May 7, 2018 | Written by: Betty Joseph
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Imagine ordering groceries from an online grocer that promises a one-day delivery.
After you quickly select your items and proceed to the checkout, you get stuck at the payment gateway, which takes too long to load. Just as you decide to abandon the sale, you get through and complete the checkout process. However, your order gets delivered a day later than promised, and the retailer gets two items wrong.
Wouldn’t that be frustrating?
This is a case of miscommunication between the order management system, warehouse management, shipping and inventory, just to name a few of the moving parts. For an enterprise to survive in the digital economy, it must create exceptional customer experiences that make the company stand out among its competitors.
However, there are complexities involved in integrating multiple applications that are spread across an enterprise.
3 considerations for choosing an enterprise integration solution
How do you choose the right integration partner based on the needs of your enterprise? Here are a few pointers to consider:
Skills and resources
The integration solution should support both application developers and central IT. This will enable connecting data and collaborating effectively at scale and take into account their different integration needs.
The glitches in the scenario above could be attributed to a lot of things, but in the context of integration, you can limit the chances of errors by equipping application developers with the necessary tooling to self-build integrations for the applications they own, manage and best understand. By developing and managing their own integrations, application developers uncover the necessary data that enables a business to react to rapidly changing market demand and deliver a positive customer experience.
Over the years, enterprises have increasingly deployed across multiple platforms, on premises and in the cloud to balance factors such as cost, risk and scalability.
Given the distribution of applications across an enterprise, deploying an integration close to the application improves the speed at which that integration can be developed and deployed. This enables the business to react quickly to changing customer demand and offer a better experience. For example, it could enable a quick connection to the payment gateway of a retailer.
Robust connectivity and flexibility
As organizations attempt to connect data across a multicloud environment, they need to ensure that their integration solution can address and respond to disparities in data formats, endpoints and integration styles.
From the grocery site example, the integration issue between the order management system and the warehouse system could have been a result of the systems using different data formats or other differences in their basic architectures. Having an application integration solution that supports multiple platforms, system architectures, integration styles and data formats can help companies build robust and scalable integrations and make better use of their investments in existing systems, while still embracing new technologies.
Find your best multicloud integration solution
Businesses thrive on their ability to respond quickly to changes in customer and market demand to offer excellent levels of service across multiple channels. Technologies including containerization, multicloud, and so on enable greater agility and scalability, but they require a solid integration solution to bring them all together.
IBM App Connect, an offering from IBM Cloud Integration, is a comprehensive solution that enables enterprises of all sizes to connect applications and data that are spread across multiple environments, from on-premises systems to private cloud and public clouds. This solution is built on a lightweight architecture, giving businesses the flexibility to handle any type of integration: SOA, FTP, APIs, event based and more.
Join the webcast, “Surviving Data Disparity with Multicloud Integration,” on 9 May to learn more about how IBM App Connect can help you integrate across multicloud environments.