For a long time, the predominant business assumption was that specialization (around markets and business functions) was the right approach to complexity (divide and conquer), efficiency, and market responsiveness (closer knows best). In a divide-and-conquer paradigm, the "pipes and filters" pattern -- with islands (or silos) of information processing, decision making, and action, and "pipes" or information buffers between -- works well enough organizationally and for the technology firmament supporting that mode of business operation.
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