Waiting for a foreseeable problem and then fixing it after the fact is pointless and damaging to a company. Calculating risk and preventing an issue before it becomes one is the basis for why integration is no longer just a nice idea, but a basic IT skill, as expressed in the Gartner Predicts 2013 report. Yes, you can be gifted and get it right first time, but what are the odds? Start now. Improve. Fail. Correct. Improve. Repeat. This is what will make a company integrate and focus on the change: innovative technologies. The question is, will you buckle up before it’s too late?
Buckle Up for Safety
When driving a car, there are things we do before we begin. We put on our seat belt, we check our mirrors, and make sure we’re comfortable. We do all of this to protect ourselves in case of an emergency. The preparedness needed before we turn on the ignition is the same a company needs to have to protect its data, systems and ultimately, the business.
Why do companies spend years and millions on building architectures they never use? Before becoming our customers, some companies spent most of their integration budget on keeping the lights running, while new projects got a small slice of the budget. By setting up the right organization and architecture, integrated with the organization’s systems and procedures, they could invert the balance so that maintenance would only consume a small part of their integration budget. Don’t wait for a big game-changing enterprise project to sell the idea of integration. Integration is not just about connecting systems, although that is a great benefit. Make processes faster, increase flexibility, and allow the enterprise to evolve. Provide business value, even if the initial business for which you solve issues is IT. This is really what you get out of integration.
Moving into Oncoming Traffic
Shortsighted application managers think their data is being stolen, or that their budget will be decreased with integration, instead of focusing on the business functionality they should provide. A programmer is hired for a quick fix and once a system needs to be updated or changed, that programmer is gone. Or, you have various different systems written in different codes by different programmers. None of them are connected and that quick fix has now become a costly and timely burden on the business. This is why integration must be embodied by a transverse and neutral organization when maturity grows.
Businesses are changing and improving as everything moves to mobile and the cloud, and information is needed in real time. Having one architecture platform allows a company to eliminate costly interfaces and complex connections by connecting, integrating, and orchestrating components.
The longer a company puts off integration, the more it will just be added to the risk column, and the budget will go somewhere else, forcing you to manage integration on the cheap. This will end up costing the business much more down the road. No one would drive a cheap car or something that they did not feel comfortable with; otherwise, it’s like the company is heading into an oncoming bus and doesn’t have its seatbelt on. Be ready! Practice integration now.
For more on how to integrate your systems to leverage Big Data, check out these Gartner reports: