Abstract - The Information Society 8 (3)

EDI System Integration: A Definition and Literature Survey

Paula M C Swatman and Paul A Swatman

Electronic data interchange (EDI) is defined in terms of its derivation from the wider group of strategic, interorganizational information systems (IOS). The topic is approached from 2 viewpoints: the nature and derivation of EDI systems and the issues involved in integrating EDI systems into existing organizations at both the technical and structural levels. It is clear that the theory that underlies EDI is merely a subset of the existing theory underlying strategic information systems and, particularly, interorganizational systems. EDI, however, may be distinguished from the wider group of IOSs in that it is the preeminent example of a cooperative information system that can still provide competitive advantage. This advantage arises not from the comparatively simple technology of EDI itself, but from the manner in which systems and structures within the organization are designed to take advantage of the services that EDI provides.

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