can lead to an abandonment of the whole effort of implementing master data in the organization and go back to a scenario where each application in the organization keeps a local version of the data, defined, so that it supports that application only. This is usually a bad thing that will drive integration costs and will result in duplications of data in the organization where you have a hard time to figure out which is the latest version.

The agile approach

There is a way to have both your cake and eat it. The solution is to define the master data in an agile way and use tailored communication patterns for each application. The work starts with one division e.g. sales defines their view on a business object e.g. customer. Then the sales application negotiate a communication pattern with the information service. The next division that wants to use the customer service adds its needs to the customer object and then negotiates a separate communication pattern with the service so that only information relevant to that application is communicated.

Defining master data with this approach enables different parts of the organization to start using the service and have their needs satisfied without the big data definition up front. Another aspect is the communication patterns that will be separate for each application so you will always have the confidence to change the data contracts and communication patterns for one application without breaking anything for the other applications.

Johan Bjarneryd AUTHOR:
Johan Bjärneryd is a solutions architect that joined Sogeti Sweden in 2011. Since then he has worked with different customers in different sectors. In 2012 Johan was appointed as national driver for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in Sweden and he leads the mobility competence network in his home region.

Posted in: Agile, Apps, Big data, communication, mobile applications, SogetiLabs      
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office_panel_2As long as there been people working in offices, their tools and office spaces have evolved for the better. There is one area though where time has stood almost still, and it is our perception of the office itself. To a lot of people, work is a physical place that you go to and not something you do, and this adds to the theory that you need to be at a specific place to perform your work, may it be writing novels, writing code or answering emails.

With the tools and technology of today, especially after the mobile revolution (smart phones, tablets ultra-books), the office worker 2.0 is well-equipped to work from anywhere he or she desires. Technology like Direct Access, Lync, Skype and the Cloud allows for communication with colleagues enabling you to be working on the same items even if you and your teammates are physically separated. The option to work from literally anywhere that has internet, opens up for a lot of benefits:

  • Being able to get the personal life puzzle to fit together
  • Work from a remote location to shut out distractions to focus on your work
  • Save time from commuting to and from the office
  • Change in scenery and work from a location you find inspiring
  • Lower environmental foot print from reduced traveling
  • More flexible office spaces

The change is happening, and more and more people see the benefit to be in charge of their own location. A few years ago Microsoft in Sweden announced “Work from home day” where they urged people working in offices to work from home at a specific date. This move was to enlighten the masses of the possibility to work remote from the office. Of course Microsoft wants to sell products enabling this, but their reasoning is sound.

So, if this has been afoot for a couple of years, why are we still trapped in rush hour traffic and sit in the same chair every day? My personal theory is that a lot of organizations are afraid of letting go and giving power to the worker – despite the fact that a lot of them have the latest technology for enabling this. It is easier to rely on policies stating that you have to be on location and sticking to the mentality “this is how we’ve always done it” other than to explore new ways of working.

Will 2014 be the year where managers and CIOs will be bold enough to enable the rise of the office worker 2.0 and realizing that the work is something produced and not a place you arrive at?

Johan Bjarneryd AUTHOR:
Johan Bjärneryd is a solutions architect that joined Sogeti Sweden in 2011. Since then he has worked with different customers in different sectors. In 2012 Johan was appointed as national driver for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in Sweden and he leads the mobility competence network in his home region.

Posted in: Cloud, communication, Microsoft, Mobility, SogetiLabs, Technology Outlook      
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