January 9, 2018 | Written by: Chris Schmitt
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(This post is part of a series. Read part one, part two, part three, part four and part five to learn more about the urgent need for Hybrid Integration.)
Just like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace there is only one rule: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” First movers have a distinct advantage in the marketplace. They set the tone, define the space and create name recognition. Take Uber, for example. Uber and Lyft offer almost the same service, but most people, no matter which car service they use, will “call an Uber.” Unless you are offering something substantially different, (like the experience of driving with a live cougar in the car) first movers are hard to displace.
That is why the line of business (LOB) is constantly driving to develop faster, get to market faster and adapt faster. Business leaders understand the implications — it’s a race, and they can’t wait months or even weeks to complete implementations. As a result, business functions are going around Central IT and solving their own problems by acquiring and implementing their own solutions. And while this might work in a sprint over the equivalent of 500 miles, in the long-term it is going to cause a wreck, since many of these solutions don’t integrate, don’t scale and are not secure. So, now IT faces the challenge of trying to support and govern what could be dozens of unsanctioned, un-architected, standalone LOB solutions. How do you team these two together?
What many winning IT departments are doing instead of fighting the line of business is working with it (just like Shake and Bake). By being the source of lightweight business solutions they not only help the business work more effectively but also retain greater control over the applications. One of the key areas where we see a major focus is self-service integration. Self-service integration can encompass a variety of scenarios, including the following:
- Tactical automation by end users of a process that involves connecting to two or more applications
- Situational integration associated with a project or short-term need (With this type of integration, the ease of integration provides an opportunity to automate workflow, distribution of tasks and delivery of data across two or more applications.)
- Use by developers for rapid integration or workflow-oriented use cases
- End-user data prep to automate activities requiring creation of data sets which can then be used for analytics, monitoring or reporting.
The result is an influx of no-code integration solutions targeted at the business entering the market. However, this subset of solutions has its own set of requirements that you’ll need to consider. According to a report from IDC, “Organizations that are faced with end users demanding self-service integration and automation capabilities need to:
- Consider standardizing on an approved solution for self-service integration that provides a level of control and governance in keeping with user abilities and corporate policies.
- Develop technology acquisition policies that prefer services that offer open APIs accessible by self-service integration solutions.
- Monitor integration solutions implemented by end users to ensure that compliance, security, and technology policies are not being violated.
- Factor the near-term eventuality of end-user self-service into integration adoption decisions.”
The benefits are twofold. The business users are happy because they feel empowered to move at the speed of the market, and IT reduces the burden on its resources that comes from having to respond to every application integration request that arises. Wave the checkered flag. It is a win win. (Ok, it is just a win because you can’t have two number ones. That would be eleven.)
If your line of business is coming at you like a spider monkey, learn how to help them get to market faster by downloading the IDC Report, The Urgent Need for Hybrid Integration or going to the IBM Integration website.
SHAKE AND BAKE
(Does that just blow your mind?)