Chapter 5 Validating The Prototype

Chapter 6 Further Research

What is next? Certainly the next iteration of the prototype will mainly focus on fixing the identified usability issues and implement some of the proposed features, which can be integrated into the current code base, without too many changes. But where to go after this is still open.

The project being very limited in time, it could not cover many of the ideas it generated during its iterations. Here are the ones that seem very promising, in no particular order and not necessary in the same direction of evolution.

6.1 Answer Questions with Weights

Expanding on the idea of wizard displaying questions to help assess the model, a set of more closed questions, which could be answered by a weighted value could be used to feed indicator. These indicators could then display an average health of each part of the business model or the model in general. This could also help to find where to focus a study for a future evolution of the business opportunities. The hard work on this idea is mainly to define a meaningful question set which also supports to be aggregated.

6.2 Pattern Wizard

Custom helpers could be created to help in special cases of well known business model situations. For example, creating a wizard that helps identify an asset’s type and rights like proposed by [ Gartner, 2007] based on the typology defined by [ Weill etal., 2004]. The classified model can then be assisted with more specific questions and model validation constraints.

Another type of custom wizard could be to apply patterns, for example, asking specific question when planning to do known transformations like: outsourcing, insourcing, establishing a R&D branch.

6.3 Sub Modules (SWOT, personas, costs)

The nine blocks of BMO could also be expanded. Each block has the possibility of hosting one or more detailed model for its specific topic. Client segments can be enhanced by personas profiles, a SWOT model can be added as enhancements to the elements as well as defining costs, margin and revenue for each element.

It is also imaginable to use the current BMO view as a dashboard if enough information can be mapped through the sub modules.

6.4 Model Constraints Validation

Since all the links between the blocks have been defined, this could be used to define implication rules like proposed in the article ’Modeling the Business Model Ontology with Protégé and OWL’ Pigneur, 2004]. This would then allow the application to display warning for missing elements or links between them and help strengthen the consistency of the entered business models.

6.5 Simulation

Having viable validation of the links and the ability to add cost information or even production percentages, could as a final step help in simulating the outcomes of alternate future business model innovation ideas.

6.6 Alignment

BMO model can also be used in alignment with IT like is shown in the e-Business course of Prof. Pigneur. This methodology could be used for example to generate a report of needed IT infrastructure based on the current business model or a model could be validated based on a list of provided IT infrastructure that are available. In more specific approach given a good knowledge of a chosen ERP and its modules, we could imagine an activation and configuration of the modules of the ERP based on the business model.

6.7 Other Views (Strategy Map)

The BMO display of components being mainly a way to represent data, this data could also, given the right transformations rules, be represented in other formats. A Strategy map vision of the BMO model could therefore be possible especially if the elements have more properties and information given by mentioned sub modules.

The following ideas are more influence by the technical side than the business requirements.

6.8 More flexible Database Schema

As discussed in the technical chapter different technologies could be used to make schema evolution more flexible and allow easier implementation of some of the above mention features.

6.9 Import/Export BMO

To be able to reuse the data without having to connect to the application’s database or to share the model with other people not using the same application, it would be interesting to be able to export a business model. Also to be able to share a model between separate instances of the application it would be nice to be able to import a model. Sharing of a model between the application instances can be done for example with a custom xml file. But sharing the data with another application would require choosing a defined standard format. Using the existing owl definition seems to be a good choice.

6.10 Offline Mode

In the current trends of web applications an offline mode is not a priority, but it would certainly be nice if a business man could manage his business model while being on a plane.

6.11 Multi-Touch

To allow for a more dynamic collaboration on the big screen, multi touch support could allow multiple participants to drag and drop elements at the same time. This is useful if different group work on different parts of the model, or to debate on ideas for alternatives. Multi-touch gesture could also be used to enhance the possible interactions with the application like zooming, throwing elements aside to dispose of them and so on.

6.12 More Sharing and Semantic Annotations

If the prototype is transformed into a social platform for sharing business models, all the modern web 2.0 activities could be imagined like tagging resources, sharing parts of models, rating combination of elements, tracking changes and notifying followers.

6.13 Real-time Collaboration (JMS)

While the current application can be used collaboratively on a big screen, perhaps there is also a need to allow online collaboration in real-time. This can be accomplished by using a desktop sharing tool or with quite some technical changes could be implemented directly as a feature of the prototype using the JMS capabilities of flex and Java. But except for the technical challenge I do not see the added benefits which could be provided over a desktop sharing solution.

Chapter 7 Conclusion

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