Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - 18

As a result, we established an ad
hoc committee that strongly recommended to the SMCS Administrative
Committee to increase the number of
our non-U.S. conferences from one in
five to one in four, change our governance structure to include more nonU.S. members, and strongly encourage
the IEEE to establish its first non-U.S.
office in Brussels, Belgium.
A number of other tasks were also
accomplished during the 1990-1991
period that accrued to the long-term
benefit of the SMCS. We changed
our constitution and bylaws to accommodate the consolidation of the
Education and Student Relations
Standing Committees into a single
Education and Student Relations
Committee, the elimination of the
vice president for evaluation position, and the establishment of a new
vice president for membership position. We further realized that our
share of the funds obtained from the
IEEE All Periodicals Package (APP)
subscriptions (from some 1,000 libraries and other APP subscribers)
was minimal since we had not raised
our nonmember subscription fee for
almost a decade-we subsequently
corrected this oversight and also increased the number of pages in our
transactions to meet the growing
backlog of quality papers. Additionally, we established a prestigious
new award, the Joseph M. Wohl Outstanding Career Award, to recognize individuals whose career-long
contributions have had a significant
impact on our field; Andy Sage was
the inaugural recipient of this distinguished award.
Regarding a prospective outlook at
SMCS's relevance in the 21st century,
Hipel et al. [2] identify several important application areas that will dominate SMCS efforts for at least the next
decade, together with the methods
that will require further research and
development to appropriately address
these application domains. More specifically, four broad and pervasive system domains are examined: service
systems, infrastructure and transportation systems, environmental and en18

the flagship journal of the Society.

ergy systems, and defense and space
systems. Given the nature of these four
application domains, a number of new
systems (holistic oriented, including
system-of-systems), man (decision oriented, including decision informatics),
and cybernetics (adaptive oriented, including real-time control) methods are
identified, and their further development is discussed. For example, systems are becoming increasingly more
complex; each reflects a -of-systems,
together with all the attendant lifecycle design, human interface, and
system integration issues. However,
whatever system-whether it be a
service, infrastructure, transportation, environmental, energy, defense,
or space system-is designed, developed, analyzed, and/or refined, there
is a critical need to assess the resultant outcome or performance through
appropriate metrics.
In a profit-driven environment,
such financial metrics as revenue
growth or return on equity are typically employed. Actually, there is
a deceptively simple metric: "How
likely is it that you would recommend
this product, service, or system to a
friend or colleague?" This customercentric metric has been shown to
be highly correlated with achieving
long-term profitable growth. Nevertheless, it is obvious that assessment
metrics must be carefully developed
and validated so as to ensure their

IEEE SyStEmS, man, & CybErnEtICS magazInE Janu ar y 2015

ability to assess such issues as satisfaction, convenience, privacy, security, equity, quality, productivity,
safety, and reliability.
As a critical aspect of complexity,
modern systems are also becoming
increasingly more human centered,
if not human focused; thus, products
and services are becoming more personalized or customized. The implication in regard to systems, man, and
cybernetics methods is profound;
such methods must truly be multidisciplinary-they must include techniques from the social sciences (sociology, psychology, and philosophy) and
management (organization, economics, and entrepreneurship). In essence,
systems, man, and cybernetics must
become an integrative, adaptive, and
multidisciplinary approach to creative
problem solving, which considers the
stakeholders' value systems and satisfies important societal, environmental, economical, and other criteria all
to enhance the decision-making process when designing, implementing,
operating, and maintaining a system
or system-of-systems to meet societal
needs in a fair, ethical, and sustainable manner throughout the system's
life cycle.
Clearly, the SMCS has a great future; its systems, man, and cybernetics methods are relevant for addressing challenging problems arising in
system domains that are becoming
dominant in this century. However,
the methods must be refined and expanded to meet the changing needsĀ of
the 21st century from a system to a
system-of-systems vision, from a disciplinary to a multidisciplinary outlook,
from a mass production to a mass
customization focus, from a steadystate to a real-time perspective, from
a causational to a correlational approach, and from an optimal to an
adaptive approach.
A final point that I would like to
address is how the SMCS presidential experience contributed to my
professional career. I must say that it
launched me into being a long-term
IEEE volunteer. Coterminous with
my SMCS presidency in 1990-1991,



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015

Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - Cover1
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - Cover2
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - 1
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - Cover3
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - January 2015 - Cover4
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