Most enterprises strive to become more efficient and agile in reacting to the changing demands of their customers, and the changing dynamics of the business environment. However, in today's connected world, the real key to achieving efficiency and agility lies in effective leverage of technology. As was discussed in the preceding chapter, technology has so far failed to provide the efficiency and agility that most businesses expect and need.
In this chapter, we trace our steps through the evolution of a technology paradigm that can make near real time flexible software development feasible. We believe this will usher in an era of unprecedented speed and responsiveness.
There is considerable discussion especially in the popular press on the merits of process-oriented organizations (Hammer, 1996; Hammer and Champy, 1993; Davenport, 1993, 2005). Most firms nowadays believe that to be competitive and efficient they need to be process oriented in terms of their organizational structure instead of organizing with a functional orientation.
Figure 2.1 illustrates a typical functional architecture. Many corporations are still organized on a functional, hierarchical basis. They are structured hierarchically within functional areas like sales, marketing, finance, or production. They reflect the importance placed on skills in an internally focused view of organizational governance. This corporate structure ...