Traditionally, business integration tasks have been relegated solely to the realm of IT departments. Under this structure, IT retained end-to-end control of all business users’ application integration needs, from request to implementation, and this approach worked because business users didn’t have the ability to perform data integration themselves and IT departments were able to keep pace with demand.
However, due to the rapid proliferation of digital, mobile and social technologies, the pace at which business is conducted has increased exponentially. We’ve rapidly arrived in an era where IT can no longer keep up with the data integration demands that business users require to be productive and get their jobs done. As a result, the former “one size fits all” approach to integration is no longer a feasible reality, and business users, or “citizen integrators,” are taking integration tasks into their own hands.
This can potentially present a number of challenges for IT departments. Namely, ad hoc solutions created by business users are largely created outside of the visibility of IT. However, as Gartner pointed out in a recent report entitled, “Embrace the Citizen Integrator Approach to Improve Business Users' Productivity and Agility,” fighting against these citizen integrators counterproductive and unrealistic.
Instead, IT administrators need to move away from the one size fits all approach and find ways to empower citizen integrators with strategic guardrails and parameters in place that allow users to perform do-it-yourself integration in a safe way. As the pace at which business is conducted will only continue to increase, organizations that do not adapt to foster citizen integration will be left behind.
Organizations must empower users with the proper tools that facilitate citizen integration while allowing IT to retain control and visibility into network architecture. This ideal solution will enable business users to manage their own application needs to quickly and seamlessly create connections that boost productivity. As the era of citizen integration progresses, businesses that adapt will see streamlined workflows, happier customers and increased revenue. Will your company settle for reduced efficiency and profitability, or will you lay the groundwork for future benefits?