The intelligent enterprise is an organic organization that maintains its competitive edge by effectively developing, sustaining, and leveraging its unique intelligence resources that others cannot duplicate. As globalization and competition increase, more and more organizations realize that they need to transform from a traditional, rigid structured organization to an intelligent organization. The key ingredients to a successful intelligent organization are: distributed intelligence, effective knowledge management, self-organizing autonomous units, frictionless access to resources, and organizational learning.
We have proposed a conceptual framework of intelligence infrastructure that integrates traditional information and knowledge systems. The intelligence infrastructure supports and enhances the complex and dynamic functionalities of an intelligent organization. Through open standards and intelligent agents, traditional systems will be able to cooperate and provide coherent information and services to end users. Intelligent agents serve as intermediaries that not only make vast resources available to the users, but also empower the users by automating, consolidating, and simplifying routine tasks, and allowing the users to explore and perform tasks that were not possible in the past.
Intelligent agents have been around for many years. It is only recently that they have made significant inroads into real world applications. Although in certain specific areas intelligent agents have been deployed successfully, so far there has been little effort to systematically integrate intelligent agents with traditional information and knowledge systems. Before such an endeavour can begin, more work needs to be devoted to standards setting and transforming the conceptual framework of intelligence infrastructure into concrete design. We have pointed out the promising potential of such a framework, and we believe that an intelligence infrastructure is indispensable for future intelligent enterprises.