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Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

IT has truly been the technological savior of the mundane. Over the decades we have handed over countless routine tasks to systems and services at home and at work without complaint or delay. But, of course, our living and working environments are anything but a series of perpetual habits and fixed practices. And building architectures that are sound, flexible, and adaptable enough to support complex enterprise integration has been far more challenging and vastly more expensive than we would have expected or hoped.

Enter a multifaceted system whose time is approaching and whose objective is to support nonroutine demands and incoming requests by interacting enterprisewide with decision-making agents in real time. This month's special section examines the challenges ahead and potential applications for adaptive complex enterprises (ACE). For guest editor Anand Desai the goal here is to explore how two emerging trends—complexity theory and recent advancements in such technologies as Web services and middleware—have positioned IT to provide solutions for understanding complex enterprise integration. The articles focus on the three underlying threads needed to achieve ACE: adaptive functionality; adaptive architecture; and test beds.

Also in this issue, Bush and Tiwana focus on the challenges of making knowledge networks sticky by design. And Pawlowski et al. trace how the "last resort" connotation once associated with state-based IT jobs is changing as governments introduce employment incentives to attract skilled and innovative IT professionals.

The agile philosophy is not for all organizations, warn Nerur et al., who examine the challenges CIOs and project managers face when orchestrating the move to agile methodologies, providing key factors to consider before making such a commitment. Zheng and Lee offer a strong overview of the current state of wireless data access and the challenges for achieving true ubiquity. And Lai and Wong study how e-commerce businesses, devastated in 2000 by the dot-com bust, have fared since. Have more innovative business strategies really made a difference?

Over two dozen senior database researchers share their combined wisdom and propose new directions for database management systems in "The Lowell Database Research Self-Assessment." Potanin et al. show how objects within large OO programs have no characteristic scale. And Fleischmann and Wallace explore the ethical and practical elements of transparency in the design of decision support models.

In "Viewpoint," Satish Nambisan contends university curricula must widen their perspectives and prepare future technologists with a much broader and more global set of skills. In "President's Letter," David A. Patterson examines how and why the practice of honoring individual excellence enhances the computing field.

Diane Crawford

©2005 ACM  0001-0782/05/0500  $5.00

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The Digital Library is published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Copyright © 2005 ACM, Inc.


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