Painful, monthly (or even worse quarterly) releases handed over by document based knowledge sharing to other people doing the actual deployment in production enabling the bureaucracy to the max … An era not long ago or even today’s reality. But … how can we change? How should my enterprise look like in the future? Close your eyes and envision: The Future Enterprise!

The Future Enterprise generating lots of revenue from happy customers using your core business functions supported by working software in all business functions accessible from everywhere, always available and all integrated. A culture of happy employees in an energetic, innovative environment who are committed to and contributing to the business goals. All aligned and supported by facilitating management focussing on building golden teams of excellent people with knowledge and capabilities to be creative, innovative and responsible.

Impossible you say? I don’t think so. Hard? Yes! Hard to get there … but growing there is fun already … most of the time 😉 There are a lot of ingredients involved in this roadmap. Even more if the company is still in the era of the painful, document based bureaucracy…

It all starts with admitting that the world has changed. Technology has become a disruptive part of our daily life. Personal life as well as our businesses. In every (core) business technology is emerging and becoming more and more important. IT (Information Technology) has become part of our core business!

The Future Enterprise is an organisation with well defined business functions (Enterprise Architecture) and teams organised likewise. And in every business function there’s an IT part. Not a separate part but an integral, essential part in the whole function. And so in the whole team. Automation is the way of supplying the business function to its customers. The team develops the business function with business functionality in mind and automation as the vehicle to deliver it.

A team in The Future Enterprise takes responsibility and are accountable for the business function they supply. The team exists of people who are capable, creative, innovative to develop, deliver and maintain a working service to their customers. Agile principles apply by focus on people and interactions, customer collaboration, working software and adoption for change. And working software means automation of everything from customer requests to infrastructure, deployment, recovery, testing and monitoring.

In The Future Enterprise the formal structure is about business functions and teams supported by facilitating management. Besides the formal structure the informal structure is supported by cross team communities. Communities support knowledge sharing, (cross team) relation building and interaction, fun events and innovation. It is in the cross-pollination of people and knowledge that new business functions will emerge of crazy ideas. And these new business functions need to be adopted to the organisation with a fresh new team. And now the future enterprise has grown in business functions and revenue.

In closing, again, this is hard to gain. But the journey starts today and is fun too! Maybe the future enterprise is about the journey and not about the future goal. It involves a different culture. Maybe it should start as a cultural change. Value people. Value great teams. Support teams to the max. Eliminate impediments of the teams (especially architectural and bureaucratic impediments) and trust the teams. Trust the people in the teams. The mapping of business functions on teams (or the other way around) will follow afterwards. Integration between business functions will follow afterwards. Set it as goals for the teams. And trust them to deliver it. Create new teams around business functions which were not supported (well enough). Focus on people and build great teams. The Future Enterprise will emerge at you faster than you can imagine. Happy journey!

See the Triangles Architecture for more details on how to realise the future enterprise 😉