- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (July 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0132347962
- ISBN-13: 978-0132347969
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Smart Enough Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
"Automated decisions systems are probably already being used in your industry, and they will undoubtedly grow in importance. If your business needs to make quick, accurate decisions on an industrialized scale, you need to read this book.""Thomas H. Davenport, Professor, Babson College, Author of" Competing on Analytics The computer-based systems most organizations rely on to support their businesses are not very smart. Many of the business decisions these companies make tend to be hidden in systems that make poor decisions, or don't make them at all. Further, most systems struggle to keep up with the pace of change. The answer is not to implement newer, "intelligent" systems. The fact is that much of today's existing technology has the potential to be "smart enough" to make a big difference to an organization's business. This book tells you how. Although the business context and underlying principles are explained in a nontechnical manner, the book also contains how-to guidance for more technical readers. The book's companion site, www.smartenoughsystems.com, has additional information and references for practitioners as well as news and updates. Additional Praise for "Smart (Enough) Systems""James Taylor and Neil Raden are on to something important in this book-the tremendous value of improving the large number of routine decisions that are made in organizations every day.""Dr. Hugh J. Watson, Chair of Business Administration, University of Georgia" "This is a very important book. It lays out the agenda for business technology in the new century-nothing less than how to reorganize every aspect of how a company treats its customers.""David Raab, President, ClientXClient" "This book is an important contribution to business productivity because it covers the opportunity from both the business executive's and technologist's perspective. This should be on every operational executive's and every CIO's list of essential reading.""John Parkinson, Former CTO, Capgemini, North American Region" "This book shows how to use proven technology to make business processes smarter. It clearly makes the case that organizations need to optimize their operational decisions. It is a must-have reference for process professionals throughout your organization.""Jim Sinur, Chief Strategy Officer, Global 360, Inc."
About the Author
Prior to co-founding Smart (Enough) Systems, James Taylor was a Vice President at Fair Isaac Corporation where he developed and refined the concept of enterprise decision management or EDM. Widely credited with the invention of the term and the best known proponent of the approach, Mr Taylor helped create the emerging EDM market and is a passionate advocate of decision management. Mr. Taylor has 20 years experience in all aspects of the design, development, marketing and use of advanced technology including CASE tools, project planning and methodology tools as well as platform development in PeopleSoft's R&D team and consulting with Ernst and Young. He has consistently worked to develop approaches, tools and platforms that others can use to build more effective information systems. He is an experienced speaker and author, with his columns and articles appearing regularly in industry magazines.
Prior to co-founding Smart (Enough) Systems, Neil Raden was the founder of Hired Brains, a research and advisory firm in Santa Barbara, CA, offering research and analysis services to technology providers and venture capitalists as well as providing consulting and implementation services in Business Intelligence and Analytics throughout North America and Europe. Hired Brains, and its predecessor company, Archer Decision Sciences, have been in business for over 20 years, providing services to many of the Global 2000 companies. Mr. Raden began his career as a casualty actuary with AIG in New York before moving into software engineering, consulting and industry analysis, with experience in the application of analytics to business processes from fields as diverse as health care to nuclear waste management to cosmetics marketing and many others in between. The recurrent theme in his work is the need for analytics that can be deployed and used by a wide segment of the population. He is a practicing consultant, industry analyst, speaker and author. His articles appear in industry magazines and he is the author of dozens of sponsored white papers for vendors and other organizations.
Top customer reviews
The excellent section on Rule Templates was a turning point for my cognition of how metadata registries can be used with rules engines. Conditionals can reference data elements and actions can change states of XML instances.
One of the two author's is Jim Taylor who is a VP at Fair Issac. Despite this fact the book does a pretty good job of looking at the rule process not a specific rules engine.
My only criticism with the book is it is very light on the topic of semantics, metadata registries and rules. There is a little coverage of the process of getting business users to write precise, concise definitions for business terms and the management and traceability of those definitions. A rule is only as good as the definitions for the business terms they reference. If you combine a good rules management system with an solid ISO/IEC 11179 metadata registry you can get the rule precision you need. Anything less could lead to chaos when everyone uses private definitions of business terms to express duplicate rules.
As a business book, Smart Enough covers the need to explain the concepts in business terms and provide a framework for generating ROI. It does not talk in great depth about how decisions drive competitive advantage. It is also a little weak on the explanation of where to apply this technique as I doubt enterprises will make the funding available to automate all of their decisions.
As a technology book, the author focuses on Enterprise Decision Management (EDM) is the primary focus of this book and it is described as applying a services approach to decision making. This looks to take business rules out of IT systems and put them into something akin to a decision service broker/service so the same situations are handled with the same set of rules.
The book is a solid and complete explanation of the author's ideas. Taylor and Raden focus on the systems aspects of EDM and their automation. This leads into a discussion of decision types and how they are automated. Here Taylor and Raden do well to illustrate these concepts, although the reader often encounters graphics and statements that are more than a bit dated.
The book would have been greatly helped with a clear and consistent case study application of its concepts. It also would have benefited from understanding the nature of decision systems support (DSS) a discipline that has been around for more than 30 years which is only discussed in a single sentence and again from a technology perspective.
This is a solid book by a professional who certainly understands the technical implications of his ideas - enterprise decision management. However, by trying to stand in both worlds it excels in neither. I would recommend this book more as a technical and implementation guide rather than as an executive business book. In that regard it has a place in IT but probably not in the Boardroom.
* How to automate operational decisions
* How decision services fit into SOA
* Creating a closed loop process for decision improvement
* Assessing and maturing your decision services capabilities
As SOA matures we are finding new ways to architect systems and receiving benefits from SOA in unexpected ways. How often have you seen improvement of operational decisions listed as a SOA benefit?
This was from my blog post at: