In this book, a team of IBM's leading information management experts guide you on a journey that will take you from where you are today toward becoming an "Intelligent Enterprise."
Drawing on their extensive experience working with enterprise clients, the authors present a new, information-centric approach to architecture and powerful new models that will benefit any organization. Using these strategies and models, companies can systematically unlock the business value of information by delivering actionable, real-time information in context to enable better decision-making throughout the enterprise–from the “shop floor” to the "top floor."
Review By: Jennifer Flamm 12/09/2010This book is a comprehensive resource and provides a wealth of information regardless if the reader is a beginner or an experienced information architect. An asset on any bookshelf, this book delivers an impressive amount of information in the form of tables, diagrams, and insights about enterprise information architecture (EIA). In addition to discussing theoretical EIA models, the authors add relevant applications taken from a variety of fields such as power management. The tables do an excellent job summarizing key points in the chapter that makes them useful as a quick reference. Overall, I found this book to be thoughtful and informative. Reader should enjoy the concrete, real world examples that drive home the applications of EIA.
I recommend anyone interested in gaining experience managing information or who wants a good background on EIA read chapters one through six. Chapters one and two of the book introduce the role of information as well as its significance. Most importantly, these chapters detail how you can leverage the information to add business value. Included in this explanation is how to divide the data into different categories and manage data based on types thereby leading to improved business results. Chapter two builds a good foundation for EIA and defines the vocabulary that will be used throughout the remainder of the book. I liked the repeated emphasis on information security and the discussion on how changes to the information model will help or hinder an organization’s data security. This security focus is often lacking in other more theoretical books.
Chapters eight through fourteen cover different applications and EIA solutions and can be read individually or in any order. These chapters cover a variety of topics, and they will mainly be of interest to people who want to learn more about a specific solution for something like metadata management or dynamic warehousing. I especially liked the coverage of an intelligent utility network in chapter nine because it was like seeing a case study in action and concluded with an explanation of operational patterns.
Although I generally found the book excellent, there are a couple things I would like to see changed. When the book addresses tools that implement specific EIA applications, only software produced by IBM is mentioned. While this is somewhat expected due to this book being produced by IBM Press, it feels like an underhanded sales pitch. In a true reference book, a range of available technologies is discussed. Secondly, the diagrams are packed with information, but the text is tiny in quite a few of the diagrams. These images may have worked well in a slide show but would be more powerful if they were not compressed into a half or a third of a page. Also, while the material lends itself to acronyms, there are many times when spelling out the acronym would save the reader from having to flip back to the acronym definition.
Overall, these areas for improvement do not take away from the quantity or the quality of information presented.