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Chapter 2. Spotting e-Business Trends > Enterprise Technology Trends

Enterprise Technology Trends

Integrated Enterprise Applications: Connect the Corporation

Traditionally, most companies separated their business applications, creating specialized functional areas: accounting, finance, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service. It's a matter of divide and conquer: If a job can be defined specifically enough, a specialized application can optimize functions in that particular area. And if all functional links in a company are optimized, the company as a whole will function optimally. In recent years, however, business theorists have challenged this best-of-breed strategy. They recognize that if a chain of processes is to perform at a high level, the individual business functions and the applications supporting them must be tightly linked with other processes around them.

However, integration is difficult. Over the past decade, the notion of a corporation whose optimized business processes rested on a backbone of well-integrated application software has had great appeal. It will continue to do so far into the future. Enterprise applications offered by packaged software vendors, such as SAP and PeopleSoft, help companies connect disparate systems, provide greater access to information, and more closely link employees, partners, and customers.


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