Enterprise Application Integration: IT Integrates Business

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Dr. Paul Leidig, leidig@gvsu.edu

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Nicholas G Carr made an impactful analysis of IT in the May 2003 issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR). Says Carr, ?As information technology?s power and ubiquity have grown, its strategic importance has diminished?. In his analysis he made a strong case for IT?s ?vanishing advantage? and its commoditization. Many IT and management experts wrote to HBR disagreeing with his analysis, stressing the strategic importance of IT in business. This research is based on a specific area of IT called ?Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)?. In the light of Carr?s article, it analyzes the strategic business advantages derived by an enterprise that implements EAI. The findings of the research are documented here. The research mainly attempts to analyze EAI?s business values to an enterprise in terms of improvement in customer relationship, advantages of integrating the supply-chain, the ability to conduct business in real-time, the reduction of time to market and the integration of business processes. The study also covers a brief overview of the different technologies used in EAI implementation and also the challenges and limitations faced when EAI is implemented in an organization.

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