15 Aug, 2022
Enterprise Integration: Understanding & Its Value To Your BusinessIn today's market, you'll hear the word "digital" more times than you can count. There is digital technology, digital media, digital marketing, etc. and digital transformation. All companies want to embrace digital. As it applies to all economies in the world, the success of this relatively new but underdeveloped economy will depend on the extent to which stakeholder resources are maximized by reusing, reproducing, connecting and interacting with them. The value of synergy is always greater than the value of the individual components that contribute to it. This human factor must be used on a large scale by modern companies if they are to succeed in the digital economy.
Dominoes is a remarkable example of digital transformation done right. In 2011, Domino's decided to make it easy for people with smartphones to order pizza in the 17 seconds it takes for a traffic light to turn green. From that moment, Dominos transformed itself from a pizza company into a tech giant. They created an app for their customers to place orders and track the progress of their orders from placement to delivery. In addition, they have invested in many additional digital initiatives, including self-driving vehicle delivery and e-bikes. Digital sales innovations now account for the majority of all global retail sales for the pizza chain. This kind of digitization of operations and customer engagement helps separate Dominos from the competition.
The main thing to note is that in this digital economy, while every business vocabulary has the term “Digital Transformation” in it, only a few have been successful with it. Those that do (like Dominos, Dropbox, Spotify, and Netflix) have harnessed the power of enterprise system integration and have made their impact on the workforce.
Understanding the Value of Enterprise Integration
Enterprise integration is the use of various integration techniques, such as API management, application integration, and messaging, to make the most of enterprise assets and services by connecting them as services or exposing them as APIs.
To become more successful in a digital age, businesses need to change their mindset around applications, data, processes, infrastructure, and security. They can have many different applications in diverse IT environments (cloud, on-premise, and hybrid), drive multiple procedures, and generate multiple datasets. However, if these discrete elements (applications, data, and processes) do not interact with each other and work individually, the business will be flooded with waves of massive data, complicated in many ways by application legacy, without gaining any insights that can further their business objectives.
Enterprise integration is the new strategy used by successful companies around the world. It has all the features of repeatability. As a result, businesses can easily reproduce and replicate, refine and redesign, reuse and repurpose data emerging from enterprise applications, procedures, and data using APIs and AI to maximize business value.
In other words, if data is the new oil, enterprise integration is the refining agent that not only purifies but also integrates them all in one and links them logically to derive valuable business insights.
How does the reusable nature of enterprise integration maximize business value?
Enterprise integration is critical to improving internal processes and business operations and conceptualizing, deploying, and delivering important applications. By sharing critical information, streamlining processes and maximizing opportunities, companies can increase operational scalability while increasing reach and revenue.
The clear, insightful, and timeless nature of IE essentially encourages companies to do the following:
1. Share critical data
The same dataset can provide different meanings and insights into different procedures. Therefore, it is important to share these insights as widely as possible across the enterprise so that stakeholders can adapt usage based on their needs. The reproducible and reproducible nature of the data allows for faster, easier, and scalable delivery, and cross-classification of this data leads to better customer service, improved conversion rates, improved Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT), etc.
Enterprise integration facilitates the flow of data across complex information and operating systems. It facilitates the exchange of data between different applications and among many users based on that data, making it easier for application developers to exchange data or expose interfaces without having to understand other applications and systems, know where they are running, or predict what could be wrong.
2. Efficient Management on a unified platform
When they interact, the synergies they create and the insights they deliver are far greater than what they do when they operate in silos. Enterprise integration helps businesses record all departmental, team, or project activities. This allows managers not to have to memorize all the information but to easily access, check, and capture the overall operation. Furthermore, application integration helps on-premises systems and cloud-based enterprise systems like CRMs and ERPs interact successfully without major changes to existing applications. This is how Amazon ensures a seamless experience from order to delivery. Such event-driven integration is possible through modern iPaaS (Integration Platform-As-A-Service) products.
3. Reuse integrations
Reuse integration - Greenfield integration should not be the default option. It's not only more expensive, but it's also not justified because there should be several examples of such integration in the past (if the company is large enough). Therefore, it makes sense to leverage previous integrations and expand upon them as needed. This way, best practices are maintained and the challenges of building previous integrations are avoided. Reusing and repurposing these integrations offers good economies of scale for businesses.
Analysts say that 70% of the projects are behind schedule due to the lack of integration between applications, data, and processes. As a result, the principles of business integration described above, followed by an organization, can accelerate projects by up to 70%.
The enterprise application integration market is further driven by the fact that organizations may need to use more than one iPaaS platform to integrate within their organization (meaning iPaaS-1 platform integrates with iPaaS platform-2 and so on). This is because organizations may already have an integration platform for years (hence a bit outdated) and may need to integrate with another more modern integration platform for cross-system integration. There are many iPaaS platforms available in the market, but the major ones like Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC), MuleSoft, Dell Boomi, Workato, AWS, Azure, WebMethods, Tibco, Jibberbit, etc., have all the features included to provide businesses with an integrated end-to-end solution.
A well-integrated solution must meet the following features:
- Integration: The platform will allow seamless integration between SaaS and on-premises applications. It will also allow homogeneous and heterogeneous applications to communicate efficiently.
- Exposure: Must have traditional business and model as API for consumption
- Simplify: It will allow you to develop applications with microservices and deploy those applications either on-premises or in the public cloud.
- Secure: It will build an encrypted port for secure access to local data and on-premises APIs.
The enterprise integration market is at a critical point and is mainly driven by the spread of hybrid integration. Companies across all sectors (especially financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, and healthcare) are fueling this demand. For organizations that use a lot of data, they must integrate all the important business components and get a unified version of the data.
The next 4-5 years will see an expansion of this demand. This is the right time for organizations to enter the fray of integration solutions, partner with the right service providers, and conduct an objective analysis of their "as is" situation versus their desired "to-be" state. Then they can use the expertise of these vendor experts to come up with the best iPaaS platform for their business.