Predicting the future is uncertain. Predicting a calendar
for transformation is uncertainty squared. Transforming e-Knowledge
aims to mobilize the energies of policy makers and practitioners
to accelerate and facilitate the development of e-knowledge, not
create a precise road map to the future. Nevertheless, it is useful
to paint in broad strokes the time frames during which enterprises
could expect to capitalize on the forces described in this book.
Rather than providing precise milestones, this description is meant
to stimulate the realization that most of the technologies needed
are available today and can be substantially deployed by 2010.
Perhaps the most plausible prediction
is that any prediction about serious matters is likely to be off
the mark, except by accident.
The overall time frames have been drawn from a set
of resources describing the evolution of ambient intelligence environments,
learning and knowledge standards, knowledge exchanges and marketplaces,
enterprise applications infrastructures, advances in communities
of practice, intelligent agents and search engines, and related
developments. Between today and the year 2010, all of the primary
elements enabling the full emergence of e-knowledge have the capacity
to develop and be put in place.
The future is like heaven. Everyone exalts
it, but nobody wants to go there now.
This is not speculation in the style of Jules Verne
or Arthur C. Clarke, reaching far beyond the capabilities of current
technologies and into the long-term future.
The technologies, standards, infrastructures, and
e-knowledge marketplaces needed to make e-knowledge a reality are
either possible today or will be within a few years.
What is missing? The vision, perspectives, policies,
procedures, routines, partnerships, cost structures, capabilities,
experience, strategies, and will that is necessary to make e-knowledge
happen. Our belief is that the greatest challenges to the development
of e-knowledge will emerge within the human and relationship dimension.
The table on the facing page summarizes the time frames for the
arrival of technology, standards, and e-knowledge marketplaces necessary
to transform e-knowledge.
Technology, Standards and
Most of the technologies and standards needed to support
e-knowledge sharing exist in proof-of-concept form. Over time, they
will spread among enterprises and spawn the development of exchanges
and marketplaces that should progressively achieve economic viability
e-Knowledge Standards. Learning object
standards are in place today (metadata and modular content). A broader
suite of knowledge interoperability standards will come into use,
on a de facto or de jure basis, during 20032004.
Proof-of-Concept Repositories. MERLOT,
SCORM-compliant repositories, scholarly e-prints, and a host of
enterprise and cross-enterprise repositories exist today. Typically,
these pioneering efforts are still expensive and have not automated
and made routine the tagging process sufficiently to bring costs
into an acceptable range.