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The Sentient Enterprise by Thomas H. Davenport, Mohanbir Sawhney, Oliver Ratzesberger

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CHAPTER 8Implementing Your Course to Sentience

Now that we’ve walked through the stages of the Sentient Enterprise journey, you can see how this approach is designed to apply broadly to many different kinds of companies scaling their analytic architectures to grow bigger, more autonomous, and more agile. The flip side of this broad applicability, however, is there’s no single way to go about implementing this capability maturity model. Nor is it completely sequential.

As we stressed way back in our Introduction, it’s possible to embrace different themes simultaneously, or even out of sequence, depending on your organizational structure and business needs. And however you organize it, the sheer scope of your to-do list can be daunting. In fact, after hearing us talk at a seminar about the Sentient Enterprise journey and all that’s involved, one panicked executive at a major corporation buttonholed us to say she felt like she was at sea level looking up at Mount Everest.

She made a good point, and our reply was that even Mount Everest is tackled incrementally, in phases. Everest has more than a dozen routes to the summit, in fact, with a base camp and four other major camps along the way. The Sentient Enterprise journey is also doable if we look at it the same way, in phases. Our rattled executive can also take heart from those who are already well on their way up the mountain. “Of course, when you look at the beginning, it looks very hard,” said Siemens Mobility’s Gerhard Kress. ...

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