Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The biggest lie in IT - Enterprise

Everyone knows the old line about how to tell if a salesman/husband/politician is lying... their lips are moving. But what about in IT? Well software doesn't have lips but if it contains the word Enterprise you can guarentee many things
  1. You'll have more than one of them
  2. None of them will work across the enterprise, maybe not even across a department
  3. It will have upgrade problems
  4. You'll try and consolidate them... and probably fail
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) was a great example, I've worked with companies that had over one hundred ERP systems. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) was another, get a couple of those together and its like watching cats fight. Enterprise Data Models that tried to be the ultimate truth are another cracker. And now we have Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) which pretends that its going to be the only thing you need and it will work everywhere.

There is no such thing as a single Enterprise wide tool for any company of reasonable complexity and its plain silly to believe that the next technology wave will be any different from previous ones in terms of delivering on the promise of the "one ring to bind them" vision of ERP/EAI/EDM/ESB.

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Piyush said...

Absolutely spot on.
I posted very similar thoughts on my blog recently :

Owen Pettiford said...

I agree with your thoughts....another word that has the same lying qualities is "Service". Anyone who say "well we can expose it as a service so it must be better or will solve the problem" probably doesn't understand services.

Owen Pettiford said...

Guess that makes Enterprise Architecture a bit of a no-no as well ;o)

Steve Jones said...

I'd say that Enterprise Architecture is about the only time you should be using the term, as its that group of people that should be working out the various different solutions that apply. If they come up with one all purpose "uber" enterprise architecture then they have failed in their job. A decent architecture would take all these "Enterprise" products and stich them together into something that works.

Sam Lowe said...

I would suggest that it's actually "the biggest lie in software" rather than in IT.

Hey, next thing you know people will be calling their blogs Enterprise(y)!?