TrendAlert: Today’s Knowledge Factories Need Information Supply Chain Management
Outsell is starting to see information-consuming enterprises and technology vendors show interest in applying the concept of supply chain management to information. In this paradigm, information can be thought of as 'raw materials' that are transformed through the application of knowledge and end up embedded in products and services. This Briefing documents how changes in the way people work and changes in technology have moved hand-in-hand to make current information practices in organizations obsolete. It provides an alternative framework for thinking about the way user tasks and applications define information needs, and how information delivery can be restructured to better satisfy those needs. It identifies technology players that are currently working on pieces of the information supply chain puzzle, and explores the challenges and barriers to fully attaining the vision. For commercial content vendors, the Briefing advises increasing cooperation with each other and with clients in order to survive. For content management professionals, the ramifications are significant, with content managers and consumers taking their rightful place at the head of the supply chain and asserting control over what information is delivered, when, and in what format. For content software vendors, it identifies an opportunity to create, either individually or in partnership, whole new classes of applications that are the content equivalent of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.