Importance and Challenge of Enterprise Integration

Importance and Challenge of Enterprise Integration

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3910-2.ch002
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Business environments nowadays, different from those not long ago, change very quickly. As for enterprise integration, frequently, the following reasons are found, which considerably contribute to the changes that would be necessary in conducting enterprise integration: 1) Business acquisition & merger – Two or more business organizations want to leverage each other’s products and marketing strengths to strive for a competitive advantage in business; 2) Dynamically changing market conditions - Due to the globalization and changing customer needs, products and services products must be changed. Therefore, the business operations managing the lifecycle of the products and services must be changed accordingly; 3) Technology advancement – New applications are introduced or enhancements and enrichments of support functions in the existing applications become necessary to help improve the business operations further in an organization. A fictional organization is provided in this chapter, aimed at demonstrating how a typical organization relies on information systems in support of its daily business operations and management. The main supports enabled by the deployed information systems at this organization are fully explained first. Then the importance and challenge of enterprise integration is discussed, which lays out a necessary foundation for the discussions in the remaining chapters.
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1. The Importance Of Enterprise Integration

With the significant advances in technologies, people, organizations, and heterogeneous enterprise information systems now can be linked together more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. The quick advances of information technology (IT) in general significantly transforms not only science and engineering research but also expectations on how people live, learn, and work as witnessed during the last decade or so. Life at home, work, and leisure becomes easier, better, and enjoyable.

In the business world, because of the rich information linkages the right data and information in the right context could be delivered to the right user (e.g., people, machine, device, software component, etc.) in the right place, at the right time, resulting in the substantial increase of the degree of business process automation, continual increment of production productivity, reduction of services lead time, and improvement of services quality and end users satisfaction (Qiu, 2007). As a variety of devices, hardware, and software become network aware, almost everything is capable of being handled over the networks. Obviously, it is enterprise integration that would enable the delivery of the right information to the right user in a timely manner, giving businesses a competitive edge in today’s globalized, culture-rich, and digitalized markets (Sandoe et al., 2001; Smith & Fingar, 2003).

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