Information Technology Dark Side

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Is the Enterprise Dead Yet?

March 10th, 2008 · No Comments

Enterprise application integration. Enterprise business intelligence. Enterprise data modeling. Enterprise data warehouses. Enterprise technology strategies. Enterprise architecture. Enterprise reuse. Enterprise change management. Enterprise toilet cleaning. Enterprise shirt stuffing.

Every one of the enterprise trends I’ve seen in my career is in some form of failure. EAI has been dead for years. So has Enterprise data modeling. Enterprise data warehousing, on the other hand, seems to be hanging in there. Maybe it will survive, maybe it won’t.

My opinion is that if you’re big enough to be considered an enterprise, you’re too big to do anything in a unified way without imposing HUGE inefficiencies on yourself. Just putting the word “enterprise” in front of a project increases its cost by at least an order of magnitude. If it costs $1M to implement document management for your billing function, it costs $10M to do it for your whole company.

I think the concept of the enterprise has been largely harmful to the information technology trade, aside from the huge revenues attempts to “rule the enterprise” these enterprise trends have generated for consulting companies.

I think it’s ironic that at a time when business units are trying to develop autonomy, flexibility, brand distinction, and other aspects of their business that set them apart from their siblings in the so-called enterprise, IT continues to try to move the other way.

Is the enterprise dead yet? Have we suffered through enough of these enterprise trends yet? Can we just agree not to buy into any more of them? Is there anyone out there who can just check its pulse and call it dead?

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Tags: Information Technology Trends

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