One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today is integration; more specifically, the lack thereof. Integration isn’t new. But because of today’s complicated technology landscape, it’s more relevant than ever before. That being said, there’s an abundance of disparate technologies, systems, and data littered across any given enterprise. It’s a business hindering reality that I see frequently with customers and industries we serve.
So why is the lack of integration of applications, systems, and data such a major hurdle for many organizations to overcome? While the specific answers vary from company to company, they tend to fall into three specific areas.
Here’s a deeper look at the three key factors that hinder enterprise application integration.
1. Time and Costs
Configuring interfaces are the most costly and time-consuming part of integration. And that’s just the setup part of connecting applications and technologies. The ongoing maintenance and management of interfaces can quickly become even more costly and time-consuming in the long-term.
Consider this: when two applications undergo a version update, the potential for an interface to break is high. Again, that’s more time and custom development dollars being consumed to reconnect two applications. For many organizations, the time and costs associated with integration is an unsustainable endeavor in the fight for precious IT dollars and resources.
2. Writing Software Code Is Complex and Rigid
Relying on writing custom code to handle an organization’s integration needs results in highly customized, stove-piped interfaces that are impractical to maintain as the coding needs evolve over time. To be frank, the cycles of developing complex and custom code are a maintenance nightmare. And it’s this ongoing burden that leads many organizations to seriously question if the time and costs are truly worth the business value interfaces create. And then we’re really back to the first factor that hinders integration: time and costs.
3. Lack of Lightweight Affordable Integration Platforms
The reality is that most organizations are often limited to paying the platform vendor to configure interfaces. This is costly. And it forces organizations to lock-in a vendor to have their interfaces serviced and maintained. Again, this can become costly and time-consuming.
Another reality is that most organizations wanting integration have to invest in large-scale integration suites (enterprise service bus). These typically have expensive initial startup costs and are overkill for what most organizations’ need. It’s like being forced to buy an expensive luxury car and use the manufacturer’s mechanics, when all you really need is a reliable commuter car with minimal maintenance and fuel costs.
The Take Away
So what’s the answer? How do organizations overcome these challenges to realize the benefits of an integrated enterprise?
A good start is exploring EdgeFrontier – our lightweight, general purpose integration platform that enables your IT personnel and developers to rapidly configure integrations that connect applications, systems, and devices. It makes the exchange of enterprise data easy and cost effective, without the fuss and muss of custom code development or vendor lock-in.
In the weeks and months ahead, I will discuss the many topics across enterprise technology integration. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.
Jack Williams is the product manager for Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure's public safety analytics and records management solutions. Williams' technical background, versatile skill-set, and multi-domain expertise has enabled him to successfully identify, manage, and drive new product capabilities and opportunities in key industries.