Digital Nervous System

Digital Nervous System

Digital Nervous System is a phrase, popularly associated with Bill Gates of Microsoft, used to describe a vision for how the IT infrastructure of an enterprise could be analogous to the autonomic nervous system of a biological organism. Gates made extensive use of the term in his 1999 book Business @ The Speed of Thought. [Gates, Bill (1999). "Business @ The Speed of Thought", Warner Books, New York. ISBN 0446675962] The actual phrase Digital Nervous System may not have originated with Gates however, as it has been reported that Judith Dayhoff used the term before Gates did. []

Steve Ballmer attempted to explain the Digital Nervous System by saying the following:

"Okay. The digital nervous system. Our focus for today, and frankly, what I think will wind up being one of the two or three key new sources of value from IT to your business. So you should say to yourself first, what is a digital nervous system? The phrase doesn't really make anything, but it is a phrase that came to Bill Gates' mind as he was preparing for a seminar that we did for CEOs from around the world in Seattle in May. Now, we'll hear later from Lars and he was certainly in the audience. But Bill was wracking his brain, how do we express the value that IT can deliver to, you know, the kinds of companies here in the room.And he came upon this phrase, digital nervous system."

"If you think of the human body, what does our nervous system let us do?It lets us hear, see, take input. It lets us think and analyze and plan. It lets us make decisions and communicate and take action. Every company essentially has a nervous system: Companies take inputs, they think, they plan, they communicate, they take action.The question is how does the nervous system in your company operate?Is the IT infrastructure really adding value?"

[ [ Steve Ballmer Speech Transcript - Digital Nervous System Seminar ] ]

Gates himself offered the following explanation as part of a keynote speech at Microsoft's Second Annual CEO Summit in 1998.

"The term 'digital nervous system' is kind of an interesting one. The analogy, of course, is to the biological nervous system where you always have the information you need. You always are alert to the most important things, and you block out the information that's not important. And companies really need to have that same kind of thing: the information that's valuable getting to the people who need to know about it." [ [ Digital Nervous System 10/98 ] ]

External links

* [ Digital Nervous Systems: Making Sense of Shared Information] Digital Nervous System term was used in ~1987 - 1989 at IBM Guide/Share Conference in a presentation ori ginally titled "The Body Enterprise" later retitled The Cybernetic Factory --the next generation in CIM. The author/presentor Brian K Seitz was later a Microsoft employee and later a DMR Consultant contributing to Business @ The Speed of Thought through a series of interviews with his research staff arranged by a fellow DMR consultant Ricardo Buenaventura.

Mr Seitz had developed the concept and an architecture for business design based upon General Systems Theory(Ludwig von Bertalanffy) taxonomy while designing a Computer Integrated Manufacturing System at Rockwell Int'l NAAO B1-B division in the mid-80s prior to joining IBM.

See also

* Agile Enterprise
* Autonomic Computing
* Business Activity Monitoring
* Business Intelligence
* Business Process Interoperability
* Business Process Improvement
* Business Process Management
* Complex Event Processing
* Decision Support Systems
* Digital Dashboards
* Enterprise Decision Management
* Enterprise Service Bus
* Enterprise Social Software
* Event Driven Architecture
* Event Stream Processing
* Java Business Integration
* J2EE Connector Architecture
* Knowledge Management
* Network-centric Organization
* Process Architecture
* Publish / Subscribe
* Real Time Business Intelligence
* Re-engineering
* Semantic Web
* Service Oriented Architecture


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