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This chapter is from the book

1.4 The Gathering Storm of New Activities on the Web

There is already an urgent need for new technologies to help us understand the information in our IT systems, at every level from low to high. This need is going to become even more urgent. In the next three sections, we look at some of the newer activities hosted on the Internet.

We pick out three main themes among the activites now developing in the Internet world:

  • Global electronic trade and the emergence of the open enterprise

  • Agile systems—new kinds of highly flexible information-gathering systems

  • Cyber warfare and cyber defense—the battle for the information society

Each of these themes, we shall argue, is making increasing demands for new technology for information gathering and delivery. Widely distributed fragments of information must be gathered and pieced together into forms appropriate for electronic processes to tackle the problems at hand, and for humans to understand high-speed business situations and stay in control.

Demands for new design technology also abound in each of the themes. We must be able to deal with increasingly complex systems, demands for high reliability, and frequent, rapid modifications. Demand for a design technology that applies across the complete system lifecycle will appear in each of these themes, systems of electronic business processes that span multiple collaborating enterprises, agile information-gathering systems, and cyber defense systems.

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