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Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating the Decisions Hidden in Your Business
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Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating the Decisions Hidden in Your Business

by James Taylor
 

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“Automated decisions systems are probably already being used in your industry, and they will undoubtedly grow in importance. If your business needs to make quick, accurate decisions on an industrialized scale, you need to read this book.”

Thomas H. Davenport, Professor, Babson College, Author of Competing on Analytics

The computer-based

Overview

“Automated decisions systems are probably already being used in your industry, and they will undoubtedly grow in importance. If your business needs to make quick, accurate decisions on an industrialized scale, you need to read this book.”

Thomas H. Davenport, Professor, Babson College, Author of Competing on Analytics

The computer-based systems most organizations rely on to support their businesses are not very smart. Many of the business decisions these companies make tend to be hidden in systems that make poor decisions, or don’t make them at all. Further, most systems struggle to keep up with the pace of change.

The answer is not to implement newer, “intelligent” systems. The fact is that much of today’s existing technology has the potential to be “smart enough” to make a big difference to an organization’s business. This book tells you how.

Although the business context and underlying principles are explained in a nontechnical manner, the book also contains how-to guidance for more technical readers.

The book’s companion site, www.smartenoughsystems.com, has additional information and references for practitioners as well as news and updates.

Additional Praise for Smart (Enough) Systems

“James Taylor and Neil Raden are on to something important in this book–the tremendous value of improving the large number of routine decisions that are made in organizations every day.”

Dr. Hugh J. Watson, Chair of Business Administration, University of Georgia

“This is a very important book. It lays out the agenda for business technology in the new century–nothing less than how to reorganize every aspect of how a company treats its customers.”

David Raab, President, ClientXClient

“This book is an important contribution to business productivity because it covers the opportunity from both the business executive’s and technologist’s perspective. This should be on every operational executive’s and every CIO’s list of essential reading.”

John Parkinson, Former CTO, Capgemini, North American Region

“This book shows how to use proven technology to make business processes smarter. It clearly makes the case that organizations need to optimize their operational decisions. It is a must-have reference for process professionals throughout your organization.”

Jim Sinur, Chief Strategy Officer, Global 360, Inc.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780132347969
Publisher:
Prentice Hall
Publication date:
07/13/2007
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.92(w) x 9.05(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

Extreme Programming Installed

This book is about how organizations can deliver systems smart enough to cope with the modern world. This requires a focus on decision-making and on the automation and management of those decisions. Most organizations struggle with dumb systems and think that their choice is between esoteric artificial intelligence from the lab and mindless systems where everything comes down to "peopleware." Today, people do all the hard work and computers are left to do only what they do best. It is completely feasible to flip that around—have people do what they do best and let computers do the hard work. Organizations can apply proven technology in a new way to get the systems they need.

If you are interested in how to make your organization function more effectively by improving the behavior of your information systems, this book is for you. You might be a manager, wondering what might be possible with your systems or an IT professional looking for a framework for thinking about these aspects of information systems. Perhaps you know something of data mining, predictive analytics, optimization, or business rules and are looking for better ways to apply them. You may be in an organization that has never attempted this kind of work before or one struggling with getting these technologies out of pilot projects and into the mainstream.

We have tried to move gradually from a nontechnical to a moderately technical point of view. The initial chapters are designed for any business reader, whereas the later chapters are really aimed at readers who are more technical. None of the chapters requires a detailed understanding of or experience with the technologies described. Plenty of books exist that describe the component technologies; this book is about how, and why, they fit together. The real case studies scattered throughout the book and, in the more technical sections, the real architecture diagrams are not meant to be comprehensive but illustrative. Similarly, several sections of the book discuss SmartEnough Logistics, an imaginary company whose story illustrates some of the key points in the book.

A companion web site is available: http://www.smartenoughsystems.com. This companion site is designed to be a useful ongoing resource to support the book and those using the concepts described in it. The site has an Enterprise Decision Management Wiki that supports errata, links, additional materials, and more for the subjects covered in the book. The Wiki is open to anyone who registers to participate. News and updates are available through the smartenoughsystems blog, and the site contains information to help you learn more about the subjects covered—everything from webinars and podcasts to training and books.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

James Taylor
Prior to co-founding Smart (Enough) Systems, James Taylor was a Vice President at Fair Isaac Corporation where he developed and refined the concept of enterprise decision management or EDM. Widely credited with the invention of the term and the best known proponent of the approach, Mr Taylor helped create the emerging EDM market and is a passionate advocate of decision management. Mr. Taylor has 20 years experience in all aspects of the design, development, marketing and use of advanced technology including CASE tools, project planning and methodology tools as well as platform development in PeopleSoft's R&D team and consulting with Ernst and Young. He has consistently worked to develop approaches, tools and platforms that others can use to build more effective information systems. He is an experienced speaker and author, with his columns and articles appearing regularly in industry magazines.

Neil Raden
Prior to co-founding Smart (Enough) Systems, Neil Raden was the founder of Hired Brains, a research and advisory firm in Santa Barbara, CA, offering research and analysis services to technology providers and venture capitalists as well as providing consulting and implementation services in Business Intelligence and Analytics throughout North America and Europe. Hired Brains, and its predecessor company, Archer Decision Sciences, have been in business for over 20 years, providing services to many of the Global 2000 companies. Mr. Raden began his career as a casualty actuary with AIG in New York before moving into software engineering, consulting and industry analysis, with experience in the application of analytics to business processes from fields as diverse as health care to nuclear waste management to cosmetics marketing and many others in between. The recurrent theme in his work is the need for analytics that can be deployed and used by a wide segment of the population. He is a practicing consultant, industry analyst, speaker and author. His articles appear in industry magazines and he is the author of dozens of sponsored white papers for vendors and other organizations.

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