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Issue No 2:


Helping Enterprises Benefit from the Competitive Armageddon Brought About by the Internet

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - June 10, 1998 -- Welcome to the second issue of The Enterprise Newsletter. My name is Clive Finkelstein. The title indicates our focus. Our Mission is for The Enterprise Newsletter to become a key vehicle to communicate innovative applications of Information Technology to Enterprises. While the contributions to this second issue come mostly from Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd (IES), I do hope that you and others will also provide input for later issues. Please feel free to share with all of us your experience, insights or comments. Email material or suggestions to me at <>.

Our objective is to help you and your enterprise become a "best practice" example of the application of IT to business. We want you to become "10 out of 10". For emphasis, we use the acronym "TEN" to refer to The Enterprise Newsletter.

Clive Finkelstein
TEN - The Enterprise Newsletter

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An earthquake of huge proportions is about to hit most organizations throughout the world. Fortunately, its coming has been predicted - right down to the exact day and hour when it will hit. I am referring of course to the Year 2000 problem. Most organizations today are working furiously to correct thousands of programs, expanding two digit years to four digits to accommodate the turn of the century. Those that have not yet begun will find that they have left it too late. They may not survive.

And the growth industry immediately following Jan 1, 2000? The Legal Profession !!!

Law firms will be active as customers, suppliers and governments alike initiate - or defend - litigation arising from the Millennium Bug. Some organizations may choose to go out of business, rather than defend these actions. Insurance policies will not save them. And next, shareholders and other stakeholders will take centre stage. They also will have their time in court - as they sue directors of companies who were negligent in not acting to avoid what is a well-known problem.

This corporate earthquake will be large. But we will look back on it as insignificant, when we later compare it with the next earthquake - coming soon afterwards.

For that next quake will be orders of magnitude greater than the Year 2000 problem !!!

The pressure is building; the earth is starting to move. But in this case we do not know exactly when and where it will hit. The date and the location may be different for each organization and industry. What is it? We can already hear the rumbling. We already are becoming aware of its impact.

I refer of course to the Internet and its impact on business.

Whether you call it Electronic Commerce, or I-Commerce, or E-Business ... Its impact will be enormous: far, far worse than the Millennium Bug.

Most organizations have developed their business processes and systems over years on the assumption that communication with customers and suppliers takes days or weeks.

With the Internet, with Intranets - and with Extranets that connect an organization directly with its customers, suppliers and business partners - this communication is immediate. And it changes these processes fundamentally. The earlier processes will no longer be effective.

Customers can visit an organization anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse. But they will leave it to go to its competitors just as fast - also with the click of a mouse - if they cannot locate the products they need, or receive the customer service that they require.

Organizations will find that many business processes and systems that have evolved over the years to serve their customers and suppliers will not be able to respond in time, with this new environment. They will have to be redesigned and redeveloped.

This is the real problem, for this redevelopment will take many years. And there is little time to waste.

Already most industries have examples of organizations that have already made (or are making) the transition now to this new way of doing business. For the others, the devastation will be enormous. Many organizations will not survive. The Year 2000 problem will be seen as a minor tremor in comparison.

This corporate earthquake will hit only a few short years after the turn of the century. In 5 - 10 years from today, we will look back and wonder "whatever happened to ...?"

We will laugh when we compare business then with the way we do business today ... which will be seen as horse and buggy technology compared to the transformation of business brought about by the Internet.

IBM has seen the signs. It has also seen the opportunities. Its "e-Business" advertisements are starting to generate awareness. This is not hype. It is a warning of impending disaster for those who ignore the message.

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To help you communicate this message to senior business management and to IT management and staff, some of our White Papers may assist. These can be read online. Or they can be downloaded as Word 6.0/95 documents, printed and distributed freely throughout your organization to people you know should hear the message. The following links and summaries will help you.

For Senior Business Managers and IT Managers

This non-technical paper has been written for CEOs, COOs, CFOs and CIOs. It is two pages, plus two side-bar pages describing immediate actions that can be taken by senior management now. It describes how a Strategic Technology Plan, expressed as a Strategic Information Systems Plan (SISP), can be developed in three short weeks to identify priority areas for immediate action, together with project plans for early delivery of priority systems to support these areas.

