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A business process that supports the production process in the previous section will have benefits that will touch nearly every facet of your organization with these types of searches, allowing you to tap the knowledge you already haveâ€”but didn't know you had. To continue taking advantage of this knowledge after the search process, the conclusions from the new knowledge gained from your searches also need to be stored and saved for future use. The next section addresses this process.
Application of Results
Finally, the last production stage of the knowledge-centric organization's knowledge process is the application of results. If an entirely new product has been created (a new report, for example), the responsible person should use the production process, shown in the earlier section Discovery and Production. Part of the ontology mapping portion of that section would be the process of associating the new product with information gleaned from the other searches.
Another application in the last stage of the knowledge process may be simple data annotation. This process is shown in Figure 9.5. Based on the information your employees find in the step, it is possible that they will want to annotate the information they find. Of course, much like the production process, the author of the annotation should digitally sign the annotation. Before the new annotation items are added, version control should be added to the document, and it should be republished into the data federation.
Using the process shown in the upcoming section Create Your Organization's Strategy not only affects the outcome of your current work, it affects information reuseâ€”being able to use that information at a later date. If an organization has a content management and workflow process that includes version control, annotation, and trust assertions, it will be easier to find information and apply the conclusions that were made earlier.
Figure 9.5 Application of results: Annotation and republication.
Web Service with Corporate Ontology and Web Service Registry
Crafting Your Company's Roadmap to the Semantic Web
From discovery and production, to search and application, the corporate knowledge base needs to be a central part of your organization. The result will be that every aspect of your organization will benefit.
At this point, if you haven't already, you may want to read Chapter 2, "The Business Case for the Semantic Web." This will give you some practical ideas of how the processes discussed in this section could affect your business.
How Do We Get There?
At this point in the book, we have described the Semantic Web, discussed practical applications of Semantic Web technologies, given overviews of the key technologies involved, and in the previous section, described processes that need to be in place to realize the vision. Most companies need to change their process in order to take advantage of Semantic Web technologies. Luckily, these changes can be implemented gradually over time, and your organization can easily evolve into a knowledge-centric organization. The most challenging aspect may not be the technology; it may be changing the mind-set of your employees. Leading cultural change may be the greatest challenge for some companies. Changing behavior and the ways that all levels think about accessing, integrating, and leveraging knowledge is critical. Any change plan must include comprehensive actions to address change at the organizational (culture), individual, and process levels.
If you are responsible for leading information technology change in your organization, you may be wondering, "Where do I start?"
Prepare for Change
At the beginning, you will need to be prepared to make changes in your organization. You also must determine who the stakeholders are that are impacted by the change, and how to lead them through the change process. To do this, you will need to define a clear purpose and set clear goals and milestones:
â– â– Establish and be able to convey your purpose. To prepare for change in your organization, you will need to first develop your vision so that it can be communicated appropriately. Develop a clear purpose for changing your information management process in your organization. What is the clear and compelling business case for change? How will these technologies enable your organization to achieve its business goal? How does this change link to other, broader corporate goals? If you can't clearly answer
these questions, your employees surely won't buy into it. A clear, concise, and simple mission statement may help. Chapters 1 and 2 should assist you in crafting the vision.
â– â– Set clear goals. Based on your vision in Step 1, you will need to set clear goals and milestones specific to your organization. At this point, visionary goals (not technical goals) are what you will needâ€”for example: "Be able to search all project information across the company by second quarter 2004." Look at Chapter 2 of this book for ideas.