Data without borders: an information architecture for enterprises

Today’s information systems rely on mediation to use and share the data that is available within an enterprise. But this is changing. IT systems are moving away from traditional architectures, where information is hidden inside functions, toward an information-centric approach that separates information from functionality – data without borders. Breaking functionality and information apart creates a systems architecture that is flexible, supports business agility, and ultimately boosts the bottom line.

Authors: Lars Angelin, Jatin Suri, Munish Agarwal and Akshay Mehra

The way people, things, networks and enterprises create, use and reshape information today is much more widespread and inclusive than it was just a few years ago. There are a number of reasons for this. One major factor is the availability of real-time location information. Knowing where information is being generated, as it is being created, puts data into context and makes it more interesting for users and more useful to enterprises.

The global adoption of mobile broadband and the growth in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication are just two of the many aspects that contribute to the change in how people and enterprises use, disseminate and create information. And it’s not just that the amount of information has increased – its quality has also improved. Gaining insight into consumer behavior, for example, is no longer limited to the information gathering capabilities within an enterprise, but can include data that is available on any public interface – and so business decisions are made using a wider information base.

A challenge arises, however, when it comes to connecting business processes to support applications. In today’s environment, the rules, characteristics, information and procedures that make up the many information systems used by enterprises are not always aligned with business processes.

This lack of coordination makes sharing information across the borders of organizations and systems a complex process and results in reduced or no business agility, longer time to market (TTM), and increased total cost of ownership (TCO) – all of which reduce the ability of a business to evolve.

This Ericsson Review article talks about how to close the harmonization gap and how enterprises can migrate to an information-centric architecture, make that vital connection to business processes and promote data without borders.

Data without borders: an information architecture for enterprises