- By Charlie Simpson
I can't believe that this time a year ago many were waking up half-expecting a world of chaos and doom. Well, maybe only a few really expected it, but others still prepared for it; and a handful even secretly hoped for it.
I'll admit that I briefly considered withdrawing a few beans from the bank and stuffing them in my sock drawer, but not before buying a couple gallons of bottled H2O and a few cases of PBR. But, I never did. Okay, I may have stockpiled the Pabst, and it was more than a few cases, but it was supposed to be a long winter.
Not that I ever had any great faith in the technology, itself. Rather, it was a hope in the human condition that I knew would save us. Don't get me wrong; I didn't believe for one second that my fellow man, or woman, would gladly pass a few rolls of TP over the fence. In fact, I was sure that wouldn't happen. It's just that, way too many people stood to lose way too much money. And, it just ain't human nature to sit back and watch that happen.
Of course, some still await the creaking open of back doors that may have been installed during offshore "remediation." God, I miss that word. You'd think someone would have found a way to remediate the use of remediation in our industry. At least Y2K was replaced with numerous other acronyms: b-to-b, b-to-c, SCR, SCM and BI/DW to name a few. Unfortunately, the shift in spending and implementation wasn't quite as rapid as many predicted throughout 2000. But, it's a new year (and a new millennium for several holdouts) and with each new day comes new hope. 2001 promises to be the year of actually profiteering from the slightly delayed, post-Y2K spending spree. In other words, my faith in humanity is again restored.
For the past 12 months, just as much as the general public had mistrusted online buying, many organizations hesitated taking the e-plunge, adopting a more investigative stance. But, the wariness is subsiding and those not prepared to step into the pool of the digital economy will surely shrivel and die.
It's a time of tearing down old and erecting completely new business models of how to deal with not only your customers, but with partners, suppliers and delivery chains. A time of managing remote warehouses, mobile users and virtual offices. The point where the implementation, management, control and ultimate profiting will intersect will be what we at Enterprise Systems have coined the e-Center.
As "The Journal of e-Center Integration and Management," Enterprise Systems launches our heritage into the future - a future that, like it or not, many of you have been or will soon be expected to inhabit. Never before has the IT manager been so in the limelight, or hot seat, required to understand, explain and then deliver an infrastructure that turns clicks into cash.
So, when Sally CEO calls with, "I was just reading Forbes on the flight from Fresno. Seems we should be scraping data, profiling our customers so marketing can best target them. And, oh yeah, I want some of that Just-in-Time delivery, so we can reduce our Time-to-Market and decrease our TCO ..." - you had better have an answer. For these are the responses that make or break careers.
Forget catching the second wave of e-commerce, the third wave is about to break on your heads. The e-Center is more than online ordering or the paperless office. Mission-critical business opportunities will be discovered and met in the e-Center. For the e-Center is e-commerce.
The e-Center blows away any notion of reliability, scalability, adaptability and the interoperability of existing systems. Oh, there will still be networks to integrate and systems to manage, however we're moving from a three- to a four-dimensional existence. And, no one is really sure yet of just how this world will function, only that it is faster, deeper and nearly limitless. The raw technology is in place. How will you mold it and shape it?