There's a good chance that you will hear about lean manufacturing and its tenets during this conference.
Those same principles, such as ruthlessly attacking waste, can be applied to the information technology, said Sharon Ward, Oracle Corp.'s senior industry director for manufacturing.
"Historically IT has been viewed as too cumbersome, too slow and not timely enough to function well in a lean environment," Ward said Monday at the Management Briefing Seminars.
So Oracle came up with a blueprint of sorts to foster a lean IT operation. To attack waste, a company must focus on seven areas:
Don't produce reports the user cannot or will not use, or does not need.
Don't make someone wait for information needed to make decisions.
Don't move information between separate systems.
Don't enter the same information in multiple systems that are not integrated.
Make sure data is accurate.
Present data in a format that is easy for a user to use.
Require data inputs that are not used in corporate financial or regulatory reports.
What can help to eliminate a lot of these examples of waste is an application called a data hub, which allows you to have all the information about a customer or a product stored in a single place without requiring you to move the data, Ward said.
"So if can't get to the Nirvana, where everything's integrated, then a data hub can help," she said.
The data hub provides everything you need about a customer, automatically taking the information from the multiple, disparate applications, and cleanses it, she said.