Application and data integration plays a crucial role in helping businesses keep pace with disruptive technologies and adapt to impactful changes such as mergers and acquisitions. The need for scalability, agility, security, compliance, and speed are key driving forces behind increased integration initiatives, so much so that the global system integration market is forecast to reach $393.10 billion by 2020.
Enterprises searching for the best-fit integration approach to satisfy their unique requirements have moved from point-to-point (P2P), hub-and-spoke, and naïve B2B integration models to more advanced enterprise application integration approaches such as buses and mules. But while the options can be endless, what businesses really need is an integration approach that not only provides “true, heavyweight” integration in terms of applications, but one that also puts data at the heart of convergence.
Integration promises improvements in business productivity, customer service, supply chain, and other core business operations. But all of these optimizations are just a by-product of superior data management, which should be integration’s ultimate goal.
Achieving perfect synergy between integration and data management can transform your business from the inside out, from the lowest to the highest tiers, and across the entire value web.
From the inside out
Application integration helps automate and consolidate business systems and processes so that business users can simplify their day-to-day operations, minimize human interventions and errors, lower the cost of doing business, and enable the real-time, always-on enterprise. All of these competitive advantages can be fully maximized and further enhanced by leveraging a data-centric approach to integration, which allows your organization to derive value from data that is generated and distributed across your converged systems.
Business users armed with integrated data and applications can deliver quality business output that can be felt by “outsiders,” meaning the customers. Customers see your entire organization as a whole. The shortcomings of one business unit can put the entire organization at risk. Customers won’t hold just your procurement and sourcing or logistics responsible for product delivery delays—they will blame your brand itself. Such risks can be mitigated with a perfectly synchronized and fully integrated application and data ecosystem, which allows business users to securely access the information they need regardless of origin and whatever device they are using.
From the bottom up
With speed as the new imperative, decision makers in your organization should be able to obtain a 360-degree view of your business with minimal clicks on their device—and that’s what a data-centric approach to integration enables.
Data-centric integration allows information to flow seamlessly and securely from the bottom up and vice-versa using a unified platform. It allows decision makers to comprehend and experience the dealings in lower tiers without waiting for annual or quarterly reports, which will be outdated by the time it reaches them.
Across the entire value web
A primary challenge is ensuring that information is shared smoothly and securely across the entire value web despite the disparate applications and data utilized by different players in your organization. But by leveraging an agnostic, data-centric approach that enables ideal synergies across your applications and data, you can spare your business from such complexities and transform your organization according to today’s market demands.
Application integration and data management should not be taken as two separate initiatives; they should instead be considered as a single goal that needs a unified solution. Can your current middleware approach address both the application integration and data management needs of your business?
Your thoughts are welcome.