Is there also transformation on the business side?
It all applies to the back-office as well. There's no reason why a network-centric environmentwhere everybody posts the information before they process itshouldn't make it easier to do business. In a networked world, you can build things so that the data is posted and then multiple applications use the same data. There's an acronym that I use called OHIOOnly Handle Information Once.
How do you make sure new IT projects don't create more red tape?
I look at projects, and if I see them as stovepiped or not open or not networked, then I say, "Hey, that's the old world. We're not doing that anymore." In the history of commercial enterprise in this country, the move from stovepipe systems to network systems has been enormously productive. So has the move from vertical integration, where everybody has to do everything that's associated with a product within a given enterprise, to one of what we call integrating the supplier base and the customer base. Think about the innovations of Wal-Mart, for instance. Wal-Mart allows its suppliers to know every time one of its goods is sold. Not only that, Wal-Mart expects its suppliers to restock the shelves. That makes the whole system much more efficient.
DoD is trying to better manage its supply chain with enterprise resource planning. How many different ERP systems are in play?
One or more from each of the main suppliers: Baan, SAP, Oracle. But with each one of those, where they started out being the cat's pajamas and were going to fix everything, in much of our experience, that's not been quite true. We need to network even more information in order to solve the whole problem.
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