A system of systems approach to managing emergence in complex environments

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 2013, 402 pp. 587 - 595
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© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013. Collaboration now plays an important role in many organizations. Many organizations often see collaboration as a given and provide a myriad of communication tools ranging from e-mail through workspaces to video conferencing. Assumptions are then made that these tools will be used in a productive manner. However, there are now many example of where goals are not achieved through ad-hoc use of technologies as collaboration is often not aligned to business practice, especially to changing business practices. This paper calls for an approach to align technology use to the enterprise practices. The paper models enterprises as a system of systems where systems are closely integrated through collaborative spaces. These spaces change during system change. The paper provides a set of concepts to describe a system of system and shows how this can be used to align collaboration to the emerging business relationships. The proposed concepts, in contrast to existing methods, place greater emphasis on social structures. They support the idea of a collaborative architecture, which defines the alignment of social collaborative arrangements to business activities through the creation or rearrangement of collaborative spaces. The goal is to get away from traditional approaches in choosing the best pattern based on history, but to encourage design thinking through experimentation at the business structure level. The paper then describes the kinds of tools needed to support modelling based on these concepts.
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