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  Brief History
of IT Cortex development.

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

Alfred North Whitehead

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The name "IT Cortex" holds IT - that stands for "Information Technology" - and Cortex - that designates the outer layer of the brain. We found out later, by coincidence, that IT cortex is a full fledged neurology term: it stands for inferotemporal cortex which is the region of the brain associated with object recognition. Identifying conceptual objects or recurrent patterns in business operations may, broadly speaking, be considered as a useful capability for a business consultant.

The role of the cortex is to interpret the information processed by the underlying nervous layers. Similarly, the objective of IT Cortex - at its inception - consisted in enabling business organizations to interpret and take full advantage - from a business perspective - of their information systems. The essence of this approach consisted in turning data into information and information into knowledge in order to enable the management to make the right business decisions. It appeared quickly that important mutations had to take place in our overall approach if that objective had to be met satisfactorily. These mutations can be condensed into two essential paradigm shifts:

First Paradigm Shift: Synergizing IT and Organization

During the course of its past engagements IT Cortex had to shift its focus from fine-tuning reporting capabilities of Information Systems to performing the necessary organizational adjustments so that the business could use IT systems more efficiently. IT Cortex had more and more to work on two fronts instead of one : Information Technology and organization. Even more than working on two fronts it had also to correlate, to improve the synergy between those two complementary aspects to increase the relevance of the decisional information provided. Information systems have to be designed so as to automate business processes and business processes are molded by the underlying IT applications producing a YIN - YANG duality striving toward its TAO, i.e. the [transcendental] synergy above individual specificity.

Second Paradigm Shift: Achieving Efficiency within one's Commercial or Public Environment

Addressing the cooperative structure of IT and organization as an integrated whole still appeared to have shortcomings. Businesses or public institutions have to achieve their finality within their commercial or public environment. The way they operate can only be considered in relationship with their environment not as an absolute ideal. Businesses and public institutions strive to achieve optimality within a fixed set of constraints: budget, time, human resources, legal requirements. The limited means that they have do not allow them to strive toward academic perfection. Any operational improvement should be geared toward efficiency: they have to do things right not to do the right things. 

The efficiency of an organization within its environment that we assist our customers to achieve rests on the concept of Pareto efficiency initially introduced by economists. IT Cortex has refined and broadened that concept to encompass all aspects of business operation relevant for any public or commercial organization. 

Strategic Simplification is the name of the process by which IT Cortex consultants make an organization Pareto efficient within its environment. 

The typical scope of IT Cortex engagements covers and integrates "IT - organization - and business strategy". The approach is neither top-down nor bottom-up but holistic. It aims to achieve full coherence between the "technical - local - detailed" aspects and the "strategic - global - general" considerations in a way best adapted to the commercial or public environment in which the organization operates.

Additional information can, of course, always be obtained by contacting us.

IT Cortex


[ Brief History ] Our Organisation ] Practical Terms ]