ISSN : 1796-203X
Volume : 4    Issue : 10    Date : October 2009

In Search of Systems “DNA"
John Boardman, Brian Sauser, and Dinesh Verma
Page(s): 1043-1052
Full Text:
PDF (1,582 KB)

General Systems Theory (GST) has been an attempt to put precision into the term system thereby
making intelligent communication between its users more attractive, something that provides for
migration of ideas and the possible resolution of issues by borrowing solutions from unfamiliar
domains. We propose to build on GST and in particular, as von Bertalanffy once did, draw on the
biological sciences, now hugely advanced beyond that ever imagined by von Bertalanffy and his
peers, and use its findings, architectures and emergent behaviors, to argue for a biology of
technology and enterprise systems. We do so by expanding on a system of “togetherness
characteristics” and in particular explain how these can be applied to better understand familiar
systems, e.g. the automobile, and how such systems form part of diverse wider communities (or
containing systems). We seek a science and approach that we believe will provide richer insight
into system failure, 'health' maintenance, repair, replication, growth, and mutation, all those features
of the evolution of systems which constantly challenge us and which thus far we have only been
able to explain via macro-level models and tools. We propose to go deeper into the structure of
these systems and to discover the "DNA" (building blocks) of these systems. Thus establishing a
foundation to understand their behavior using biological analogies which we believe will turn out to
be more than metaphors. We assert that these systems have micro-structures which will explain
their individual life cycle and their communal ecology.

Index Terms
systomics, biology of systems, sysDNA, general systems theory, system of systems