and Solutions Are Critical
To participate successfully in this e-knowledge environment,
each enterprise must create robust enterprise infrastructures and
applications, accessed though their Web site and enterprise portal,
using a variety of wireless and wired devices. These infrastructures
and solutions require interoperability and scalability, meaning
that applications and knowledge can be shared across different enterprises
and technology platforms and scaled to enterprises of different
sizes. These solutions also require powerful security, authentication,
and verification capabilities.
User-Centric, Interoperable Infrastructures
Tomorrows infrastructures will not just be user-friendly;
they will be user-centric. A wide range of stakeholders will engage
an enterprises products, services, and knowledge resources
using powerful knowledge tools. They will be able to shape the content,
context, and nature of their experience.
Toward the Experience Gateway. Users
will experience an enterprises offerings through personalized
interfaces that constitute a sort of experience gateway.
Individuals will engage the gateway and experience different levels
or degrees of intimacy, personalization, and customization.
The least intimate degree of engagement will be provided by the
enterprise Web site, which will provide public access to anyone.
A range of portal capabilities that will serve insiders
members, learners, customers, suppliers, alumni, donors,
sponsors, exhibitors, or partners will furnish a richer level
As the degree of customer intimacy progressively
advances, the experience gateway will also afford amenity,
a level of ease of use that makes the gateway recede into the background
and makes the experience of using it seem natural and familiar.
The enterprise ICT infrastructures of the future will
support pervasive interactivity through which users will personalize
their interactions with all of the services and applications provided
by the enterprise; knowledge resources of all kinds; and interactions
with humans, knowledge agents, and other entities.
The Enterprise Applications Array. Instead
of distinct, proprietary applications, such as traditional ERP,
LMS, LCMS, and community-building software, users will experience
a fully integrated array of seamless, interoperable, and integrated
capabilities. Powerful personalization tools will be integral parts
of these applications. In a very real sense, enterprise applications
will be fused, not just integrated. This will bring all of the components
into a single, unitary service as far as the user is concerned.
The user will address needs and solve problems, unaware of which
application she is using or which enterprise unit is serving her
Web services, Shared Services, Co-sourcing.
Easy-to-combine Web services will be made possible by innovations
in standards that enable applications to communicate with one another,
providing seamless integration. Web services are likely to be the
paradigm-busting instrument enabling enterprises to easily link
ERP, legacy systems, and outsourced applications. These will influence
dramatically the evolution of the next generations of applications
and the roles and relationships among vendors and users.
The promise of Web services lies in its
ability to resolve the differences among shared, networked applications.
Applications from different vendors, of various vintages, written
in different languages, running on disparate platforms, easily communicate
and cooperate, resolving their differences to act in concert.
Carl Jacobsen, June 2002
Web services are significant in another way: they
offer the prospect of making it far easier for staff within an organization
to bypass knowledge silos and legacy IT systems that restrict access
to internal information. One consequence is that people in the organization
or in partner organizations can develop processes and systems, built
on Web services, that help them to become aware of the needs and
capabilities of their colleagues and to work as a community.
Next Generation ERP and CRM. In the
future, ERP will cease being a software solution and will morph
into a broad-gauged combination of product, services, and solutions.
Rather than writing RFPs for large systems acquisitions, enterprises
will be sourcing blended business solutions with solutions