Most IT-professionals have seen the work, setting up system integrations. Connecting applications to each other is a difficult task when these systems are in one domain and similar realm, but it becomes harder when these systems are between different organizations. You can imagine that this task is virtually undoable when the integration is about applications that do not fit each other’s daily environment and data model.
Integration, one of the current-day tech enablers?
The large growth of cloud computing made it easier for many small companies to develop innovation and bring it into the marketplace. Platforms like Google, SAP and Microsoft offer easily implemented and very scalable technology from where you can build your dream software and start your own garage-days. Usually this leads to innovative point-solutions and not end-to-end business software. The point solutions are expert-pieces of technology that fix business issues in specific parts of a process. This often brings a good user-experience but also burdens that same user with the responsibility of aligning the point-solution with the outside-world. Most people can recognize this within its own app’s on a smartphone. Many of them are useful for one task, but more often than not, when you want to transfer data from one app to another you cannot find that one app you wanted in the list of “output to…” options. So you will just set the data manually. But when you are an organization, using applications instead of small apps, this way of working becomes impossible very fast and limits all options of scale.
Time for system integration, but how to approach that?
Any IT-pro that takes herself seriously loves a tech challenge. But any serious pro wants to make sure he adds value to its (internal) clients as well. So tech challenges need to be approached in a matter that they become actually feasible. Off course, this starts with checking the proper basics like matching architectures, security and data mapping. These are almost never things that appear unsolvable when you have the best guys and girls on the job. Most important, appear to be having the proper discussion on how to approach the solution. We claim that you can fix any system connection when you focus your plan of approach on three principles between both system-owners:
- Who leads, while dancing?
- Which standards are we going to use?
- Who is responsible for monitoring the data-flow?
When things are that simple, integrations would not be amongst the most difficult IT-challenges.
Fair point, this appears to be in the area of a “get happy quickly” self-guide. The experience of traveling in system integration country cannot be that simple? Sure, you will have to treat these steps as a starting point for a successful result in your objective. Making sure these questions are discussed will give you clarity on the possibilities. In practice, you will encounter a wide range of follow-on issues that derive from misinterpreting each other’s words. One example: in the system realm of flex business, many solutions are nowadays very open to getting data retrieved from them, but none of them are very keen in taking the lead for that. That might proof difficult when you agree on one system being in the lead functionally, while it is built the opposite way…