Enterprise Systems Interoperability and Sustainability

In the global market, enterprises and the networked ecosystems which they are part of, tend to follow a dynamic and evolutionary behaviour similar to complex adaptive systems, exhibiting elemental and behavioural properties such as dimensionality and ability to learn. They are influenced by the environment, thus awareness of the known landscape, including market dynamism, tends to condition its behaviour, affecting the wide variety of internal heterogeneous agents, subsystems, and their ability to interact. In fact, when adapting themselves to the market demands, introducing new requirements and corrections, reflexivity arises, impacting back on the environment and risking a positive self-fed loop among the enterprise system and the environment. If not properly monitored and controlled, models and semantics can change chaotically, resulting in long periods of network harmonization breaking.

Pursuing to improve the capacity that two or more enterprises, and their systems, have to cooperate over a period of time towards a common objective, research in Enterprise Systems Interoperability (ESI) is being addressed across several areas, such as, data, processes, and objects.


It complements the disciplines of enterprise architecture, and systems engineering, addressing modelling, monitoring, or decision-making methodologies while providing the tools necessary to integrate new and legacy systems to both inter and intra-enterprise needs, and facilitating cooperation in large value added networks.

Sustainability of Systems Interoperability is a concept introduced by Agostinho & Jardim-Goncalves (2009), which can be seen as the next evolution step towards a seamless ESI. Today interoperability has evolved from a complex technical business systems interconnection issue to a larger domain, with multiple dimensions and multidisciplinary issues, which need to be addressed using a more systemic and holistic way. It has matured and, in order to evolve further, needs sustainability and robustness, i.e. to be build upon a science base capable of providing solid grounds for dynamicity without compromising the ability of future changes, as well as repeatability of processes and solutions in multi-domain networks.


1 Agostinho, C. & Jardim-Goncalves, R., 2009. Dynamic Business Networks: A Headache for Sustainable Systems Interoperability. In On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems: OTM 2009 Workshops (EI2N 2009). Vilamoura, Portugal: Springer, pp. 194–204



Relevant Publications