Complexity and Operational Risk


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An interesting thing about complex systems is how easily "stories" from one domain can be understood and applied, to good effect, in others! "Thinking in systems" may be the first step in process from exaptation to adaptation…and survival.

Prevention will always be better (and more cost effective!) than cure. Hence Ontonix have a specific product: OntoTest

The reason bars place bouncers at the door is because it’s easier and less riskier to prevent entry than to root out later

No one ever said choosing a career in IT was going to be easy, but no one said it had to be so hard you’d be banging your head on the desk, either. One of the reasons IT practitioners end up with large, red welts on their foreheads is because data centres tend to become more, not less, complex and along with complexity comes operational risk. Security, performance, availability. These three inseparable issues often stem not from vulnerabilities or poorly written applications but merely from the complexity of data centre network architectures needed to support the varying needs of both the business and IT.

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Management Consultants: “Capitalising on complexity”


I have accumulated quite a collection of “papers” advising business how to deal with complexity and am happy to share them…so long as everyone understands that I am not endorsing any of them!

For your delectation I am pleased to add to the list of what, in the main are “qualitative management consultant-speak” that, even when referring to research, interviews, etc. read (to me at least) like documents produced on a topic, primarily because it is topical and offers a further opportunity to secure some well paid consultancy work.

This latest publication is from Celerant Consulting. Make up your own mind…then take another look at the Ontonix website.

Call, email me or get an objective, quantitative, insight into complexity for  FREE!

It really makes my day when other people do a marketing job for Ontonix! OK, so there is never a specific recommendation to contact us but we are happy to settle for the next best thing. That is to identify where complexity IS already costing and will, increasingly, cost through: the impact upon clients, customers, employees and “the bottom-line” budget to identify, measure, manage and monitor on an ongoing basis reduced ROI on assets and facilit … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

Raising performance by reducing complexity – McKinsey Quarterly interview TalkTalk CIO


This “lesson” comes specifically from IT but the principles hold true for businesses that “can’t see the wood..!”

Past experience has shown me how easy it is for organisations to get caught up in “legacy thinking” and its allied processes. That is why change management is so very difficult.

It isn’t too many years ago I conducted an exercise (on a much smaller scale) to address these very issues, for the same reasons. It was to be the final piece required to form a platform for the next, and most significant phase, of growth. The process started with building a team structure and corporate strategy around values but the will to see the transformation through disappeared. I never completed what was begun.

I was sad to leave without completing the job BUT frustrated because the rewards for every stakeholder in the business were so close.

Instead of everyone contributing to and sharing in the success the business was sold. So the Directors got what they sought, the staff morale died and the business replaced its soul with layers of complexity required to mask the fact that customer service and satisfaction were no longer the priorities of the new owners.

Communities – Nations – need (and want) quality family businesses. These are vital components of a truly resilient economy. But, if the vision dies or the rut is too deep to be able to see the possibilities that lie beyond, what is left is another “off-the-shelf”, high growth (ego and greed-fuelled) business model that views its customers merely as units of business required to achieve targets &/or fund debt repayments. Great just what the World needs!!!

COMPLEXITY can kill more than business capabilities and service…

Raising performance by reducing IT complexity: An interview with TalkTalk’s CIO

David Cooper discusses revamping siloed IT systems that were raising costs, hurting customer service, and dampening growth opportunities.

via Raising performance by reducing IT complexity – McKinsey Quarterly – Telecommunications – Broadband.

Reveal Your Hidden Profits: Looking at complexity in business?


It really makes my day when other people do a marketing job for Ontonix! OK, so there is never a specific recommendation to contact us but we are happy to settle for the next best thing. That is to identify where complexity IS already costing and will, increasingly, cost through:

  • the impact upon clients, customers, employees and “the bottom-line”
  • budget to identify, measure, manage and monitor on an ongoing basis
  • reduced ROI on assets and facilities or increased insurance/risk management outlay
  • reduce business capabilities &/or become less flexible (lose competitive advantage!?)

“I wouldn’t give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity”                                                                                               – Einstein

In previous posts I have made reference (and provided links) to reports by, such as, IBM, McKinsey, PwC, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – on behalf of RBS, KPMG and  AT Kearney, each spelling out WHY COMPLEXITY IS SUCH A MAJOR ISSUE for modern business!

It is reassuring to now see that business’ are being recognised as “systems” operating within inter-connected ecosystems and networks. As a result the “Economic domain” is beginning to benefit from a the lessons learnt in a wide range of inter-disciplinary scientific fields…and can build resilience across domains, rather than destroy it.

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Manage complexity and add 5% to earnings! OK, so don’t take my word for it…


Just about everything you hear about COMPLEXITY is negative and still people look at you like you just tried to sell them a plot on Mars when you talk about the ability to offer, genuinely (that’s right in the original sense of the word not in a marketing sense!), unique solutions.

It does get better though. Because whilst some high profile firms seem intent to scare their customers into parting with some more Consultancy fees…and don’t seem too advanced when it comes to effective solutions, AT Kearney are blazing a trail!

SO, if Ontonix (www.ontonix.com) can’t score major new clients to add to the current impressive list, when firms such as IBM, McKinsey & AT Kearney and “scholars” such as Einstein, Ulrich Beck and Nassim Taleb are IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM, QUANTIFYING THE FINANCIAL & RISK BENEFITS and can only dream of offering TRIED and TESTED, 100% QUANTITATIVE, SOLUTIONS such as those of ONTONIX…then I reckon a career selling chunks of some far flung planet doesn’t sound so bad after all!!!

Manage complexity and add 5% to earnings! OK, so don’t take my word for it… …80 year old Global Consultancy firm AT Kearney (ATK) say so. ATK appear to have a better understanding of complexity than most. So, I will happily let them tell you that, even by  using the methodology they outline below, they claim that managing complexity will add up to 5% to earnings. I hope that’s got your attention!? Because it gets even better. WE BELIEVE THEM but can’t help but wonder how much more could be achieved if their means of calc … Read More

via A heid full of mince but at least it’s my mince!