This book is important: I will tell you why. I will also say a few words about me so that you get an idea of this person advising you on how to spend your time. Finally, I will outline my wishes about the direction I would like the future research on enterprise modeling to take.
In general terms, this book is focused on tools for the management and change of enterprises. The basis for this is the systems approach: viewing the enterprise itself as the main enterprise system, with the information system as a subsystem. The general idea is that we have to be able to grasp both the enterprise system and the information system in a thorough and comprehensive way to be able to manage change. If we do not know anything about the “enterprise boat,” it sure is risky to try and steer it. This book outlines some individual tools and methods on how to get optimum ideas about the “enterprise boat” with all its information systems. To be able to grasp both the enterprise system and the information system, we have to apply modeling languages. These modeling languages are used to produce models of the modeled systems. These models, in turn, can be employed as tools both for integration, that is, making it easier to merge different parts of systems together, and for comprehension, making it easier to gather relevant aspects of the modeled systems. This is of major importance simply because if we cannot coordinate the different parts of the enterprise boat, it will be almost impossible to steer it. More seriously, if we do not have a good comprehensive view of the boat, we do not know what it is exactly that we are steering. And moreover, we do not know how to steer and how to improve the steering information systems.
Today many enterprises are more or less blind, and they survive more by pure luck than by using rational thinking and tools. More than that, communication between the people building and maintaining information systems and the people building and maintaining the enterprise is often poor. New tools and a new way of thinking are needed. This is why this book is so important.