Build a Virtual Team to consolidate success in the Real-Time Enterprise
28 April 2005
Gordon Taylor, Maverick Gartner Analyst, Asia Pacific
The pace of modern business today is accelerating. Customers are demanding more immediate, dynamic business solutions that meet their expectations. Organizations can no longer engage with previous models of interaction - ones that take time to interface with the supply management chain. Instead, they need to actively improve customer relations through one thing: Better Business Flexibility.
Virtual Teams are frequently being proposed as a solution to this all-too-common problem. Virtual teams can be thought of as the central hub of an Enterprise Nervous System - taking advantage of the full process lifecycle to facilitate better business agility. Coupled with a dynamic, flexible, standards based approach, virtual teams are an excellent way for a modern enterprise to increase responsiveness.
But where is the real business value? Virtual teams can be implemented efficiently, and when sufficient Business Activity Monitoring is applied, in a cost neutral way. Modernizing our approach to obtaining the correct metrics at implementation time is crucial to determining the success of virtual teams.
Improving team dynamics is a frequently overlooked component of the push to refine and improve business Processes in today's modern IT application environments. Take the case study of a major vendor (name withheld) who faced the innate challenges of trying to unify diverse silos of information across their enterprise. Discreet Legacy systems (and their corresponding underlying business processes) weren't able to provide the flexibility that the current business imperative warranted. The solution was clearly to move to a Service Oriented Architecture, through a consolidated process of wrapping, consuming and exposing legacy business data through the web services model - thus allowing a platform neutral, technology independent interface to serve as the information broker.
However, building this interoperability based, XML powered Enterprise Service Bus was clearly going to impact on one core resource that is critical to every enterprise: Revenue.
That's where the Vendor chose to build a multi disciplinary Virtual Team. Collaboration, integration and the other underlying tools that are crucial to the success of such a project are much easier to mandate (and to manage!) in virtualized abstractions of the team, as opposed to the traditional actual teams that have led us to the architectural spaghetti so prevalent in modern enterprises today. The results were immediately evident. Host integration work didn't impact on the day-to-day operations, The political debates always evident in legacy system integration didn't occur. An End-to-End Matrix of the service contract showed clear service improvement right through to the top level of the executive.
In conclusion, Virtual teams should be considered as a real alternative to relieve the business and resource pressure that enterprises are under to increase responsiveness. Gartner predicts that the source of available resources currently not available to deal with virtual teams will increase by 30% by 2015. (0.7% probability) Think Strategically, Act Tactically.
Anyway, it was all pretty much like that. And no, I didn't make up any of those phrases. Every one was used at least once. I'm available for any other research tasks at a hefty fee :^)