This thesis reports research into the specification and implementation of an Information
Technology (IT) Route Map. The purpose of the Route Map is to enable rapid design
and deployment of IT solutions capable of semi-automating business processes in a
manufacturing enterprise. The Map helps structure transition processes involved in
“identification of key business strategies and design of business processes” and “choice
of enterprise systems and supporting implementation techniques”. Common limitations
of current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are observed and incorporated
as Route Map implications and constraints.
Scope of investigation is targeted at Small to Medium Sized Enterprises
(SMEs) that employ Engineer-To-Order (ETO) and Make-To-Order (MTO) business
processes. However, a feature of the Route Map is that it takes into account
contemporary business concerns related to “globalisation”, “mergers and acquisitions”
and “typical resource constraint problems of SMEs”.
In the course of the research a “Business Strategy Driven IT System Concept”
was conceived and examined. The main purpose of this concept is to promote the
development of agile and innovative business activity in SMEs. The Road Map
encourages strategy driven solutions to be (a) specified based on the use of emerging
enterprise engineering theories and (b) implemented and changed using componentbased
systems design and composition techniques.
Part-evaluation of the applicability and capabilities of the Road Map has been
carried out by conducting industrial survey and case study work. This assesses
requirements of real industrial problems and solutions. The evaluation work has also
been enabled by conducting a pilot implementation of the thesis concepts at the
premises of a partner SME.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.