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22nd September 2008

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  global integration


what is it?
The Situation
When corporations merge, they have to learn to speak a single language. So does all their software.  The processes of the business may initially be incompatible. The terms they use may be subtly variant; the assumptions they make about the business rules will differ. Rapidly-growing businesses often have the same problem. Each department makes its own decisions about terms, rules and processes. Even well-established businesses suffer 'enterprise dislocation': over time, expedient interfaces are devised between different business tasks -- and their supporting software -- one by one. It becomes increasingly impossible to alter the business processes, since all the interfaces are different, using different models and communications protocols.
The problem
Each of these situations results in an inability to change the business, to respond quickly to shifts in the market and deliver new business products; and to take advantage of potential economies. It's a mistake to locate the problem in either the business processes or the software alone.  Both have to be tackled to regain flexibility.  It's also mistaken to try to impose a single model on every part of the business: they often have their different models for good reasons, and to do so would be obstructive and wasteful.
The Strategy

Enterprise Integration means making the business more reconfigurable, by devising common languages and protocols between business processes and their supporting software.

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what is global integration? | how do you do it? | case histories
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