Whitepaper: Self-Service Integration

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Whitepaper - Self-Service Integration- P2P Connectivity Bad

Why is Point-to-Point Connectivity Bad?

Point to Point Connectivity

Many enterprises find that integrating applications with external customers and partner organizations using point-to-point connectivity is a complex job. This is a fundamental challenge faced by medium to large organizations which amass a large number of applications to support their business. Moreover, there is a mix of on premise and cloud applications and it becomes increasingly difficult to move data between these disparate applications.

More complexity results when additional databases are created to support all of these technologies and disconnects occur between you and your B2B customers and partners since invariably data is stored in a myriad of file formats and protocols. Functional silos restrain connectivity between financial systems that need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data or a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system that needs ERP data.

Technically, it is not feasible anymore to create point-to-point direct connections to integrate these independent applications and projects. IT teams approach integrations in an ad-hoc manner as business needs arise and this leads to direct integrations between applications. These integrations lack consistency in terms of technology and data quality. Soon a spaghetti network on interconnections is created that is very difficult and expensive to maintain and manage.

Whitepaper - Self-Service Integration- Pitfall Associated With

Pitfalls Associated with a Point-to-Point Connectivity Approach 

P2P Connectivity Approach

P2P Integration is Costly Point-to-Point connectivity approach might have a low upfront cost but it costs more when more applications in an ecosystem need to be connected. For instance, P2P issues are hardly visible when 2 or 3 architectural components need to be integrated with each other. However, integration cost swells exponentially when many solutions are piled on top of each another, ultimately strangling the IT ecosystem.

Maintenance Issues Every new connection or business functionality addition will result in substantial loss of development hours. Heavy maintenance will be required for fixing high severity production bugs and refactoring the integration setup. An undocumented tangle of code is generated to support mission-critical business systems. Every new P2P connection will have a non-linear, compounding effect on the lifespan of the overall IT infrastructure. Let’s take a use case for explaining this problem:

In an IT architecture, two applications, application A and B are integrated with each other using the point-to-point connectivity Interface. The interface enables application A to converse with application B by executing a procedure.

Custom application connectors handle complexities, data transformation, and other relevant feature to access application data. The interface needs to be updated whenever application A or application B needs to be updated.

Scenarios, where several small to big applications need to be integrated, will require several such interfaces. Several new interfaces need to be built when more applications are added. Teams unknowingly create spaghetti architectures while creating connections for these applications. Each interface needs to be separately maintained and developed. In many cases, a single change to one interface causes a series of changes to other interfaces.

Network Breakdowns and Disruptions P2P integration might look like a straightforward undertaking, but there are many underpinnings to it. It creates bottlenecks, drains productivity, and impedes visibility. Although modern applications provide APIs for integration, they are insufficient for heavy integrations. P2P connections need to be updated whenever a new version is released or when a partner changes his data format or protocol. In many cases, they change automatically whenever a new version is released. Several downtimes and data errors disrupt business conflicting versions of endpoints. Over time, P2P integrations gain volume, become difficult to manage, and impact the business outcome. Debilitating data errors result in loss of revenue and growth opportunities. Heavy IT Intervention Enterprises use a wide variety of business systems to execute business operations. Most of these systems are not deployed by IT teams. They are deployed by other departments and business teams.

These applications, whether on cloud or on-premise, have their own nature of designer, data model, and silo. With P2P approach, several dependencies need to be created for integrating these applications. In many cases, P2P integrations are deployed haphazardly without proper planning.

In the long run, these complicated P2P networks shade other systems and enterprises fail to get visibility to how data and users are engaging in an environment.

Heavy IT intervention is required to monitor the full spectrum of integrations in an ecosystem and to troubleshoot errors and exceptions. Spaghetti code of point-to-point interfaces between applications or B2B integrations create constraints and limit agility for business to be responsive or to go after new opportunities.

Whitepaper - Self-Service Integration- Future of Low Code, Self Service

What is Future of Low-code, Self-service Integration?

Self-Service Integration

Integration addresses an important need: Integrating discrete cloud & on-premise systems and enterprise-class suites in simple and non-technical ways. It helps enterprises in integrating ever expanding number of applications and developing new capabilities and services with a low-code integration approach. Business users can now develop technologically sophisticated integrations much stronger and easier to maintain than point-to-point integrations, enabling organizations to respond faster to business and technology changes.

In retail, for example, with a low-code, self-service data exchange model, enterprises can streamline exchange and workflows while bridging the gap between physical and digital worlds and delivering a seamless experience to the customer. As soon as a customer would enter a store and try an apparel, his preference data is recorded by the systems. The preference data extracted, i.e., clothing including accessories can be used to deliver delightful customer experience. Similarly, banks can reassess loan portfolios with real-time data reporting of financed physical assets. Moreover, insurance companies can bring real-time data from different systems to validate and respond faster to claims.

Low-code integration uses a self-service approach that enables IT teams to empower business users for self-creating integrations on-demand without active involvement of IT.

In a nutshell, it is a paradigm shift for integration software to have now evolved into business applications that move this self-service data integration capability to business users. IT staff’s role now changes from active developers of integrations to that of IT administrators for monitoring, governance and regulatory compliance. While the business users’ role changes from that of ‘requesters of connections’ to that of citizen integrators.

