Innovation and Design
The Intelligent Network
International business has been transformed by the power of instantaneous communication. The combination of computer and telecommunications has collapsed the time and distance factors that once separated nations, people, and business organizations. This chapter will examine the subject of intelligent networking, which provides the technology and electronic pathways that makes global communication possible for small and large organizations alike. We start with the premise that the intelligent network is not one network but a series of networks designed to enhance worldwide communication for business and residential users. What gives the network its unique intelligence are the people and users of the system and the value-added contributions they bring to the system via critical gateway points. We begin by asking the following question. What makes an intelligent network intelligent? Specifically, what are the defining characteristics and features that comprise so-called intelligent networks? Intelligence can be defined as the ability to reason, problem solve, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, and learn. Halal (1997) describes organizational intelligence as the “capacity of an organization to create knowledge and use it to strategically plan and adapt to its environment.”9
Four Working Assumptions about Intelligent Networks
When engineers discuss the architecture of a network, they are describing how the physical parts of the network are organized, including: 1) Information Pathways (network configurations), 2) Terminals (computers, smartphones, etc.), 3) Software (applications and protocols), and 4) Data Enhancement Equipment (modems, laser printers, Wi-Wi, etc.). First, as noted earlier, the intelligent network is not one network but a series of networks designed to enhance worldwide communication for business and individual users alike.12 Second, what gives the network its unique intelligence are the people and users of the system and the value-added contributions they bring via critical gateway points. Today, the Internet has grown exponentially in size and complexity due to the many contributions of its users, ranging from powerful search engines to unique Web site design as well as the aggregation of content.
A third assumption is that intelligent networks do not operate in a vacuum. Rather, the use of intelligent networks are part of a greater human
communication and organizational decision-making process.13 Nowhere is this more evident than in the creation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and just in time manufacturing (networks designed to aid business process. And fourth, as intelligent networks grow and evolve, they often exhibit self-learning qualities in what can be described as network evolution.14 This is a crucial element in helping to explain what makes an intelligent network intelligent. More decidedly, it speaks to the importance of Artificial Intelligence.
Suggested Video Presentations
History of Steve Jobs
From the 60 Minutes Archives: Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs: 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address
60 Minutes Interview with Bill Gates
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Academy of Management Journal
IEEE Internet of Things Journal
IEEE Wireless Communications
International Journal of Media Management
Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Journal of Media Business Studies
Journal of Media Innovations
Technology Magazines and Websites
MIT Technology Review