Just as Ford transformed efficiency when he scrapped the sheds, so too IT has got to become an end-to-end flow of information, just like an end-to-end flow of product along an assembly line, says Mr Larry Ellison.
What this means in practice is that Oracle will gladly replace all the different software systems now used by a typical firmmany of which cannot talk to each other without further heavy spendingwith its all-singing, all-dancing e-business suite.
The present piecemeal approach to IT often means that corporate information is scattered in hundreds of databases. Finding simple facts, such as the current number of employees, can take weeks, by which time the information is often obsolete. Mr Ellison argues that the e-business suite standardises data, putting it in one database where it can be manipulated by a complete and integrated suite of applications. Only with such a simplified IT architecture, to use the term of art, can firms automate their business processes and react quickly to changes.
We want to apply the same ideas to SMEs in emerging markets.