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Issue of April 2004 
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Readerwear

Bridging legacy and modern applications

From merely playing a support role in the past, technology has now become a key driver for business. To be profitable and yet be a step ahead of the competition, businesses need to invest in cutting edge technology. So an enterprise keeps investing in new infrastructure over a period of time. While older systems may be replaced, many enterprises are forced to hold on to systems because of legacy applications. Such applications can be crucial for the day-to-day operations of the business.

When newer systems and technologies are introduced, it gets challenging to interface or integrate these with legacy systems. For instance, how does a customer access corporate data via the Web, especially if it's stored on an aging mainframe system in one corner of the back office? That's where enterprise integration enters the picture.

The book is written for managers, enterprise architects, and system designers. It attempts to bridge business and technical perspectives on enterprise integration, to provide an enterprise with integration architecture. It begins by assessing the technology landscape, defining enterprise integration objectives, and providing a general enterprise integration architecture.

In the wake of all the different products and solutions available, it becomes imperative to have standards for enterprise integration. An important aspect of this book is to show how a number of standards work together to provide detailed specifications for the enterprise integration architecture.


The CTO/ CIO as a guru

The transition of a CTO/CIO from a technologist to a managerial role has been very rapid. As a result of this, he/she has to come to terms with more of people issues than just technology decisions.

There's a need for a technocrat to be more of a coach to the team, than just somebody who 'gets things done through others'. The coaching role is crucial to the metamorphosis of a technologist to a successful manager. Coaching for improved work performance dwells on how to make this possible for different workplace situations.

Motivating your team is necessary. However, while doing this it is necessary to differentiate between what can be used and what cannot. While many management approaches preach treating people as individual human beings, Fournies (the author) adopts a slightly different approach. He believes in certain behavior sets appropriate for the specific job role. It is necessary to mould the employee to fit the behavior requirements for him/her to be productive.

Coaching analysis and the importance of face-to-face discussions have been dealt with in detail. This is followed by coaching case studies to bridge the gap between theory and actual practice. The book also deals with sorting out the usual issues like communication problems and employee's unsatisfactory performance.

 
     
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