Why should enterprise IT leaders start steeping themselves in semantic technologies? The answer to that question will become apparent to anyone attending the June Semantic Technology & Business conference in San Francisco, where many sessions will explore the value CIOs and their staffs can gain from going semantic. (You can register for SemTechBiz here.)
Let’s start with the problem of forcing enterprise knowledge workers into rigid procedures to accomplish their activities, the result of having to adhere to flow-charted business processes whose silo’d components are pieced together via fixed integration points. Dave Duggal, co-founder and managing director of EnterpriseWeb LLC, will paint a picture at this session instead of a world of smart, connected business processes to stand up a team of empowered and interactive knowledge workers. Once accorded certain rules-enabled permissions and information access rights, those employees can put their smarts to work “to do their jobs in a goal-oriented way to meet the objectives of the organization,” as Duggal explains it.
A business, he says, is a network – one of people, capabilities, information and rules, “and in an ideal situation and universe you would seamlessly interoperate among those,” vs. having to work according to the confines of a flow chart. The various pieces of this ideal network would come together on demand in the service of real-time business applications and processes, and getting to that state, he says, means stepping into the domain of semantic enterprise application integration. “There is EAI and there is real-time semantic EAI, where at millisecond speed we find the resources, connect them, transform them, process and orchestrate them, and push back a personalized response to the business user or customer every time,” Duggal says.
That’s the outcome of a system that indexes every event, activity, and piece of history, and makes each available to every execution of every process all the time via write-once-use-many-times adapters. “That makes the network available. It creates an abstraction, a virtualization layer that makes it look like a unified semantic layer where all the processes can be interconnected, even if some data lives in silos or third-party systems, which it will,” he says. “All those connections now live in that beautiful semantic layer, and it facilities something very powerful.”
What that powerful thing is is innovation, thanks to the system optimizing for the knowledge worker, around an actual present interaction vs. around some procedural, pre-conceived notion of what the process should be. “You want system automation to analyze your current situation and return to you a best response as well as proactive guidance and next best actions, so you can move through the enterprise as efficiently as possible,” he says.