Journal of Information Technology

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 228–233 | Cite as

The emergence of smart business networks

  • Peter Vervest
  • Kenneth Preiss
  • Eric Van Heck
  • Louis-François Pau
Special Edition


This article introduces the novel concept of smart business networks. The authors see the future as a developing web of people and organizations, bound together in a dynamic and unpredictable way, creating smart outcomes from quickly (re-) configuring links between actors. The question is: What should be done to make the outcomes of such a network ‘smart’, that is, just a little better than that of your competitor? More agile, with less pain, with more return to all the members of the network, now and over time? The technical answer is to create a ‘business operating system’ that should run business processes on different organizational platforms. Business processes would become portable: The end-to-end management of processes running across many different organizations in many different forms would become possible. This article presents an energizing discussion of smart business networks and the research challenges ahead.


smart business network capabilities agility modularity business logic business operating system 


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Copyright information

© Association for Information Technology Trust 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Vervest
    • 1
  • Kenneth Preiss
    • 2
  • Eric Van Heck
    • 1
  • Louis-François Pau
    • 1
  1. 1.Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Ben Gurion University of the Negev, School of Management and Faculty of EngineeringBeer ShevaIsrael

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