Executives need to re-think the way businesses are designed and constructed in order to keep up with new technological and economic trends, according to analysts.
Gartner said that companies need to change their approach to enterprise architecture and consider adopting a system of 'emergent architecture' which strays away from strict management of operations and process for a more decentralised approach that offers greater autonomy for each branch of a company.
Bruce Robertson, research vice president at Gartner, said: "The traditional top-down style worked well when applied to complex, fixed functions that is, human artefacts, such as aircraft, ships, buildings, computers and even [enterprise architecture] software.
“However, it works poorly when applied to an equally wide variety of domains because they do not behave in a predictable way. The traditional approach ends up constraining the ability of an emergent domain to change because it is never possible to predict, and architect for, all the possible avenues of evolution.”
Robertson suggested that companies instead adopt an approach that offers more freedom for various units and give each part of the company room to propose new ideas and policies, a system known as the 'emergent approach'.
"The first key characteristic of the emergent approach is best summarised as ‘architect the lines, not the boxes’, which means managing the connections between different parts of the business rather than the actual parts of the business themselves,” said Robertson.
"The second key characteristic is that it models all relationships as interactions via some set of interfaces, which can be completely informal and manual, for example, sending handwritten invitations to a party via postal letters, to highly formal and automated, such as credit-card transactions."
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