Information work is thinking work. When thinking and working together are significantly assisted by computer technology, you have a digital nervous system. It consists of the advanced digital processes that knowledge workers use to make better decisions —to think, act, react, and adapt.
Michael Dertouzos of MIT writes that the future “Information Marketplace” will require a large amount of special software and complex combinations of human and machine processes—an excellent description of a digital nervous system at work.
Do you view information technology as a way to solve specific problems? Then you’re probably only getting a fraction of the benefits that modern computers and software can provide. Instead, you should be creating systems that will deliver information immediately to anyone who can use it—”digital nervous systems.”
As the boss of Microsoft, the world’s most successful software company, I played a large part in the birth of the Information Age. In this book I explain the idea of a digital nervous system— the use of information technology to satisfy people’s needs at work and at home, just as the human nervous system supports the human mind.
Like a living creature, an organization works best if it can rely on a nervous system that sends information immediately to the parts that need it. A digital nervous system can unite all of an organization’s systems and processes, releasing rivers of information and allowing businesses to make huge leaps in efficiency, growth, and profits. I have a simple but strong belief: how you gather, manage, and use information will decide whether you win or lose.