As a core component of IBM's e-business cycle, DB2 is a catalyst for delivering applications that directly impact a company's operations. The three phases of the e-business cycle are transform, build, and run. Transform is the process that takes a business to an e-business; common applications in this area include electronic commerce, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management (SCM). DB2 as the database is part of the transform phase. Build is the process of exploiting the integrated Java and multimedia features of DB2. Run is the part of the e-business cycle that ensures performance and scalability; this is especially important with companies using the Internet, new Internet-based companies, and the challenges faced by these companies.
Today's companies face four main business challenges: continuous change, rigorous competition, financial pressures, and unpredictable threats. These challenges cause demands to go beyond e-business and create the need for an on-demand operating environment. An on-demand operating environment requires a set of integration and infrastructure-management capabilities that businesses, customers, and partners can use, in a modular and incremental manner, to enable the transformation to e-business on demand. Integration includes business modeling, process transformation, application and information integration, access, collaboration, and business process management. Implementation of these capabilities allows companies to further integrate their people, processes, and information. Infrastructure management includes such areas as availability, security, optimization, business service management, and resource virtualization. Implementation of these functions allows companies to create greater optimization and simplification of their infrastructures.
Focusing on the database, we see business challenges manifest through unpredictable workloads with less problem tolerance, business partners of all types with evolving language standards, increased real-time decision making, continuous growth in size and form of data, and skyrocketing systems complexity. Successful management of the integration and infrastructure is critical. Successful e-business and success in the on-demand world of today will, to a significant degree, be determined by the level of success in meeting the information challenges at the database level.