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7.21 - Systems Integration

Why Systems Integration is Necessary

If a company is seeking to create a holistic or process based business operation then the corresponding IT systems need to match this approach. (see 1.01, 3.05 and 4.01 ) Historically the focus of information systems has been mainly on departmental needs. Therefore there is a need to pull some of the common information sources together. This prevents data transmission errors and time delay issues related to managing disparate systems.

Key Datasets for Systems Integration

Some company data is mission critical and also universally required by most departments. For instance, in a manufacturing company item master (or parts file) data is required by virtually every department in the supply chain. Following closely and allied to the Item Master is the Bill of Material (BOM) or parts list file. Both of the above have data attributes that are time sensitive. For instance the life-cycle state of a part will have time data attached. The BOM will also have life-cycle timing but also timing to do with engineering change, order placement and scheduling.

What systems contain the key datasets?

For each dataset systems integrators develop a matrix to identify who owns the data and who uses it. From that information and based on timeliness requirements we can develop a systems integration strategy and methods appropriate to the business needs.

What methods are deployed?

Identification of the master datasets and who has control over the attributes is crucial to any systems integration strategy. The point of control is usually the point of integration.

What –

What data

What Systems

What Methods

How to Do it?

Further Reading