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The Future of Software
April 30 – May 1, 2001 in
Los Angeles, CA

special members' workshop
The Post e-Corporation – A Future Mapping Event
May 1 & 2, 2001

 

overview speakers agenda

Topics include:
• New Development Environments
• Free vs. Open Source
• Smaller Software
• Better Learning Technologies
• Knowledge and Collaboration
• Intelligence, Agents and Personalization
• Assessing the ASP Model
• Self-configuration

conference overview
Software is increasingly distributed, multi-platform and adaptive. How will we develop, implement, manage and integrate these complex software environments of the future? As new software problems emerge, do some old ones go away? With disk space approaching a cent per gigabyte, perhaps we can safely ignore storage costs as a consideration in software and database design.

Business software is on the cusp of a revolution – but what revolution will it be? Peer to peer is the architecture du jour, full of possibility and controversy. Client/server is over, and big iron is making a comeback on the Web. Meanwhile, Microsoft is under siege from all directions. Linux and the Open Source movement still look promising, but they are dividing into camps. The ASP model is finally gaining traction, and if it succeeds in the marketplace, will completely restructure the software industry as we know it, in terms of both the technology and the prevalent business models.

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speakers
Dr. Alan Baratz, CEO, Zaplet, Inc.
Mr. Bran Ferren, Co-chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds
Dr. Alan Kay, Vice President, Research & Development, The Walt Disney Company
Dr. Butler Lampson, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Corporation, and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, MIT
Dr. Douglas Lenat, President and CEO, Cycorp, Inc.
Dr. Dorothy Leonard, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University
Dr. Wei-Min Shen, Project Leader and Senior Research Scientist, Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California
Mr. Chris Smith, President, CEO, and Founder, Efinity, Inc.
Mr. Richard Stallman, Founder, the GNU Project
Mr. Matt Lerner, Co-founder & CTO, E-Quill Corporation, www.equill.com
Mr. Nicholas Maier, Chairman & CEO, Newzing, www.newzing.com
Mr. Dmitry Paperny, Vice President, Strategy, Viewpoint Corporation, www.viewpoint.com
Mr. James Phillips, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Internet Pictures Corporation (iPIX), www.ipix.com
Mr. Mike Rosen, President & Chief Executive Officer, 2ce, Inc., www.2ce.com

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workshop description
Jim Herman & Dave Mason, NerveWire
In the rapidly changing environment of e-business, leaders that are best able to manage uncertainty, cope with sudden change, and take control of their corporate destiny have the clear competitive edge.

In this Future Mapping Event workshop, developed and led by Jim Herman and Dave Mason of NerveWire, we’ll examine and explore such questions as:

• What happens to the nature of a corporation after all the e-stuff is in place and operational?
• What are the boundaries of the corporation, how will it be structured, organized, and operated?
• What information will make a difference?
• How can we enhance the customer-centric e-business?
• What does it take to transform a value chain into a global open-value web?
• What will be needed to take advantage of the "swarm" economy?
• How can internal e-markets benefit large-scale, multi-business organizations?
Attendees will be divided into teams and given a set of ideas to expand upon and defend. The closing activity will integrate the alternatives discussed by the group.
If you’ve attended one of their sessions before, you know that these are rich peer discussions aimed at co-discovery rather than determining a correct answer. If you haven’t attended, please try to do so as you’re in for a real treat!

Workshop Description
Today’s hot topic concerns how e-business systems and practices will ultimately affect the very nature of a corporation in the "post-e" world.

Multiple development vectors arise at the same time. What is truly of value is understanding how these vectors interact, not which is "right" or "most likely", and knowing what dynamics will be in play three years from now. This understanding is what we want to derive with the rich experience of TTI/Vanguard members. Specifically, we’ll look at:

• The Customer-Centric e-Business
- Focus on new customer interfaces is critical to retaining customers in the connected economy
- Define process and system requirements in terms of creating an integrated, compelling experience for the customer
- De-capitalize the production side of the corporation.

• Global Open-Value Webs
- E-markets transform value chains into value webs that increase access to buyers and suppliers globally
- Cooperative ecosystems of focused specialists succeed
- Value webs address demand aggregation, supplier interactions, and now even collaborative product design.

• The "Swarm" Economy
- Individuals and small companies are the basis for the new economy; they coordinate through e-markets
- Firms compete for talent rather than customers
- The ecosystem model outperforms traditional corporate structures.

• Complex Adaptive Giants
- Large companies consolidate e-business markets into utility-like operations, new companies have only a small role.
- Large-scale, multi-business operations are made more efficient and adaptive through the internal use of e-markets.
- If e-business solutions work for inter-enterprise operations, surely they hold promise for improving internal operations of multi-business global corporations.

These examples of development vectors will combine in fascinating ways. Different industries will experience different outcomes. The slow shift of the computer industry from a vertically integrated model to a horizontal layered model with well-understood interfaces is one change most TTI/Vanguard members are familiar with. But the same thing is happening in other industries as some players choose to de-capitalize and focus on the customer interface, while others choose to take on the capital-intensive manufacturing role.

Jim and Dave will offer a framework (endstates for those of you familiar with Future Mapping) for the future of software at the opening of the TTI/Vanguard Conference. Then, after listening to the presentations, offer a revised framework and facilitate a discussion that integrates the various points of view on the topic.

The Future Mapping Process
The early stages of the Future Mapping process involve several kinds of research, interviews, and material preparations by NerveWire. The outcome of this preliminary work is the positing and defining of many potential events and a small number, typically three to five, of alternative futures. Neither forecasts nor predictions, these "endstate" descriptions, explore the full spectrum of potential change, by encompassing the range of possibilities from the point of view of outcomes, or endstates.

The next step is the heart of Future Mapping, the intensive workshop involving you and your colleagues in a day of small team interactions and plenary presentations. A workshop typically starts by establishing a baseline of the current conventional assumptions. We then move on to scenario building, or "proof" process, which involve team discussions, and presentations on strategies and tactics to "achieve" a given endstate.

The purpose of the scenario-building stage is to develop an understanding of how underlying business dynamics would change from the present state to each of the posited alternative futures. Together, we will identify the important prospective events that would be required to pursue a particular endstate, and examine the driving forces either of those in the present or those that might come into play that could produce such events. The purpose of the process is to survey the "lay of the land", the givens of our business environment, and to engage in constructive speculation about unusual new features of the competitive landscape that might appear on the horizon as e-business practices mature and their impact on the nature of a global corporation becomes apparent.

About NerveWire
NerveWire (formerly Northeast Consulting), the creators of Future Mapping®, are leaders in the application of scenario planning to the business problems of information technology and telecommunications for both vendors and users. NerveWire started mapping the future of computing and communications 10 years ago, providing a structured way to talk about what will be. Their work in e-business began with projects on the impact of the Internet on publishing, followed payment systems, banking, the impact on system and software vendors, and topics in e-business strategy.

Some TTI/Vanguard members likely recall programs in the past presented by Jim and Dave using Northeast Consulting’s Future Mapping method. Jim and Dave merged Northeast into a new venture-funded professional services firm called NerveWire (www.nervewire.com). After a year of hard work successfully getting the company up and running (now some 300 people), they have transitioned to the status of NerveWire Fellows, allowing them more time to spend with clients and groups like TTI/Vanguard.

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