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The dynamic and fast-changing nature of e-business has increased pressure on enterprises to be agile and responsive. To support this business need, companies need IT infrastructures that will be driven by business value rather than technology. In an effort to achieve these goals, organizations are spending billions of dollars toward innovation, integration and automation, but are still struggling against rising complexity and cost. These inefficiencies are driven by a lack of strategies.

The automation of enterprises has happened over decades by way of the best-of-breed solutions of that time. This has left different business units of enterprises stuck with different technologies, thereby creating isolated islands of automation. Most of these legacy and packaged applications were not designed to work with the other internal/external applications or Web-based applications. The rigid and non-interoperable nature of these legacy and packaged applications makes it difficult to achieve goals set by the enterprises. The enterprises cannot opt for innovation of these legacy systems to new generation technologies that support Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) due to the high cost and risk involved. Or, this may not be a viable solution at all.

The growing e-business momentum has pushed businesses to leverage Internet capabilities and created a huge demand for integration within and between enterprises. The potential of today’s Web-centric technologies will not be visible unless they shake hands with the existing back-end applications and processes. Going beyond enterprises, integration with partners, customers and suppliers is required to build a strong commerce chain.

The strategy has been to combine the best-of-breed application components with process management and integration capabilities. But even this is not working for organizations due to proprietary models implemented by the solution vendors of business process management systems (BPMS) and integration tools. The initiative toward integrating these processes within and outside enterprises using traditional enterprise application integration (EAI) and business-to-business integration (B2Bi) tools has left organizations in a state where they haven’t been able to respond to changing markets quickly. This is because traditional integration solutions are technology-driven and based on proprietary models. The controls for integrating applications and processes are embedded within the integration tools, thereby creating barriers for process management systems to control and manage processes. Business people will not have real-time visibility to the processes and processes will not be easily adaptable to changing business conditions.



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