The following is cross-posted from the Business Ecology Initiative blog. Not only does it answer BEI questions, but also (indirectly) explains my “quiet period” in late March.
At the end of March, I had the opportunity to present an Overview of the Business Ecology Initiative (BEI) to two important constituencies. The first group was a cross section of BEI and BPM/SOA Community members. The second group was the OMG Board of Directors. The presentations answered four questions:
- What is Business Ecology?
- What is the Business Ecology Initiative (BEI)?
- What is the relationship between OMG’s Practice Area Communities and BEI?
- What is the relationship between OMG’s Practice Area Communities and Technical Standards Communities?
Obviously, for individuals already involved in BEI, portions of the first two sections were familiar. However, as our community grows, it is important for everyone to have a shared understanding of what Business Ecology is, and is not, the value of Business Ecology adoption, and the purpose of BEI. The short answers:
1. What is Business Ecology?
Business Ecology is a business-technology imperative focused on streamlining business processes, removing waste from technology portfolios, and adjusting resource consumption, to optimize business operations and foster business innovation.
As the world economy emerges from a painful recession, organizations are confronted with the challenge of retaining bottom-line diligence, while pursuing market sustaining and gaining innovation.
For many organizations, the answer lies in harvesting savings and trapped value from existing processes, resources and capabilities. To accomplish this, organizations are turning to Business Ecology.
Business Ecology is not a one-time fix, but rather a management philosophy concerned with business vitality over time, balancing current conditions, optimization and innovation focus areas, resource allocations, and longer-term business motivations, capabilities and outcomes.
An important enabler of Business Ecology is the use of technology beyond automation. Business Ecology practitioners employ technology to identify, measure, model and drive business change.
2. What is the Business Ecology Initiative?
The Business Ecology Initiative provides education, advocacy and member programs to enable organizations to achieve Business Ecology success, employ Actionable ArchitectureTM, and carve a path to business-IT integration.
For the longer answers to questions 1 and 2, see this Business Ecology: Optimization for Innovation post, and/or, the presentation deck on slideshare.
3. What is the relationship between OMG’s Practice Area Communities and BEI?
Starting with the founding of the SOA Consortium in 2007, OMG has been actively managing and promoting Practice Area Communities. In general, these communities, or CoPs, are advocacy groups comprised of practitioners, service providers and technology vendors, dedicated to promoting the business value, and enabling the successful adoption, of specific, key business-technology strategies, by the Global 1000, major government agencies and midmarket businesses.
Currently, the OMG has four Communities of Practice (CoPs). Two, BPM/SOA and Green CIO are established communities. Two, Event Processing and Cyber Security, are newly forming.
Each of these CoP topic areas – BPM/SOA, Green CIO, Event Processing and Cyber Security – are enablers of Business Ecology. [see diagram] Thus, the CoPs are Practice Area Communities of the BEI. By federating the Practice Area Communities under BEI, members can benefit from, and contribute to, a common Business Ecology body of knowledge, including a federated practice collection.
4. What is the relationship between OMG’s Practice Area Communities and Technical Standards Communities?
Since the BEI and Practice Area Communities (CoPs) are managed by OMG, we receive this question a lot. The Practice Area and Standards Communities have common interests and do interact. However, the CoPs have NO role in standards creation. As well, activities of the CoPs are not bound by OMG standards.
The interactions are as follows:
- Practice Area Communities may consume OMG standards
- Practice Area Communities may surface the need for new OMG standards
- OMG Task Force members (standards creators) may solicit requirements from Practice Area Communities
- OMG Task Force members (standards creators) may provide standards information and education to Practice Area Communities
- Practice Area Communities and OMG special interest groups (not standards creators) may share topical interests
The full presentation deck, including details on the individual CoPs, is available on slideshare. Please note, as a result of community discussion, the Business Ecology Context diagram used throughout the presentation was revised. The most recent version is above, not in the March 23, 2010 slide deck.
If you have any questions on Business Ecology, BEI or the CoPs, please let me know.
[Disclosure: The Business Ecology Initiative is a client of my firm, Elemental Links.]