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Integration Capability

Integration Capability

28th Apr 2017

CIO

Isn’t it time you treated your integration capability as a 1st class IT citizen?

I often find myself helping integration managers justify their existence to the wider IT department. It seems the problem is that integration is often an afterthought tacked onto the end of a systems implementation project. This approach, in which integration costs are hidden within projects and programmes, reduces the integration team to nothing more than a necessary cost of system implementation.

 

Furthermore, hiding integration in systems implementation projects prevents the organisation from seeing the opportunities a more open systems approach to integration offers. After all, why would project X pay for the additional cost of making components that were reusable by other projects? It is only by elevating the middleware integration platform to the same status as other systems, and separating the responsibility for these aspects of implementation from endpoint systems projects, that your systems integration capability can be moved from simply being a cost centre to being an opportunity to drive down the costs of systems implementation by reuse, data sharing and even opening up the possibility of monetising your data via exposure of APIs for 3rd party consumption.

 

That journey, from integration as a cost centre to integration as a profit centre, has to start somewhere. It is a significant change in perspective but one that truly digital corporations such as Amazon and eBay have achieved. The first step in that process is to accept integration as an enterprise capability in its own right, and allow the integration team to take an enterprise-view of each data flow that they build.  I call this an “open systems approach” to integration. You can find out more by downloading 'Six reasons to ditch an closed systems approach’.

 

As the number of systems businesses rely on to support daily activities continues to grow, with each being mission critical to the department it serves, an effective integration capability is a business demand you can’t afford to ignore, despite its complexity. At Wheeve we are experts in getting computer systems to talk to each other, it’s what we do. 

 

By Jon Boxall, Managing Director at Wheeve

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