This is a News Article describing a three week project by a Regional Bank to develop a Strategic Information Systems Plan (SISP). The SISP identified innovative opportunities for the Bank that are emerging in the new competitive environment. You can also read the complete SISP Report developed in this project. This is available online, or it can be downloaded for offline reference. While it refers to Banking, the same approach applies to any industry. It has been used in Insurance, Government, Health Care, Manufacturing, Distribution, Transportation, Defense etc.

This is an update of an earlier paper: "Business Re-Engineering: Three Steps to Success". Both papers discuss the need for business re-engineering to ensure that business  processes and business information are both directly aligned with, and support, strategic plans. It describes the impact of the Internet, and discusses how cross-functional processes can be reengineered to take maximum advantage of the competitive opportunities that are presented.

For IT Managers and Data Administration Staff

Many business processes evolved to operate against redundant versions of data throughout an organization. Many of these processes are also redundant, but evolved to maintain each redundant data version up-to-date. This paper describes the role of the Data Administrator in developing integrated data bases that eliminate redundant data versions and also related redundant processes needed to maintain that data. The result is cross-functional processes that lead to new Internet-based business re-engineering opportunities. This paper should be read in conjunction with the Business Re-Engineering paper above. The role of the Data Administrator is vital for organizations that need to change so they can compete effectively in the Internet Era.

The competitive opportunities, and threats, that are presented by the Internet are major. The above papers will help you determine the most appropriate actions for your organization. Download and print those that convey the message, and distribute them freely to the managers, colleagues and staff who should become aware. Use these as resources to lift the level of understanding in your organization.

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To achieve the transformation of business above requires a design partnership between business and IT. The following self-study courses are designed to assist you.

Certified Business Data Modeller Course Series

A knowledge of Data Modelling will enable you to eliminate redundant data versions and redundant processes, to develop integrated data bases for the Internet and Intranets. This is not just the responsibility of Data Administrators. It requires business knowledge as well. The Certified Business Data Modeller (CBDM) course series has been developed to assist you, specifically for self-study use by business staff and IT staff.

The CBDM series comprises two concepts courses: Data Modelling Concepts and Business Normalisation Concepts, together with the Data Modelling Case Study Workshop. This workshop enables you to apply the skills that you have learned in the concepts courses to a real-life case study. Your case study solution is entered into the Student Edition of Visible Advantage, an enterprise modelling tool that is supplied as part of the CBDM series. The resulting encyclopedia is then emailed for the CBDM Exam, to qualify as a Certified Business Data Modeller.

We have found that many organizations have used the CBDM series to train both business staff and IT staff very cost effectively. They are then able to work together jointly on projects in a design partnership, developing a Strategic Information Systems Plan (SISP) as described above and developing detailed data models, for early delivery of priority systems to take advantage of the competitive opportunities that are now opening up.

The courses can be taken at work or at home - at any convenient time or place. Three alternative delivery options are available:

  • By PowerPoint delivery
  • By Corporate Intranet delivery
  • By inhouse Classroom delivery.

The latter two delivery options are very cost-effective if more than 20 people from the one organization are to be trained. They also enable a tailored case study to be used, which is developed specifically for your organization. More detail is available by looking at the Course Delivery Options below. From this point, you can then place an online order for the CBDM course series specifying the delivery method of your choice.

By acting now, you will be taking a positive step to develop business and IT skills in data modelling that can help you ensure the survival and prosperity of your organization for the future.

Use the following links to read how these skills can be easily learned by both business and IT staff:

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Clive Finkelstein is the "Father" of Information Engineering (IE), developed by him from 1976. He is an International Consultant and Instructor, and was the Managing Director of Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd (IES) in Australia. 

Clive Finkelstein's books, online interviews, courses and details are available at

For More Information, Contact:

  Clive Finkelstein
59B Valentine Ave
Dianella, Perth WA 6059 Australia
Web Site:

(c) Copyright 1995-2015 Clive Finkelstein. All Rights Reserved.

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