by Jay Zaidi
In the earlier post titled “Revolutionizing The Information Supply Chain – The Apple Story” we reviewed the benefits of developing a highly optimized Information Supply Chain (ISC). In this post, I will share a graphical representation of an ISC and highlight its components.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to use a diagram that George Marinos presented in his paper titled “The Information Supply Chain: Achieving Business Objectives by Enhancing Critical Business Processes”. It is shown below and provides an abstracted view of the ISC:
There are three primary areas of focus in the ISC (from top to bottom):
- The Physical Supply Chain (PSC): This is a firm’s business value chain – the critical business processes that generate the most value for it. The work-flow for these processes typically goes from left to right
- The Information Supply Chain: Each business process in the Physical Supply Chain acquires, creates or manipulates data. Therefore the Information Supply Chain plays a critical role in the smooth operation of the Physical Supply Chain. It supports business operations, internal and external reporting, compliance and regulations and policy and decision making. Data flows left to right in the ISC - it is acquired from multiple channels, undergoes one or more transformations and gets persisted in one or more data stores with in the company’s data ecosystem
- The Key Data Consumers: There are multiple internal and external consumers, each with their specific information requirements. Most data consumers demand timely access to high quality data to use in critical business functions such as Risk Management, Compliance, Decision-Making, Financial Reporting, Accounting etc.
Each firm should document it’s Physical and Information Supply Chains, if it hasn’t already – to get a holistic view into its critical production processes, their supporting data sets and the data needs of the various data consumers. The Information Supply Chain should be expanded to identify the critical data entities, the business critical data elements in each entity, and the trusted sources of data and key systems-of-record for each critical data element. This is Enterprise Metadata which should be persisted in an Enterprise Metadata Repository, to support various Information Management processes. I consider this is a prerequisite for generating or refining an existing data architecture, implementing Federated Data Governance (FDG) and Holistic Data Quality (HDQ) – with the goal of optimizing the Physical Supply Chain, to generate the highest business value. In the next post, I shall provide a sample PSC and ISC, the associated data entities and data elements and name a few business use cases. I will use these to highlight the current Information Supply Chain challenges and begin tackling them.