Appropriate, accurate and timely accounting is critical to long-term business success. Just ask Enron. It is understandable, therefore, that business first embraced computers in the middle of the last century to handle accounting tasks. It's also understandable that computing, or information technology (IT), was originally placed (and often remains) under accounting/finance in many organizations.

As computers became less expensive, decentralized, more powerful and easier to use, they slowly permeated other departments until it became feasible and desirable to implement integrated, enterprise-wide software systems. Even so, many organizations were hesitant to buy expensive enterprise systems and replace nearly all of their various application systems at once – especially when it wasn't clear that the replacement systems adequately supported their full business process requirements. On the other hand, for the organizations that built custom enterprise systems, rapid technological advances made standardization challenging and expensive, and many struggled to integrate a hodgepodge of disparate subsystems.

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