How big is your enterprise? It turns out to be a very difficult question to answer.  Consider this simple scenario;

 

You have a newspaper delivery route.  Your supplier pays you as a contractor.  You receive the newspapers each morning from another independent contractor.  Each home you deliver to is your customer.

 

So what are the boundaries of this enterprise?

 

·         Is it defined by an application to keep track of the number of papers received, monies collected from customers, and amounts paid to the supplier?

·          How about the scope of control?  As a delivery person you don’t control the content or layout of the papers so you can’t affect sales.  You can’t control when the papers arrive nor can you “force” a customer to pay.  The only control you have is over the actually transport and delivery of the newspaper from the point you pick them up to the time you drop them at door of the customers.

·         Maybe it’s the data that defines the enterprise.  You store customer records (name, address, billing status), bills from your supplier and invoices to your customers.

 

I believe the scope of the enterprise is actually defined by the scope of its vision.  Continuing the metaphor, if all you care about is managing the funds of your newspaper delivery service then your scope is focused down to the necessary accounting system.   Should you decide that your enterprise is going to grow to an organized community of news delivery people serving multiple providers and sharing resources across geographies?  Now we have a much more complicated enterprise indeed.