A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures
© SCUP 2003
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Tomorrow’s User-Centric, Interoperable Infrastructures (continued)


Chapter 5

Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures

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Enterprise Applications
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

Tomorrow’s infrastructures will not just be user-friendly; they will be user-centric. A wide range of stakeholders will engage an enterprise’s 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 enterprise’s 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 of engagement.



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 needs.


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 providers.




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