History has proven time and time again: businesses that fail to innovate will ultimately cease to exist. However, innovation doesn’t only take place on a product or offering level; successful organizations are those that proactively embrace innovation in order to address the evolving needs of business users. In the modern business landscape, many of these needs are handled by a company’s IT department.
IT professionals have especially seen the demands of business users change when it comes to business application integration. Traditionally, IT acted as the gatekeepers in charge of strategically establishing and managing a company’s integration demands. However, with the exponential growth of mobile, social and cloud technologies and their incorporation into business practices, many end users are moving at an exponentially faster pace. The new pace of business is placing a steep demand on IT, ultimately resulting in a large queue of integration requests.
The digital landscape that characterizes the current business environment is fostering the birth of “citizen integrators,” business users who are looking to solve integration challenges themselves, particularly as older integration technologies make it difficult for corporate IT to keep pace. These citizen integrators are creating ad hoc solutions that circumvent IT protocols, and although this can facilitate a heightened level of productivity and profitability in the short term, these duct-tape solutions present serious threats to the security and long-term success of any organization.
In order to solve for the ad hoc integration solution many citizen integrators are employing, it is clear that a hybrid integration approach is necessary, and will best serve organizations for future growth and success. Citizen integrators must be empowered with self-service capabilities when it comes to integration within parameters set by IT to ensure this is done in a secure and safe way. Businesses that fail to adapt will quickly become unable to address integration needs, especially as IT projects continue to move at an increasingly fast pace.
By granting business users the ability to perform integration tasks as necessary, while ensuring IT maintains visibility into data connectivity across the organization, businesses will see an increase in efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, the bottom line. This approach allows IT to leverage existing integration investments, while incorporating critical advancements – minimizing the amount of unapproved applications and mitigating potential security risks.
The establishment of a hybrid integration approach as the new standard for business data connectivity is inevitable, and organizations that don’t adapt will be left behind. Companies that are smart enough to empower citizen integration today will cement the foundation long-term success and market growth.