Ever since Peter Drucker first described the concept of ‘knowledge work’ in 1954 it has become more evident that there is a huge shift in how work is organized today and in difference to only a few decades ago. The knowledge worker has become emblematic for a more skilled workforce than ever before. Yet, the self-managed work style and perceived productivity increase is still far from being achieved. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of the type of work performed, an unwillingness to cede control on all levels of management, and technology that fails to deliver what is required to support knowledge work.
Against the backdrop of ongoing ‘discontinuity’ (another term owed to Peter Drucker) the current situation in enterprise IT is characterized by various issues of which each substantially contributes to a situation that doesn’t appear to be particularly satisfactory for business operations and strategy on the one hand nor business users and customers on the other hand. The hope to come to grips and control the data and processes that were regarded as the most valuable assets by fragmenting the market for enterprise IT into silo applications for customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise content management (ECM), supply chain management (SCM), and countless others has grimly failed. These applications are by concept limited in consolidating data and processes into one centralized system and do not bring about the hoped-for efficient end-to-end processes. Moreover, these applications need substantial customization to come anywhere near being of any use for an organization with the effect that those hard-coded changes need additional maintenance effort and tie an organization down for years to come with rigid workflows and without the ability to adapt to changing environments and markets. Bring in BI to eliminate all intuition in decision-making and the disaster is perfect.
Therefore it is inevitable to consolidate ECM, CRM and BPM with business architecture and to provide the knowledge workers with a single, consolidated view of the customer. Moreover, empowering these knowledge workers to create exactly what they need to achieve the best possible process outcome for the customer is critical for business success and growth.