ERP as an Integration Strategy: Issues, Challenges, Benefits, and Risks

ERP as an Integration Strategy: Issues, Challenges, Benefits, and Risks

Les Singletary (Louisiana Tech University, USA) and Minh Q. Huynh (Southeastern Louisiana University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-908-3.ch007
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Integration has been the dominant technical strategy of Information Technology (IT). Computers were introduced for business use and have evolved through multiple stages, including integration of subroutines, modules, programs and applications. Major developments include database, object-oriented programming and communications technologies (especially the Web and Internet). Although integration continues as a technical strategy, IT integration has become part of the overall business strategy due to considerable organizational dependence on IT. The complexity of IT advances necessitated viewing and managing major IT components differently, which have become known as infrastructures. Since the late 1980s, implementation of enterprise-wide systems has been the primary IT business strategy, although it entails great cost, risks and disruption of operation. This chapter describes the evolution of IT integration strategies and examines enterprise resource planning (ERP) as the most popular IT business strategy. The major theme is IT integration, and we examine the question, “Is IT integration desirable?”

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