Conflicts, Compromises, and Political Decisions: Methodological Challenges of Enterprise-Wide E-Business Architecture Creation

Conflicts, Compromises, and Political Decisions: Methodological Challenges of Enterprise-Wide E-Business Architecture Creation

Kari Smolander (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland) and Matti Rossi (Helsinki School of Economics, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-904-5.ch004
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Abstract

This article describes the architecture development process in an international ICT company, which is building a comprehensive e-business system for its customers. The implementation includes the integration of data and legacy systems from independent business units and the construction of a uniform Webbased customer interface. We followed the early process of architecture analysis and definition over a year. The research focuses on the creation of e-business architecture and observes that instead of guided by a prescribed method, the architecture emerges through somewhat non-deliberate actions obliged by the situation and its constraints, conflicts, compromises, and political decisions. The interview-based qualitative data is analyzed using grounded theory and a coherent story explaining the situation and its forces is extracted. Conclusions are drawn from the observations and possibilities and weaknesses of the support that UML and RUP provide for the process are pointed out.

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