chapter  7
32 Pages

Information around the world and into the future

Trade requires participants to exchange information which allows better understanding and trust, which feeds back to more trade. It takes time for the virtuous circle to close, but what is true of countries is also proving true for enterprises. Just as the boundaries between countries are dissolving, so too are the boundaries between enterprises. In The Agenda, Michael Hammer, of process re-engineering fame, now urges managers to ‘push past your boundaries’ to lose your identity in an extended enterprise and to streamline the processes that connect you with customers and suppliers. We now realize that business processes don’t stop at the boundaries

of enterprises, but extend all along the value chain. And once again, by fortunate coincidence, the computer industry has arrived just in time with a new technology to support these extended business processes. The 1990s was the decade of Business Process Reengineering but the 2000s seem set to be the decade of co-opetition, collaborative commerce and business process management. That is the theme for this chapter, but before looking to where we’re headed, let’s see where we are coming from.