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18/12/2014 04:21:35
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Enterprise Integration Overview

All enterprises are aimed at operating according to optimized business processes. Further, all business processes require support from IT for their operation. IT systems and applications are typically used:

  • for internal process automation.
  • to integrate business partners across the  whole supply chain.

We define IT enabled Enterprise integration to be the coordinated and synchronised execution of activities across employees and business partners which is made possible by the timely availability of necessary and sufficient information. In turn, such integration brings substantial business benefits to all partners mainly in terms of efficiency, speed, operating cost reduction, optimised resource utilisation etc.

The ability of heterogeneous IT applications (possibly belonging to different companies) to communicate and exchange information is an essential enabler for process integration. However due to the plethora of IT systems and service suppliers and the general lack of implemented standards in the IT industry this remains  extremely dificult.

The problems of process integration (or the lack of it) due to applications that do not inter-operate are faced by all industrial and public sectors. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry but has not arrived yet at universal solutions. Application integration is therefore still a highly customised, ad-hoc and costly process.

We  argue that the problem of application integration is a subset of the more essential problem of process integration. Applications need to interoperate because the processes that rely on them need to be integrated.




   
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