Beyond ERP Systems: An Outline of Self-Referential Enterprise Systems

Essen: Institut für Informatik und Wirtschaftsinformatik (ICB), Universität Duisburg-Essen (2009) (ICB research report ; 31)
Buch / Monographie / Fach: Wirtschaftswissenschaften
While it is widely agreed that current enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems cannot
evolve much further, it is the question how future enterprise systems will look like. To approach
an answer to this question, this report provides at first an analysis of essential high
level requirements and their implications. Against this background, a conception of future
enterprise systems referred to as self‐referential enterprise systems (SRES) is presented. It is
characterized by an elaborate conceptual foundation, which is based on multi‐perspective
enterprise models. These models enable enterprise software to not only refer to their conceptual
foundation, but also to the concepts that characterize the context they are embedded in.
In order to promote cross‐organizational integration and high‐level reuse, it is suggested to
develop reference models, which provide design blueprints for an entire range of organizations.
While the development of reference models and the realization of corresponding SRES
is a very attractive research vision, it overextends the resources of single research institutions
by far. It also requires involving prospective users. To cope with these challenges, the paper
suggests a conception of collaborative development of open reference models. It concludes
with the description of the recently launched “Open Model” initiative that is aimed at promoting
the joint.