In the world of digitization, IT is shifting its role from keeping the lights on to being an enabler of business value and innovation. In this globally competitive market, companies need to continuously innovate to remain relevant and stay ahead of new entrants to maintain their positions. Investing in the integration platform is a core component of the strategy that CIOs are crafting to reach this goal. This kind of investment will allow leaders to produce value with high velocity and agility.
Some of the business trends that underscore the importance of the integration platform are:
1. A cloud-first approach for digital transformation
2. Mobile and social apps
3. Renewed focus on the customer experience
How data has been handled so far
In line with these trends, companies have been adopting a cloud-based SaaS infrastructure and a whole new suite of modern applications while still maintaining the core legacy assets on-premise. While it may sound that this effort does help organizations with the goal of being digital, without a modern integration platform to accompany everything, these SaaS systems could still produce silos of data.
Businesses need to quickly build strategic data capabilities as building blocks for staying ahead of the competition. Not only is it the data that needs to be unlocked, but also the business capabilities developed by their lines of businesses, partners, vendors, and third-party companies to create disruptive ideas. Integration—done right—becomes a core foundation for enabling this.
Prioritizing data as mission-critical for the organization
Organizations that want to win in this ever competitive and globalized marketplace have to deliver projects as APIs and provide business capabilities through an integration platform. This allows companies to create new offerings and an emerging business model while still maintaining their core business functions. Technical debts in the legacy systems will remain for some time, but prioritizing the new API-led approach to data and integration serves a long-term purpose.
Per Dresner’s advisory 2020 report on data pipelines, over 80 percent of business leaders say that data integration is critical to their ongoing operations. And 67 percent are relying on data integration for their advanced initiatives using analytics and BI. And, further proving the existing awareness of data integration as a strategic priority, the report found that 65 percent of organizations prefer to deploy on cloud or hybrid. However, despite these stats confirming data management as a strategic business decision for organizations, many still take a tactical route by allowing lines of business to develop their own custom integrations in order to achieve their outcomes. This projectized approach proves to be short-sighted and values the success of the individual project over the organization as a whole.
Once there is a shift to a strategic mindset, the iPaaS and API platform becomes integral to every business project. The demand for innovative and holistic data solutions is quickly catching up to organizations of every size. I hope this introduction and the rest of this blog series will continue to challenge existing notions of the role of company and data as well as provide comprehensive insights into data integration solutions that will scale.
This has been part one, the introductory piece, to my eight-part blog series all about data, integrations, and iPaaS. Stay tuned for the following installments:
#2 Challenges with vendor native and point-to-point
#3 Why not SOAP/SOA or ESB?
#4 Why enterprises need an integration platform solution
#5 Benefits of iPaaS
#6 Features of iPaaS
#7 API-led connectivity