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1.4 Business Agility Requires Enterprise Integration

Real-time response to business change requires an integrated infrastructure that enables rapid deployment of new solutions while leveraging existing IT investments. An agile business can't afford to rip and replace business systems. It requires real-time connectivity between people, systems, and business entities. Accelerating business processes requires process automation. Although some processes will require human intervention at certain points, especially authorizations and exception handling, increasing the velocity of business requires automating as much as possible; even after automating processes, companies need to monitor and manage them in real time to continually improve and optimize the processes.

Fortunately, advances in technology are enabling business agility. Integration technology, including messaging, application integration, workflow, business process modeling, automation and management, mobile integration, enterprise portals, business-to-business (B2B) integration, Web services, and eXtensible Markup Language (XML) are all helping organizations tie their systems together and manage the processes across them.

Enterprise integration is the underlying enabler of business agility. It provides the infrastructure that supports rapid change. Without enterprise integration, companies will continue to be constrained by the inability to communicate and manage the flow of information and business processes across the enterprise. The real-time enterprise is not possible without enterprise integration.

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