A multitude of enterprises are searching for ways to digitally transform their business with better integration of applications, processes, and systems. In doing so, they must decide how much responsibility they wish to take on.
While many believe the burden of handling resource-intensive EDI, B2B, and cloud integration is too much to handle and better off outsourced, there is a school of thought that finds in-house integration effective for tackling day-to-day operations.
Choosing between the two approaches is a personal choice that organizations need to take considering a few factors - there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Factors like company’s internal skill attributes, priorities of business ecosystem entities, sensitivity of business data etc, can help in the decision.
Enterprises willing to pursue integration projects in-house need to weigh their choice with the following factors:
First, organizations willing to set up an in-house integration system must have the skillset for managing operations, processes, etc. available internally. However, if organizations are suffering from a dearth of skilled workforce, they are left with two options - hire new professionals or train existing ones.
This task of searching, hiring, and managing professionals for streamlining integration initiatives can be daunting as the number of communication protocols as well as data formats are increasing day by day. In such cases, enterprises can choose to get in touch with external elements such as consultants to shower knowledge on unlocking complex workflow structure.
In-house integration allows companies to keep control on their business data, thereby limiting risks arising due to third-party public downtime, threats or security breaches etc. All sensitive data stays behind the firewall and in organization’s environment, thus eliminating any risks arising in the transit of data externally. In-house integration also enables companies to have full freedom of establishing and maintaining SLA compliance.
Direct access to support resources is one more reason why organizations choose in-house integration. In the event of any discrepancy, downtime, or error, support is internal and available without delay. Any change needed to be made can be addressed right away by the in-house integration team. Managed services, on the other hand, may put customers into a queue that might cause delays.
While these characteristics are undoubtedly extremely beneficial, in-house integration can be costly. The cost of establishing, supporting, and maintaining in-house integration is overwhelming. On top of that, hiring or retaining the skilled labor maintaining your in-house integration can be an added risk.
An outsourced integration approach is suitable for enterprises that want to let experts do their integration while they focus on their core business. They don't want to focus on training skilled professionals and need an integration platform that even their non-technical users can use.
Companies taking this route can outsource inherent complexity, costs of building integration platforms and more, while keeping their talent and skill sets focused on accelerating their revenue. Integration platform providers specialize in partner onboarding which is scalable and agile, thereby delivering a completely functional, integrated ecosystem at zero talent cost to you.
Companies that outsource integration have access to expertise that can:
• Leverage various types of protocols as well as formats
• Ensure ecosystem connectivity
• Keep tabs on information with automated alerts and notifications
• Deploy integrations
Businesses moving to the cloud find managed services as an excellent choice since they pay for only what they need. The shared model also plays an elementary role in cutting down human resource costs, reducing overhead costs further. Companies become reliable and strengthened ecosystems with the support of added integration expertise offered by service providers. Additionally, with the security protocols of today, outsourced integration stays a safe game even for the most sensitive data.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to integration. It is solely contingent on the company’s focus, market position, and core competencies.
All these factors have to be taken into account prior to choosing an integration approach. No matter which path you choose, the ultimate aim is to fulfill the evolving needs of your digital ecosystem and stay ahead of the digital transformation curve.