How system visualization is changing the future for businesses
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The future of information systems involves a scale of complexity that continues to increase at an exponential rate. Nonetheless, systems engineers are still expected to understand how these various systems fit into the core business functions of their organizations at a moment’s notice.
But challenges also bring opportunities. The future of information systems is filled with chances for everyone to evolve their skills, think more creatively, and become effective problem solvers.
System visualization offers an additional way to reduce the impact of rapid technology changes on business. It can help keep information systems less convoluted, reduce the use of confusing terminology, and eliminate any unnecessary processes that slow production or affect usability.
What is system visualization?
To understand, explain, and optimize an information system, it helps to visualize it for yourself.
System visualization is the process of mapping the flow or process of a system, server, data flow, and more. Doing so makes it possible for your team to quickly diagnose potential issues, communicate with other stakeholders, and update their existing technology more easily.
With system visualization, any ideas for building and implementation can be easily shared along with a clear understanding of the necessary buy-in and support that is needed to achieve them.
Working within a visual workspace also gives technical professionals the ability to create a path for future plans. It can safeguard the compatibility of tomorrow’s innovations, including network and cloud architecture, streamline troubleshooting efforts, and even help onboard employees.
Trends in system engineering
The future of information systems is formed by many global trends, ranging from consumer and societal needs and the changing work environment, to advances in the underlying technology itself.
Given these emerging trends in information systems in engineering, the core competencies of a systems engineer or IS professional must broaden and adapt accordingly. So, let’s highlight the nature of these trends, their anticipated impact, and the context in which we’ll respond to them.
The increasing complexity of systems
Every day, the complexity of information systems is increasing without precedent. For example, in 2018, a single web or mobile transaction crossed an average of 35 different technology systems or components, up from just 22 systems in 2013.
Constant connectivity and digital-device dependency are pushing this complexity even further.
And this will mean an unprecedented rise of system vulnerabilities. The challenge of thwarting unwanted intrusions or mitigating the subsequent damages necessitates integral cybersecurity. Cybersecurity can’t be ignored or treated as an afterthought. For systems engineering, this means routinely incorporating requirements to improve overall IS security and resiliency.
The future of information systems will involve systems designed using the following strategies:
- Continuous threat and system behavior monitoring
- Formal methods for identification of vulnerabilities
- Use of testbeds to assess threats in fielded systems
- Management of access rights and privileges
- Certification and accreditation standards
Cybersecurity does come at a price with performance often traded for safety. It’s up to systems engineers to characterize threats, define system boundaries, or reconcile optimization conflicts.
The increasing rate of technology adoption
One of today’s seemingly obvious, yet fascinating trends in information systems in engineering is the increasing rate of technology adoption, particularly for products in the consumer market.
For example, it took 39 years for telephones to reach 40% market penetration and an additional 15 before they became a universal product for consumers. Smart phones, on the other hand, achieved a 40% penetration rate in just 10 years.
As adoption rates increase there comes an added pressure of time-to-market with new technology and improvements. Why? The future of information systems is constant connectivity, instant communication, and established infrastructure systems. This is how the latest ideas catch on at never-before-seen speeds, prompting the demand for new products to exceed supply chains practically overnight.
Even as time-to-market improves, consumers demand increased functionality, greater reliability, and lower prices. In recent years, more people expect environmentally acceptable and socially responsible options. In turn, systems engineers must deal with higher levels of complexity and interdependence of system elements in the face of these cost, timing, and quality requirements.
Going from stand-alone tech, to interconnected, to IoT
Developing technology for standalone use is no longer enough. After years of anticipation and hype, the Internet of Things (IoT) is fast becoming a reality. Once the realm of large corporations, medium to small enterprises are now beneficiaries of the advanced principal technology in IoT.
Inspired by rising end-user adoption after the IoT’s move from proof of concept to commercial deployment, overall investments in IoT technology are expected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2022.
Plus, the global number of IoT-connected devices is projected to hit 43 billion by 2023, nearly a 3X increase from 2018. IoT devices include residential products like smart home appliances and fitness watches to commercial functions such as industrial sensors and manufacturing robots.
As for its impact on the future of information systems, the proliferation of the IoT will mean an increased need for device integration. This will include linking existing IT hardware to the IoT.
For systems engineers, this may prove challenging at first. Growth in traditional connected IT devices hovers around 2% per year. By using real-time analytics and artificial intelligence, the necessary shift from local devices to cloud and edge computing solutions is well within reach.
In fact, B2B companies are already using IoT and Industry 4.0 technologies to maintain direct connections to their products, allowing for constant monitoring and predictive maintenance.
Addressing the new focus on collaboration
Given the future of information systems, system teams should expect constant communication and real-time interactions just to keep pace with increased expectations and shorter timelines.
By working collaboratively throughout the supply chain process, systems engineers are better equipped to create solutions, resolve conflicts, and make decisions effectively. Collaborative engineering brings key stakeholders together early on to secure the best resources available.
Product complexity sometimes requires off-premises expertise. In our hyper-connected world, systems engineers and other stakeholders can work remotely and contribute to the team at a moment’s notice, if they have access to the same rich product- and project-related information.
Additionally, cloud-computing and visualization tools can also help provide a detailed interactive analysis from many different stakeholder-specific viewpoints, allowing key decision-makers to provide new insights, perform what-if analyses, and collaborate on decisions with confidence.
System visualization is changing the future of information systems. It’s now easier to diagnose issues, communicate across teams, and update systems more quickly.
Lucidchart allows you to quickly visualize data flows, understand your system, and share system details with others.
Lucidchart allows you to quickly visualize data flows, understand your system, and share system details with others.Learn more
Lucidchart is the intelligent diagramming application that empowers teams to clarify complexity, align their insights, and build the future—faster. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, everyone can work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, and more.
The most popular online Visio alternative, Lucidchart is utilized in over 180 countries by millions of users, from sales managers mapping out target organizations to IT directors visualizing their network infrastructure.