I heard the term ‘Stovepipe Systems’ first time when I was getting a course called “IS 536: Information Systems Infrastructure for Contemporary Organizations” lectured by Nusret Guclu (http://www.tns.com.tr/tnsweb.xvs?solmenu=KimKimdir&Kim=ANG) in 2005.
From that time on I came across with that term in several places, technical discussions and books. Also I had chance to observe that sort of systems since I was living in Ankara. The correlation between Ankara and stovepipe systems is such that in Ankara, being the capital city of Turkey, reside many old implementations of government systems which are all stovepipe being still under influence of presumable wrong politics involved.
I’ll be giving the definition of ‘stovepipe systems’ shortly. But, once again I’ve seen the inevitable needs for getting rid of stovepipe architectures in government systems after reading the following in a book called “Mastering the SAP Business Information Warehouse”.
Here is a short analysis about Stovepipe Systems and GIF (Government Information Factory):
On September 11, 2001, the world changed. One of the many changes occured that day was the awareness that government information systems needed to be altered. Prior to September 11, government information systems were typified by what can be called stovepipe systems. Stovepipe systems are individual and do not share data. One agency gets one piece of data, and yet another agency gets another piece of data. And there is no way to piece all this data together to form a useful and meaningful picture.
The events of September 11 proved to the government and the public in general the weakness of stovepipe information systems.
Unfortunately, correcting the difficulties of stovepipe systems is a hard task. Correcting stovepipe systems requires not a new technology, not a new methodology, and not a rebuilding of systems. To solve the problem of stovepipe systems, there must be a change in architecture and a change in basic attitudes of agencies collecting and using data. Without both of these changes, there can be no victory over the tyranny of stovepipe systems.
From an architectural standpoint, the CIF evolved into the government information factory (GIF) as a result of the events of September 11.
The GIF in many ways is similar to the CIF. Indeed, about 60 percent of the architecture is the same. But there are some interesting and significant differences between the GIF and CIF.
… to be continued!