Modern enterprises face a strong economical pressure to increase competitiveness, to operate on a global market, and to engage in alliances of several kinds. Agility thus has become the new guiding principle for enterprises. This requires flexible organizational structures and business processes, as well as flexible supporting information systems and a flexible information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. In addition, an enterprise needs to be able to easily expand or shrink, be it through collaborations with other enterprises, through mergers or acquisitions, or through insourcing or outsourcing of services.
In order to meet these economical requirements, enterprises rely increasingly on the benefits of modern ICT. However, the appropriate knowledge to deploy this technology as needed, and in an effective and efficient way, is largely lacking,particularly knowledge regarding the cooperation in and between enterprises and knowledge regarding the interoperability of their information systems.