for the September 1999 Microsoft Enterprise site.
check: How much integration do you need?
a rough estimator of the extent you'll have to integrate systems to support
Everybody seems to be talking about Enterprise Applications Integration
(EAI), but should you really care? Developing comprehensive, real-time
data exchanges among dozens of applications and databases used by a host
of departments within your organization is an intimidating concept. Yet
the fast rise of the Internet and well-funded Web start-ups could threaten
your business if your internal infrastructure is not ready for an online
marketplace. No one wants to be the next Internet "road kill"confronted
by a new market entrant using the Web, the ubiquitous browser, and other
IT tools to circumvent traditional sales and distribution channels with
a lower cost or more compelling value proposition.
There are other reasons to be interested in EAI. Properly deployed, it
provides companies a strategic advantage by reducing operational costs.
In addition, EAI enables organizations to be more responsive to opportunities
So is EAI vital to your organization's future? Take the test on the following
screens to determine if EAI is likely to be an operational necessity or
merely a useful tool for your business operation.
Look at these questions in another way: Depending on your answers, you
may have a much better idea about whether it is too late to convene an
EAI task force or whether you should take the call from the next recruiter
who dials your number.
For more information about how EAI occurs in real-life Web commerce, see
the following stories on The Enterprise from Microsoft Web site:
The questionnaire and formulas on the following
screens were developed with extensive input from consulting firm Aberdeen
Group. The Enterprise would like to thank Tim Sloane, managing director
for Internet infrastructure at Aberdeen, for his help.