According to IT research firm Gartner Inc., pattern-based strategies provide frameworks to proactively seek, model and adapt to leading indicators, often-termed "weak" signals that form patterns in the marketplace."Most enterprises and governments focus more on traditional processes without trying to identify the signals of change. Hence they are mostly unable to get executives to pay attention, model the impact, or discuss how their organization must adapt. The few organizations that seek and model new patterns continue to struggle to get their people, processes and information to adapt in ways that drive a measurable business outcome," says Val Scriber, the group vice president of Research at Gartner.
"Organizations need a way to evaluate what they hear, and act appropriately. They also need to seek patterns — not just from information, but also in the activities of people, such as the collective on social media platforms," advices Yvonne Genovese, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
Pattern-based change managment requires both existing and new technologies. Gartner expects that existing technologies like business intelligence, rules-based engines, performance management, service-oriented architecture, business process management and recommendation engines will continue to evolve.
"Organizations must break down traditional information silos to proactively seek signals across existing and emerging sources of information. This will enable business and IT leaders to identify, characterize and assess patterns that support as well as contradict existing strategy and operations assumptions," says Scriber.
Once new patterns are detected or created, business and IT leaders must use collaborative processes such as scenario planning to discuss the patterns' potential significance, impact and timing, on the organization's strategy as well as business operations. The purpose of modeling is to determine which patterns represent great potential or risk to the organization, by qualifying and quantifying the impact.
According to Gartner, identifying a pattern of change and qualifying its potential impact are meaningless without the ability to adapt and execute it to a successful business outcome. Business and IT leaders must adapt strategy, operations and their staff behaviors decisively to capture the benefits of new patterns with a consistent and repeatable response that focuses on results.
Scriber alludes to examples such as Amazon and Nettle's use of recommendation engines to illustrate how organizations successfully adopt pattern-based strategies for business benefits. These organizations dynamically evolve their customer models to adapt promotions as the customer navigates through the site. This usually results in increased revenue through cross-selling and up-selling, as well as higher customer loyalty. Most importantly, the results of various adaptations are fed back to determine how recommendations seek new patterns and model potential future adaptations.