fmis 3202 enterprise system architectures nik r hassan spring 2007 l.
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FMIS 3202 Enterprise System Architectures Nik R. Hassan Spring 2007 Introduction to Enterprise Systems Architectures: Adaptable Systems Business Challenges

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business challenges
Business Challenges
  • Most enterprises are burdened with a vast array of computers, applications, and islands of automation that are linked together through a variety of ad hoc mechanisms
  • Fragmentation from
    • Diversity of application architectures and technology
    • Local focus of application functionality
  • Major barriers to the capture, communication, and integration of management information necessary for the effective operation and improvement of the business.
  • Holding the business hostage
    • The maze of connections conceals the intricacies of the business operation
    • Locks the enterprise into outdated business practices and organization structures
    • Presents a major challenge to the introduction of new applications
    • Skilled knowledge workers are unable to access needed data and collaborate to develop enterprise solutions to key problems
    • Frustrate attempts to respond to changing business needs and opportunities.
goals of this course
Goals of this Course
  • Many managers recognize the need to change but don’t fully understand the opportunities or how to employ the technology effectively
  • Many technical people understand the details of various technologies but don’t have the enterprise perspective or authority to provide consistent, integrated solutions.
  • Show how Enterprise Systems Architectures address these and other issues by:
    • Bringing together business and technical perspectives
    • Demonstrating the role of technical standards to both multiple vendors as well as consumers of the technology
    • Show how the standards fit together to provide detailed specifications for the enterprise integration architecture
  • Give the student an appreciation of how to:
    • Integrate many of today’s silo applications
    • Incorporate commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions
    • Rapidly develop new, flexible applications for competitive advantage
    • Enable the enterprise to exploit its intellectual capital
    • Promote solutions that exploit cross-unit IT synergy in the form of IT-relatedness, knowledge relatedness and knowledge complementarity
legacy systems
Legacy Systems
  • Current enterprise landscape is littered with systems that are the result of the evolution of business and technology over many years
    • New systems are deployed leaving older systems unable to adapt, but at the same time, still being deployed
    • No incentive to rework older systems (f they ain’t broke, don’t fix them!)
    • Older systems become difficult to operate or integrate because of both changes in the technology and changes in business operations that are reflected in the newer system
    • Competition between business units discourage the sharing of ideas and the development of common solutions
    • Client/server technologies are off-loaded to local server that become isolated from other systems
characteristics of enterprise integration
Characteristics of Enterprise Integration
  • Adaptable systems and processes
    • Flexible
    • Scalability
    • Manageability
  • Streamlined business processes
  • Management information
  • Support for electronic commerce
  • Integrated security
  • Replaceable components
  • Reliable and recoverable systems
  • Economies of scale from product, customer and management
  • Complementary benefits from product, customer and management
adaptable systems
Adaptable Systems
  • Systems need to be adaptable because:
    • Changes driven by technology
    • Globalization of business activities
    • Rapidly changing markets
    • Intense competition
    • Reorganizations such as consolidations, divestitures, and mergers
  • Enterprise systems and processes must support these changes.
  • Unfortunately, business processes are tightly coupled to computer applications.
  • Businesspeople responsible for the processes do not understand what is implemented in the business applications
  • The technical people who once understood the details of the design are no longer available.
  • An efficient might reduce costs
  • An efficient but inflexible system will not allow organizations to engage in new revenue-generating activities
  • Flexibility need to be built into the design in places where it does most good to the business
  • Define flexibility
    • The ability of the software to perform outside its original business rules without making substantial changes
  • Example-eBay
    • Started as an auction
    • All business systems are designed for auctions
    • How can eBay take advantage of other business opportunities outside auctions without overhauling the whole system?
  • Definition: The ability for a system to operate at the unit per unit capacity within the requirements of the customer.
  • Ebay before 1998 was operating on totally free software (including CGI/Perl for business code/form processing, FreeBSD for the operating system, Apache for the Web Server, GNU dbm-a database free from MIT). It maxed out at 50,000 items.
  • After 1998 it migrated to Oracle for database, Microsoft IIS for Web server, and combination of Solaris and NT for operating systems on different servers.
  • By 1999, the database servers could not grow any bigger
  • Had to rewrite all the code so that they can scale each tier
    • Data Tier
    • Application Tier
  • Even if the system is flexible and scalable, it still needs to be manageable—maintained in running order with minimal interruptions
  • Not too much time on fixing bugs, duct-taping systems
how to make systems adaptable
How to make systems adaptable
  • In order for systems and processes to be adaptable, they must be structured so that
    • Responsibility and control over each business function is defined and assigned.
    • Each business function is defined once, to be performed in a consistent manner.
    • Coupling and dependencies between business functions are minimized.
  • Clear responsibility and control
    • same processes should be employed throughout the enterprise, as much as possible, even if the executions are distributed.