|By Kevin Benedict||
|October 22, 2013 03:00 PM EDT||
Some of the most technologically advanced organizations in the world today are utilizing strategies based on the concept of the Network Centric Organization. These strategies, methodologies and concepts are important for just about any organization that is geographically dispersed and requires the organization and management of remote and mobile workforces and assets.
The concept of the "network centric" organization relates to the fact that people, objects, events, activities, assets, inventories, locations, fleets, equipment, tools, etc, are all connected to the Internet (aka network), monitored, and most often visible on a map. All of these connected components are providing data in real-time that can be used to manage operations. This collected data is wirelessly sent to a central server where it forms a real time and unified view of operations that can be used for analysis, forecasting, resource allocation, planning and real time decision-making.
This networked approach enables users to see where their assets are located, where they are needed and how best to manage them at all times to successfully and efficiently accomplish the mission. Network centric operations in commercial environments, is a relatively new concept that continues to evolve as mobile technologies improve and more assets are connected to and become visible to the network.
From a business strategy perspective, you want to gain an information advantage over your competition. You want to set-up a robust network of well informed geographically dispersed people and assets that have situational awareness and visibility. This networking, combined with changes in business intelligence, artificial intelligence, organizational structures, processes and people, enable organizations to behave and respond in ways never before possible.
Specifically, the strategy of Network Centric Operations contains the following four tenets in its hypotheses:
- A robustly networked workforce improves information sharing.
- Information sharing enhances both the quality of information and the shared situational awareness.
- Shared situational awareness enables collaboration and self-synchronization, and enhances sustainability and speed of management decision-making.
- These, in turn, dramatically increase productivity.
In order to optimize operations, in the context of field services, asset management, engineering and construction operations, it is critical to know, in real time, the location of all resources, the status of each job, the assets, parts and equipment needed, and the time each job will require. When effectively coordinated and managed, human resources, equipment, assets and mobile inventories can be shared between multiple projects, and the right experts with the right levels of experience can be used on the right projects at the right time.
The bottom line is that a leaner, more efficient organization can be put in the field that can accomplish more work with fewer resources and generate a higher return on investment.
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.
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