Some of our burning questions answered by Roberto Viana, managing partner and enterprise integration architect at Rojo Consultancy. He has over 20 years of experience working in the field of enterprise integration, helping organizations across the globe integrating their business processes and applications using leading integration platforms. Roberto is also the co-author of the official SAP book “SAP Process Orchestration – The Comprehensive Guide”.
Digitalisation, connected and intelligent enterprises, data, APIs, and integration are some of the most repeated concepts in the current IT landscape. In the current fast-paced business and IT landscape responsiveness is becoming even more important. Organisations need to act rapidly upon change and respond to business needs and we see that those are organisations that are connected and integrated.
For that reason, integration has become a strategic imperative. We have witnessed an acceleration of business trends in 2020. Mainly due to the pandemic, business processes had to become digital – although it was a shift we have been witnessing in the last years. To understand better how integration plays part in digitalisation of businesses, we asked Roberto Viana a few questions.
What are the biggest challenges enterprises face?
Organisations in all industries and sizes face major challenges when they start the journey of digitalising their business processes by offering more efficient digital services for clients and partners. In many occasions, their existing IT infrastructure and system-integration strategy may not be ready to cope with that high demand imposed by modern system integration approaches such as API and event streaming communication. To mitigate the risks associated with the rapid adoption of digitalisation and continuous demand from the business, an organisation should have a solid and future-proof integration strategy that can support the digital economy.
How does integration solve these challenges?
No organisation is like an island. In the current digital economy businesses are hyperconnected from the supply chain to the core business processes depending on secure and stable information exchange. Put it simple, integration is the nerve centre of the enterprise; constantly carrying business data inside-out and outside-in. If that critical component is not well designed or not performing well, the rest of the organisation will fail in their attempts to achieve their goals.
Does every organisation need integration solutions?
In today’s hyperconnected world, the overall success of organisations depends a lot on their ability to unstoppably exchange a vast amount of data across their value change. Regardless of the organisation industry or market they are operating at, all businesses need proper integration to stay competitive and offer value to their customers. This need can become more imperative as the number of applications increases within the organisation. The key to success in digitalisation is automation and connectivity, and this is where integration plays the most important role. It brings all the fragmented silos and data together and connect them in a seamless way.
We have seen the importance of agility and responsiveness to digitalisation especially in 2020 due to the pandemic as some businesses couldn’t step up their digitalisation, facing the impact on their value chain for not having a well-defined integration strategy. There are various integration platforms as well as strategies; depending on your organisation one of them is the right solution for you.
How do I know which integration platform is right for me?
There are many integration solution vendors out there, many of which offer similar solutions, others are industry or vendor-centric (SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, etc.), in certain fields such as IoT, Business to Business, etc. The truth is, to select the best integration tool, it is necessary to elevate yourself and look at it from different perspectives answering the following questions:
- Is the tool you are considering well known in the market, what is their reputation and what does the market say about them? It’s highly recommended to check the reviews from Gartner, Forrester and such.
- What is your potential use case? Does the platform you are considering have proven use cases or references in similar industries?
- What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) and what is your budget? Do a thorough research on how much is the total cost when you add up everything you need from them; consider platform, support and maintenance, application adapters, scalability, additional services, etc.
- What makes this tool so special and unique when compared to other market competitors?
What is the future roadmap and strategy for their integration platform? Do they have a clear vision and roadmap for their product. For instance, you should pay special attention to whether the solution you are considering is cloud-native, scalable and offers support for on-premise and multi-cloud deployment strategies that can support different integration domains.
I have further questions on some details, what should I do?
Get in touch with us! Our integration experts will help you find the best integration platform and the strategy to succeed in business.