The explosion of cloud, mobile and social technologies has placed an unprecedented burden on IT departments to integrate and connect an increasing number of business applications. With companies currently utilizing an average of 20 to 30 Software as a Service (SaaS) based applications, IT professionals must contend with an ever-growing queue of requests from business users to configure these applications for employee, partner and customer networks, while also ensuring other IT tasks are being completed.
At the same time, business users are realizing the significant benefits that application integration can provide in terms of increased productivity and streamlined workflows. As a result, they demand a solution that can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and projects on which they are working. Without a strategic solution put in place by IT, business users will look to create their own integration solutions, often outside the visibility of an organization’s IT department. This can result in one off solutions buried within the network’s architecture, leaving it disconnected and vulnerable and a huge liability for any business.
Both business users and IT departments are left feeling frustrated, and the bottlenecks created often result in lost business and revenue.
Gartner has recently coined the term “Citizen Integrator” to refer to business users taking integration into their own hands. While rogue solutions for application integration present unique problems, organizations cannot afford to wait for IT to integrate and connect disparate applications, and so, must find solutions to empower the citizen integrator. By strategically fostering citizen integration, IT can enable business users to automate connections themselves; saving valuable resources and ensuring users have what they need – when they need it. In addition, this grants IT professionals the ability to focus on strategic initiatives.
To underscore how important it will be for organizations to embrace the citizen integrator, Gartner has also predicted that by 2017, 65 percent of new integration flows will be developed outside the control of IT departments in larger organizations. This signifies the impending shift towards a more real-time implementation of SaaS-based applications, and currently the majority of companies are not equipped to keep up with the rapid innovation surrounding internal business functions – if traditional these IT methods are maintained.
The current market lacks a definitive offering that allows business users to perform application integration, while ensuring IT maintains backend control. Many companies have identified the need to provide such an offering, but none have fully delivered on this. The citizen integrator is an industry agnostic movement that ultimately encourages a heightened ability to adapt to real-time business user needs. This fluidity ensures businesses will keep up with the continual pace industry innovation.
Is your business equipped embrace the era of citizen integration – or will you be left behind?