The Network is becoming the most critical infrastructure componentas enterprises evolve their applications from client server to fullydistributed architectures. This trend is being driven by changes in theunderlying business processes and the emphasis on IT alignment to support theseprocesses.
Whether we call it BPM (Business Process Management), EPM(Enterprise Performance Management), or by some other term, the implications ofthese trends on network infrastructures are significant. As a parallel trend, the enterprise software application industryis taking major strides and bringing to market solutions designed with network& network components as the fundamental bases for product architecture;providing platforms for 1. DistributedProcess2. Collaboration This development will enable enterprises to establish seamlessinterconnections required to integrate the various ERP, SCM & CRMapplications which are already deployed and to maximize return on theseinvestments. A close examination of underlying network infrastructuresupporting the applications would reveal that networks in the past have evolvedin response to application needs.
Emerging peer-to-peer applications require amore intelligent network and efficient any-to-any connectivity. Newerintegrated processes and workflows require that enterprises extend efficientonline connectivity to partners & customers. Applications are being builtaround Web standards and use Internet technologies as foundations. Networkstoday have to be much more application aware to meet the requirements ofcollaborative & distributed processes. The network economy revolution has barely begun. Enterprises ofthe future will truly be Networked Virtual Organizations, with businessprocesses spanning organizational boundaries seamlessly.
This paper: 1. Highlights the shift to networked applications among enterprisesand supply chains 2. Discusses the businessprocess changes driving requirements for more efficient networks 3. Provides proof pointsin support of this trend by examining emerging enterprise application softwaretrends 4. Identifies the enablingcomponents accelerating the trend towards distributed peer-to-peer applications5. Provides practical examplesof how these processes are orchestrated through the network.