Whitepaper - Self-Service Integration- Core Aspects of Low Code

Core Aspects of Low-code, Self-Service Integration

Low Code Self-Service Integration

Low-code, self-service data integration platforms integration helps non-tech users on four fronts:

Integrate: Build integrations between application to application or partners to enterprise systems in minutes and not months. Faster integration helps organizations foster a stronger, well-connected, and transparent business ecosystem.

Design: Deploy integration design patterns and map data flows without much of coding as per business needs.

Monitor: Audit all self-service integrations and deliver visibility for error management and compliances.

Govern: Update and govern integration flows internally or externally across multiple organizations.

Constituents (or Integrators) Low Code Integration scales as per different user roles with the relevant user experience, i.e., CIOs, analysts, and application leaders to spur innovation and improve business outcomes including productivity and revenue. Enterprises gain access to maximum capabilities to automate integrations using a low-code self-service data integration approach.

Integration Scenarios Another key component of low- code integration is custom integration templates – for allowing seamless composition of integration workflows. These features allow in defining workflows for application-to-application (A2A), business-to-business (B2B) integration, etc., between different cloud and on-premise environments as per industry best enterprise integration practices.

Endpoints An endpoint here refers to the entity residing at the end of the transport layer which provides entry to the service, process or destination. A low- code integration approach enables constituents to integrate different endpoints and compute enabled things from a single user interface.

Deployment Models Cloud hosting or on-premises deployment are options based on infrastructure policies and security requirements. A flexible low- code, self-service approach supports this need by deploying applications, services, and data on public cloud or private cloud or on-premises or hybrid networks. It enables users to flexibly and swiftly move workloads between deployment environments.

Whitepaper - Self-Service Integration- Need Self-Service Integration

Why do You Need Self-Service Integration?

Low-code integration has become relevant and necessary for every industry and it helps organizations to become more agile and responsive while minimizing disruptions. Low Code, self-service integration transcends last generation approaches and creates opportunities for enterprises to proactively react to new opportunities and grab larger market share.

Gartner terms Low-Code Integration as a high productivity platform that demonstrates a tremendous potential. Citizen Integrators can integrate applications with a low-code technique. This approach simultaneously supports more formats, standards, and protocols and makes technology integration problems disappear. With just a few simple clicks, business users can accelerate business transformation and eliminate ‘Islands of Automation.’ Here are some leading benefits of self-service integration:

Citizen Integration Capabilities Traditionally business users relied heavily on IT for handling simple integration tasks but no more.

This contemporary approach ensures that operations staff now can perform data preparation, CRM system updates, data onboarding, etc., without relying on IT anymore. This removes burden on IT teams and allows them to take up the governance role, thus improving their productivity and reducing IT costs.

This approach delivers dynamic business user capabilities to set up a strategic integration infrastructure. Business users can now confidently customize cloud streams, apply self-service data integration recipes, manage data flows, and automate repetitive tasks for streamlined interactions with partners for streamlined interactions with partners while still adhering to governance and security compliances.

Centralized IT Governance and Control Without Heavy IT Resources Involved Whether it is cloud to cloud Integration, B2B Integration, or any other.

Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), it can be executed on one single platform. Centralized governance and security allows business users to manage all integrations in a hybrid IT environment.

A single dashboard maintains a lineage historical data and provides a cohesive view of what data is being processed. This helps users to prevent network downtime and errors.

Data transactions can run from a single platform and business logic can be changed in simple rules. With better process orchestration, the services can be composed in unique software solutions to address business needs.

Faster Customer Data Onboarding Data Onboarding, although mission critical for organizations, is typically an extremely time-consuming process and invariably becomes a costly bottleneck. Since this is not a one and done matter, IT teams spend months of time in building one-off data connections and make seemingly endless calibrations to customize them. They fight endless intense battles to build connections with suppliers, third-party administrators, banks, brokerage houses, etc., making enterprises difficult to do business with. A low -code, self-service integration approach makes onboarding up to 80% faster and ensures faster time-to-value. Self-service onboarding capability empowers business users set up connections in less than a day rather than taking weeks or months.

Makes Enterprises Easy to Work With Traditional approaches to integration are cumbersome and don’t scale as per evolving business needs. However, employing a low code, self-service integration approach allows enterprises respond faster to customer needs, improve product offerings & services. As a result, companies can build trust in their customers that helps in building a good NPS score. It helps enterprises to become more agile and responsive to go after new opportunities or offer new products and services because they are not constrained by old, slow integration connections.

All companies strive to be easy to do business with since it is now critical in gaining, expanding, and retaining their customer base. Enterprises can deliver services faster, elevate the customer experience, and realize many quantifiable benefits.

Operational Cost Saving Widely recognized by industry analysts, one of the major benefits of low- Code Integration is enabling business users to do complex integrations while significantly lowering operational costs by fostering self-service .

Manual and repetitive tasks can be automated, data can be moved back and forth without the need of installing further systems and customer’s needs can be met through self-service onboarding. Users can quickly configure solutions for projects that require real-time data access, validation, transformation, and human interaction with industry best practices all without high cost IT intervention.

Whitepaper - Self-Service Integration- Conclusion

Conclusion

IT complexity is rising along with the growth in IT consumerization. This complexity, in turn, prevents organizations from gaining a competitive edge. Most organizations are still trying to solve this problem with yesterday's P2P approach which requires heavy IT support and doesn't address everyday problems that enterprises confront. The success of "leveraging such next-generation technologies will be defined not only by the ease of connectivity but also by the efficiencies that can only be realized through the superior automation and control using a low- Code, self-service Integration approach."

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