Change and Enterprise 2.0: The disappearing boundaries of the enterprise and new ICT systems

The perspectives of change

As local economies still stagger getting “in and out” from the global financial crisis and as the need for sustainable economic activity and quality of life is propagating towards all societal groups, new visionary scenarios have to be constructed. The main characteristic of such visionary scenarios for enterprises, is certainly the fact of groundbreaking, rapid, sometimes disruptive, change. Within the next decade, ICT researchers and practitioners must be prepared to phase the challenges of change, that will affect FInES from multiple aspects, changing the concept of the enterprise, affecting the nature of enterprise systems and services, even redefining what are the real objectives for the ICT-enabled enterprise.

The disappearing boundaries of the enterprise

As globalisation persists, economic crisis is viewed as a recurring effect in many nations or regions, and as the quest for new markets and growth is fiercer than ever, entrepreneurship will soon touch upon every aspect of the lives of individuals. Future internet will soon have to cope with the fact of having very small enterprises (VSE’s) playing an important role in progressed economies, while governments are raising the legal barriers and technology lowers the required size or capital expenditure to start a new business. While the tendency to become larger and global will still exist for many large enterprises, a bottom-up entrepreneurial movement will in parallel bring citizens acting as service creators and providers, or employees offering the services in multiple enterprises while at the same voting for the approval of public-private partnerships, in their local municipal councils. Such examples of fusion among governmental organisations, enterprises, employees, consumers and citizens will gradually dominate the landscape, practically redefining what we mean by the word “enterprise” and posing new requirements to ICT systems and digital services.

The changing nature of enterprise systems and services

Within the scenario of “business ubiquity”, one can realise the challenges for ICT systems and services: as speed will be the most precious characteristic of businesses, fully automated and seamlessly collaborating infrastructures are to make the difference in supply chain organisation, new products time to market, or feature-based competitive pricing and sourcing. The quest for speed in businesses of all sizes will soon pose challenges for a different generation of intelligent systems (“pushing” the humans out of the everyday operations of almost all enterprise functions), as the need for end-to-end digital services that are executing in one stop, give the response in one second, with minimal costs, will be persevering.