Real time enterprise is a business concept that centers on responsiveness. In a true real time enterprise, as soon as the business needed something, it would begin to work on it. The time between desire and acquire is so low that it seems to have no break. While this is the end goal of the concept, in reality, it is typically a little less immediate. In real terms, the concept focuses on efficiency and the removal of unnecessary processes.
The idea of real time enterprise has existed for a very long time, but it wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that the technology and infrastructure was in place to actually implement the concept. As a pure concept, the process would work very mechanically. When a person needed something, he or she would contact the person or department in charge of that thing, and work would begin to secure it. It wouldn’t matter if the person needed a paper clip, tech support or a new server system—each thing would have a direct overseer.
This level of involvement would break an organization up into a strict hierarchy. Each person would have people directly above or below him or her that worked on a specific aspect of the company. The department would receive word that something was needed, and it would filter down directly to the person in charge of that one thing.
When brought into the real world, real time enterprise loses much of the dehumanizing automation and moves more towards efficiency. In general, this real life concept focuses on three areas, improving response times, sharing information and minimizing costs. Each of these things connects together to improve the overall processes of the company.
Improvements to company response time are the cornerstone of the concept. These apply to every facet of the company, both internally and externally. Since the improvements are across the entire company, everything from getting office supplies, to completing development projects, to dealing with vendors is examined to find ways of maximizing its efficiency. The first step is typically removing excess processes and personnel. Afterward, departments are usually reorganized to ensure that every person has direct involvement in activities.
Another important concept in real time enterprise is transparency. This means that a single department or group of people doesn’t hold specific company information. This will allow a worker to access information necessary for his or her task, even if another department generated that information. This will eliminate a number of time-consuming processes.
The last major factor is cutting overall costs. By eliminating unnecessary steps in the corporate process, a company makes money in two ways. First, it gets rid of superfluous employees, positions and processes. This will save the company money by removing labor costs. Second, since each process takes less time than before, more may happen in the same amount of time, resulting in higher productivity.