. End-to-end process integration

Providing end-to-end process integration is not as easy it looks. End-to-end process integration demands major application overhaul to develop an integrated back-end infrastructure that allows the process to flow seamlessly. Most firms don’t have integrated infrastructures. And the inefficiencies, inaccuracies, and inflexibilities of information technology systems within corporations need no introduction.

The lack of an integrated application architecture is not a new difficulty. It’s just that with the advent of e-commerce, these problems are starting to matter more. The reason is simple: When customers had little choice and all competitors were equally bad, there was little incentive for a company to do better.

With the threat of losing customers, integrated infrastructure problems rockets to the top of the business agenda. Clearly with e-commerce, the definition of enterprise architecture must change. It’s gradually dawning on managers that they are not going to get very far in e-commerce if they apply piccemeal solutions to process problems that range from customers to suppliers.

Forward-thinking companies are beginning to understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead, and that a number of barriers must be eliminated before they are ready to use e-commerce to a competitive advantage. The typical barriers that organizations face are process inefficiencies, and lack of accurate information. Removing these roadblocks won’t be easy. The functional model of the past can’t deliver for today’s world. As new technological integration problems continue to create patholes in the smooth road of business, managers eventually run out of asphalt and ideas. Enter e-business.

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