Though Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) efforts are underway in many organizations, few have made progress on this path. There are roadblocks on every turn that restrain enterprises from unleashing an ESB’s full potential.
So what’s stopping your ESB from driving tangible business outcome?
Across markets, enterprises, and domains, Adeptia has identified 6 roadblocks that commonly stand in the way of successful ESB implementation. Identifying these roadblocks will help you strategize your initiatives and clear the ESB implementation path.
1) Lack of Accessibility
A major roadblock that stands between ESB implementation and its successful execution is lack of accessibility. An ESB framework should be built for simplifying B2B operations rather than further complicating them with lengthy codes and tests. The right solution ensures ease of use to build services and move data between source and target system. A unique service layer enables business users to take tech overloads from developers, streamline integration workflows, automate processes, and enable communication between different entities.
2) Sluggish Pace
Agility and speed are two factors that lead to success with an ESB. However, conventional ESB frameworks are slow and not adaptive to business and technology changes. Underlying ESB services collapse when they are bombarded with sudden requests and heavy usage. Service can be pushed to limits when internal constituents generate several project requests at the same time. Manual processes are difficult to scale and cause delays in order processing.
Successful ESB platform can be scaled up or down to meet changes in an agile way. It packs a multi-tenant, lean, and flexible architecture to stream large size messages into the backend of cloud-based technologies. Such an architecture supports thousands of invoice and order processing requests in few seconds.
3) Lack of Hybrid Connectivity
Hybrid connectivity is critical for success of ESB frameworks. Without this capability, enterprises face thorny challenges while controlling loosely coupled services or making version control changes. ESB framework which connects only on-premise systems behind the firewall cannot support business transformation initiatives.
Enterprises should ensure that their framework can:
Deliver same functionality of a solution whether deployed on ground or cloud environment.
Enables multi-tenanted structure to support customers.
Provides a single and cohesive view of all constituents in an ecosystem.
These capabilities allow enterprises to support integrations between legacy systems and fail-over architectures. Teams can combine cloud and on-premise systems in a better way and develop composite services.
4) Absence of Humanized Workflows
An ESB should not be mistaken as mere plumbing that pipes data between source and target systems. It should pack humanized workflows to evince intelligence and rule-based decision making. Minus this capability, an ESB lags behind in moving tasks and incorporating decisions into business process. It helps users in incorporating context in a business process.
For greatest efficiency, organizations should select an ESB with these capabilities:
Rich graphical editor for process flow management
Workflow engine to define tasks and business logic
Process diagramming interface based on a no-code approach
These capabilities helps in improving order processing, mortgage requests, invoice processing, etc., involved in B2B operations. Moreover, enterprises can create more value for their business and customers.
5) Data Transformation Issues
ESB frameworks using in-house data transformation approaches are difficult to be scaled for complex and fast-changing B2B networks. Enterprises face long-standing issues while coding mapping rules for transforming inbound EDI orders, invoice data held by an ERP into XML payloads, inventory database into a spreadsheet format, etc. That’s why, it is important to master ways to transform data in a dynamic and unsettling B2B environment which has several industry standards and data formats.
Enterprises lose a competitive edge when they don’t have capabilities for data validation, aggregation, enrichment, routing, etc. They face several runtime exceptions, customer chargebacks, and vendor scorecard deductions.
Advanced ESB tools provide any-to-any data transformation rules for mapping data across multitudes of documents and other data file types, i.e., invoices, order forms, web-based forms, etc. Next generation data mapping capabilities help in aligning data with emerging B2B trends in a better way.
6) Poorly Defined Strategy
In many enterprises, the greatest barrier to ESB is a poorly defined strategy coupled with legacy thinking. Businesses often approach ESB from IT perspective rather than Business perspective. Developers build an interface which is entirely different from what a user needs. Enterprises should assess their B2B operations and prepare a rock-solid strategy to manage their ESB framework. It helps in engaging partners in a better way and getting everything correct.
The right strategy to avoid ESB errors is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). It offers a single and cohesive environment for B2B governance. It can be streamlined for services creation, process orchestration, business rule development, and event processing on a single dashboard.