TIME TO UPGRADE EXCEL? TIME TO ADD ANOTHER DIMENSION?
30 years after the revolution in management by the introduction of computers and Excel, it's time to move on. The complex organizations as a whole can be translated into a holistic digital model that has multiple dimensions and describes the internal context, connections and dependencies. Without their knowledge, any change is a big risk. Not to mention large projects - whether the optimization of existing systems through digital and conceptual transformations to acquisitions and consolidations within large holdings.
Imagine a time about thirty years ago, when de facto computers began to be introduced to the market and with them excel became part of our lives. (Word and ppt came in, but those are different stories).
Probably few of us remember how were companies managed on paper, because even though some of us were adult thirty years ago, I don't assume that a lot was in the management of companies. But it is clear that there were reports and spreadsheets - there was reporting and analytics, on the basis of which the same executive decisions were made as are being made today. And there were, of course, a large number of very prosperous healthy companies as ever. Because regardless of the tools, managing a company is about vision, strategies, decisions, implementation and control, which depends to a large extent on people.
A revolution called excel
The transition to Excel must have been fascinating, as the possibilities of analytics suddenly increased very sharply. So on the one hand it was much easier to control and on the other hand it was easier to predict. The strategy was no longer done only on paper, but scenarios could be made, which we were able to evaluate in advance, because more complex calculations on paper are in principle limited. Decisions could then be based far more on data and not just on managers' experience or just basic raw data. Surely it was suddenly a possibility to see interconnections that had not been visible enough until then. The palette of graphs and the graphical display suddenly made it possible to describe very precisely what is happening in the market, in the category, in the company and in the competition. Suddenly, work began on working with trends. Excel has launched a fundamental change in corporate governance and a change in the entire economic ecosystem.
The excel of course can be used in a very wide range of professionalism. From absolutely basic tables, through contingency tables to macros. To date, many companies use excel as their main data and business management tool. Reporting, which forms the basis of operational management, but also strategic long-term management, is based on the possibilities of Excel.
Of course, working with data has shifted in the meantime and developed fundamentally. We went from the initial fascination with the amount of data to the complete overload and paralysis that big data often represents.
And because it is good to cut an huge elephant into parts, they have started to offer partial solutions for individual areas - various systems, applications and software. Architecture began to evolve, that is, modeling of the solutions, systems and applications. And without any doubt, the improvement of individual parts leads to the improvement of the overall system.
Paradoxically, excel continues to live in its full beauty and the quality of reporting has shifted in scope, but the various score cards and balance sheets remain basically the same. They have more accurate and up-to-date data, but the work is in its principle the same.
The complexity of all systems and organizations is growing exponentially. With that, of course, the pressure, because the responsibility is still on the management, but it is more and more difficult to see all the context.
Holistic approach and transformation
And now there is an approach (and a tool / solution) that is a desirable upgrade. Modeling and architecture is revolutionary in that it describes connections and internal dependencies very effectively. The holistic enterprise architecture describes the organization as a whole and thus the connections between the structure, infrastructure, applications, systems, processes, capabilities and anything you want to include in the overall view. In addition, it can be built as a living model, which means that it "pulls" real data in real time. And the solution can be so sophisticated that it connects this model to predefined dashboards, which are, of course, intuitive for the ordinary manager to read, unlike the model. However, they remain connected to the model and the data. And so they allow you to move in different layers of detail of any views and perspectives. This creates a multidimensional model of the organization and opens up the possibility of upgrading the ability of data based decisions and process, both in operational and strategic management. It is a revolution to the same extent as excel.
Holistic enterprise architecture opens the door to a new management of the future. It will be an essential tool for optimizing existing operations, but especially for any transformation and change that requires control and facilitation. As such, it not only minimizes the risk of failure, but it will be difficult to imagine the implementation of large projects without sophisticated architecture. The pandemic has convinced us more than anything else that readiness for change - the adaptability of the organization is a necessary condition for survival. But at the same time, like any crisis, the pandemic experience is a huge opportunity - an opportunity to fundamentally transform organizations in terms of digitization, innovation, new concepts and business models better suited to today's world and especially today's customer.
A digital model more real as a hybrid reality
Architecture has always built on the idea that the digital model is de facto virtual image of a physical company that was a large office building full of people working 9-17. Paradoxically, the digital model of the organization will be more realistic than its physical equivalent at a time when we are mostly in home offices and it is quite clear that we will never return to the offices full time and there will be only various hybrid work models.