Technology has become the backbone of every business. If we take a look under the IT hood at pretty much any company today, we can find a host of different systems, applications, and technologies that keep the entire business running from frontend to back.
Back in the day, such technologies stayed isolated from one another, or at best may have been integrated in a point-to-point fashion. Nowadays companies, however, have the responsibility to work with these different apps and systems in a unified manner. The competitive pressures proliferating in the business landscape demand this transformation, and that’s why organizations need a revamped IT integration strategy.
For decades, integration has been one of the biggest unsolved IT challenges, impeding enterprises’ efforts to digitally transform. One of the major hurdles that organizations must overcome is to leverage digital technologies and customer-facing services for accessing data that resides in scores of conventional IT systems. Essentially, this is difficult for businesses working with legacy technology estates, simply because data is distributed across organizations. Consequently, these organizations need to carve out a path that involves the modernization of legacy systems, so their data can be used to kick start innovation.
A lot of companies have been addressing this challenge with point-to-point integration methods to create ad hoc bridges between systems that need to share data. However, employing this approach can do more harm than good, since the dependencies between databases and applications build future changes expensive and time-consuming. As a result, the transformation speed decreases. Organizations find it incredibly difficult to evaluate and connect rigid integrations, making them difficult to do business with.
Another problem is that companies must manage the explosion of applications, systems, and data they generate if they are to see real value from these investments and not fall behind their competition. Put differently, IT departments must break through silos to excel in the digital landscape.
What organizations need to do to overcome these challenges is that they must adopt an improved IT integration strategy that helps them harness the true potential of data without heavily depending on IT.
The success of organizations depends on how well they connect their data, applications or systems. In the absence of an IT integration strategy, this task becomes more than impossible. Conventional, point-to-point IT integration architectures can’t keep up with the speed and volume of integrations that companies need to digitally transform. Instead of relying on these technologies, they must use modern IT integration strategies that offer speed, flexibility, security, and the ability to scale.
Gartner recommends implementing an artificial intelligence (AI) – powered solution that enables users integrate and use data faster and leverage the insights to make decisions. AI-powered data mapping tools can help organizations map the data faster (using machine learning algorithms), thus transforming and integrating it into a database for further use. Ergo, business users do not need expert intervention (such as the IT teams) to extract value from data.
Another technological paradigm that can save the day is self-service integration. The self-service approach puts all business users in charge so that they can integrate data without seeking support. With functionalities such as pre-built application connectors, shared templates, monitoring dashboard, and more, users can become more equipped to integrate large chunks of data, in various formats, with ease and speed. More so, they do not have to rely on IT teams to do the job, which allows IT teams to take up the governance role. As the users and IT teams both are empowered, driving the transformation wheel becomes easier.
In short, companies that have embarked on a digital transformation journey need to incorporate AI and self-service into their existing infrastructure for overcoming the potential hurdles and delivering maximum value.