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Companies rely heavily on complex software systems and tightly integrated supply-chains to serve their customers in increasingly fast changing markets. To gain competitive advantage in such a setting, companies must adapt their processes, products and inter-organizational relationships quickly to changing environments. In the future, enterprise software systems must be explicitly designed for flexibly switching intensive inter-organizational relationships and for rapidly implementing changes in requirements or context while retaining existing functionality and user acceptance. In this paper, the authors introduce the notion of emergence in enterprise software systems as a guiding principle. Emergent Enterprise Software Systems (EESS) will be capable of reacting to changes in the environment by adapting their behavior and exposing new functionality.
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