Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Intelligent Business Operations - a medical use case

Within the recent year Gartner promotes the term "Intelligent Business Operations" (IBO)  - not to confuse with Business Intelligence (BI).  Roy Schulte from Gartner wrote about "operational IQ".   I am looking now at the concepts and facilities of IBO, in Gartner's view.    One way to study it is by looking on a recent post by Jim Sinur (also from Gartner).  Jim provides a success story in the medical domain, resource allocation in surgeries.   The ingredients of this scenario are:

  1.  Simulation-based optimization of scheduling and resource allocation in off-line for all surgeries planned for the next day.
  2. Real-time tracking of everything: physicians, nurses, equipment; monitor of procedure duration and status - using sensors, cameras and in Jim's terminology - exploiting the "Internet of Things".
  3. Determination of things already going wrong (not according to plan) or expected deviations from plan
  4. Re-applying the simulation based optimization (this time online!) and get updated resource allocation plan.

This may be instance of the "detect-forecast-decide-act" pattern we have identified as the basis of proactive computing, although in Jim's scenario it can also be reactive (the deviation from plan already occurred - there is no need to forecast anything).     

I'll write more about the IBO concept and some additional ingredients of it soon.  
Since the term "intelligence" is now back in fashion,  it would be nice to have metrics for the IQ of some operational process like the surgery management.

Monday, January 16, 2012

FFD - the distributed version

FFD (Fast Flower Delivery) is the example that accompanies the EPIA book.  Recently Phil Windley,  the CTO of Kyntex, started to teach a course in Brigham Young University, entitled "large scale Internet applications",  Phil is using the EPIA book as one of the textbooks for his course.   Today Phil posted in his Blog his variation of FFD as a totally distributed system, the illustration above demonstrates it.
This is interesting, indeed we see that event processing systems that started as centralized applications are getting more and more distributed.  In Phil's version, there is no single EPN, but a federation of EPNs, per individual player (driver, store etc..),  with pub/sub relations among them. 

BTW - an interesting phenomenon,  last week I have not written any posting in this Blog, have been busy in the last sprint of the EU proposal we submit (deadline tomorrow, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel), however, looking at the statistics, I think it was the week with the busiest traffic on my Blog ever both in page views and number of visitors, including a day which I think was the record high for this Blog for a single day ever,  very surprising, I actually cannot explain it -- maybe some people got back from vacation and are catching up?. I'll publish some statistics in the near future.