Mr. Willis said that the bimodal model will be effective even during a downturn or when implementing cost optimization measures. This is because the economics of technology are changing.
“While it has become the flavor of the day, big data is not the answer. Shift the thinking from big data to big answers,” said Mr. Willis. “Algorithms are where the real value of data lies. The future of algorithmic business focuses on how increasingly intelligent algorithms enable smart machines, systems that will become autonomous over time, and will produce novel outcomes. So while we live in an algorithmic world today, we will live in a world driven by smart machines in the future.”
Algorithmic business will power the next great leap in machine-to-machine evolution — the Internet of Things (IoT), systems that operate in the physical world — both in the home and in industry.
The IoT will create new customer experiences that span personal needs into the physical world, through the virtual. A simple customer request will spawn a chain of activities across a wide variety of platforms, creating a seamless experience.
Smarter algorithms will reduce cost, improve efficiency and create new customer experiences. However, Mr. Willis warned, it is not enough to just invest in technology and suppliers. You must build an innovation competency into your enterprise — a separate Mode-2-driven organization with people who understand how to nurture innovation.
“A key enabler to your organization's ability to scale bimodal will lie in the supply chain's ability to balance both convergent thinkers (Mode 1) and divergent thinkers (Mode 2). For decades, supply chain professionals have been rewarded for focusing on being operationally excellent, risk-averse and trained through continuous improvement techniques,” said Mr. Willis.
“However, that approach is evolving to include strategic thinking, change leadership, and sophisticated finance and communications skills,” Mr. Willis said. “It is crucial to be open to leveraging the wisdom of crowds and looking outside the company — and even outside the industry — for new ideas, and to bring those lessons back in practical ways. Learning how to explore through new means will drive bimodal adoption.”