Business Application Integration is the use of software and computer systems' architectural principles to integrate a set of computer applications. The best way to decrease risk and double the Application Integration success rate is to have a defined Application Integration Strategy that indicates how your various business applications will work together to further your organization’s goals.
Application Integration has become a very important process in simplifying and automating business processes to the greatest extent possible, while at the same time avoiding the need to make sweeping changes to existing applications or data structures.
Many organizations have relied on ad hoc strategies when implementing Application Integration within their IT environments. They focus on integrating their business applications by relying solely on technology and solutions that don’t take into account their big picture.
In today’s world, that ad hoc approach won’t cut it anymore; there is too much risk for overlaps in technology capabilities and increased maintenance costs. Now, Application Integration specialists have had to adopt new strategies and abandon ad hoc integrations due to Cloud, social integration, mobile, and big data disruptors.
3 Benefits of Having a Defined Application Integration Strategy
The main reason you want to have a defined Application Integration strategy for your IT environment is that it takes into account your entire business operations. Formalized Application Integration strategies consider business drivers and the involvement of all key stakeholders at every phase. Deviating away from a formal strategy increases the risk of incomplete or ineffective initiatives.
When you have a defined Application Integration strategy, your organization will benefit by reducing risk, and the associated costs of dealing with risk. Here are three major benefits of having an Application Integration strategy in place:
- Your solutions will remain aligned with your business drivers.
- Your costs will be reduced by not having to re-invent the wheel with each new application, Application Integration requirement, or solution.
- There will be less finger pointing when issues arise because there will be defined ownership of your applications and processes.
A defined Application Integration strategy will result in a solution that is tailor-made for your business by establishing correlations between your business drivers and technical solutions, and by eliminating overlaps in technology capabilities.
4 Tips to Develop a Workable Application Integration Strategy
Start by understanding your current technical and business environments. This will ensure that all aspects of your organization will be included in your strategy. Use this knowledge to develop an architectural vision for your business, including its building blocks. Well-defined business drivers will result in a business-focused development of your Application Integration strategy.
Next, you will want to perform a gap analysis between your current and future environments. This identifies the specific weaknesses that your Application Integration strategy will address.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to plan your Application Integration implementation so that it fits with your organization constraints. Right-size your business case within the characteristics of your organizational boundaries.
As your Application Integration Strategy is developed, you can use the following 4 tips to keep your process moving forward.
Tip 1 – Involve the right stakeholders and get them to drive the Application Integration initiative. Business buy-in is critical from the top executive level down to the end user. Involving stakeholders from strategy development onward will keep them engaged and align business drivers with technical solutions.
Tip 2 – Use an architectural approach to your Application Integration strategy. This is critical to making appropriate technology decisions and promoting consistency across Application Integration solutions by using common patterns.
Tip 3 – Make sure you have control of your Application Integration environment with an appropriate architecture, including policies and procedures, before your end users start adding their bring-your-own-integration capabilities to your office.
Tip 4 – Create a Blueprint from your Business-Driven Application Integration Strategy. You should codify your defined Application Integration strategy in the form of a blueprint so that everyone who is involved with implementing the strategy will be on the same page. The blueprint provides your organization with the what, when, why, how and who of your strategy.
Your Application Integration blueprint should include all the work, planning and investments that will be completed during your strategy development. The blueprint will have the governing ideas and candidate building blocks of an IT system. It will contain the complete process of how you implement your Application Integration strategy from start to finish.
We Can Help You!
An effective and well-defined Application Integration strategy will give your organization a leg up on the competition. It can also save costs and increase productivity. There are many elements involved in developing an effective Application Integration strategy. Our team has worked with many organizations to help them understand how to develop their Application Integration. We Can Help You. Contact us today!