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Introduction to Enterprise Systems Architectures: Adaptable Systems

FMIS 3202 Enterprise System Architectures Nik R. Hassan Spring 2007 Introduction to Enterprise Systems Architectures: Adaptable Systems Business Challenges

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Introduction to Enterprise Systems Architectures: Adaptable Systems

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  1. FMIS 3202 Enterprise System Architectures Nik R. Hassan Spring 2007 Introduction to Enterprise Systems Architectures:Adaptable Systems

  2. 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hostage • The maze of connections conceals the intricacies of the business operation • Locks the enterprise into outdated business practices and organization structures • Presents a major challenge to the introduction of new applications • Skilled knowledge workers are unable to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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Flexibility • 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?

  8. Scalability • 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

  9. Manageable • 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

  10. 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.

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