I’ve been working with integration for nearly 15 years and I’m still passionate about my job. What is it that makes integration so challenging, and what do you need to have in place to achieve an effective Integration delivery?
How hard can it be to draw a string from one system to another? It seems easy, but it is a well-known fact that integrating directly between two systems is not the best way to manage integration, and no one would suggest performing integration that way nowadays. Loose connections, canonical formats and reusability are key words with which I’m sure no one would argue, that’s how integration is done nowadays, isn’t it?
New functions must be put into place quickly, and when “integration people” start talking about loose connections and reusability, those running projects say that we need the information in place now, we’ll sort the rest out later. Unfortunately “later” never comes, and as more quick solutions are put into place, the cost of management and change just gets higher and higher, until it becomes necessary once more to perform a major, expensive “technology upgrade”. And it’s not helped by all of the digital projects with mobiles, open APIs and other things that also demand secure, correct communication.
We at Enfo believe that we have a solution to help our customers not only guarantee the Right Integration, but also guarantee that integration is done the Right Way. The solution is known as Baseline and is a collection of artefacts, tools and workshops that Enfo can use to help a customer put an effective integration delivery into place, something we often call an Integration Competence Center (ICC).
The smart yet at the same time challenging thing is that with a series of workshops, Enfo has made it possible for the customer to have its own ICC in place with templates, guidelines, processes and tools. The challenging aspect is that it takes a lot of work on an ongoing basis by the customer to put an effective ICC into place and to continuously monitor the result and constantly improve.
The paradox is that in order to make sure that the requirements of the integration can be met easily, quickly and in an agile way with quality at a good price, it requires continuous hard work from the core of the integration delivery. In order that the large amount of work (integrations) can take place quickly and easily when needs arise, this small group, the ICC, must work hard to make sure that the delivery line is optimally resourced and as far as possible uses tried and tested, standardised solutions to recurring integration challenges.
This sums up why I find integration so enjoyable. Firstly, you never finish because there’s always a chance to do something a little bit better. Secondly, if you succeed in doing everything a little bit better, it affects the business directly and enhances the business’s opportunity to succeed.
Baseline is not a silver bullet that Enfo uses to offer the customer a finished solution that’s ready to go, but it does provide important tools to improve your integration delivery. Baseline gives the business an opportunity to achieve its visions at the rate required to satisfy the market.
– Contact us and we’ll help you along the way.
Kristina Lid, ICC Mentor, Enfo