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5 Ways to Improve Your Integration Strategy

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To avoid disruption and keep up with the rapid pace of change, businesses must now provide services quickly. Many of them are adopting cloud-based technologies as a result of this. In most cases, this results in a multi-cloud or hybrid approach, and by 2025, Gartner expects that over 75% of organizations will take this direction. However, integration strategy must take center stage in all conversations if cloud-based technology is to be used effectively.  

Creating an integration strategy will aid in focusing efforts and limiting the options for integration tools for organizations that are overwhelmed by the variety of integration options, which range from platform software to proprietary vendor tools and custom code. Here are some tips to help you ensure that your business is prepared for success. 

Identify the Integration Initiatives

Your integration strategy is a road map, and your business initiatives are the means of transportation you’ll employ to achieve your organizational objectives. Business objectives are prioritized, such as a 10% increase in customer retention or a reduction in manual accounting processes to speed up period closure. 

Initiatives might not be as obvious. For instance, switching from a heavyweight legacy financial system to a lighter-weight cloud solution might be necessary to reduce manual processes. Modernizing legacy systems or switching to the cloud could help to increase agility and responsiveness. Or synchronizing customer data across various systems could help to increase customer retention.

Create a Team for the Integration Strategy

The right team supporting an integration strategy can mean the difference between a connected set of applications that exceed expectations and a patchwork mess of custom code. Companies can identify integration needs, define goals, and identify the tools to advance the strategy by assembling a team that includes enterprise architects, integration specialists, line of business users, application development teams, and executives. 

The hybrid integration platform will ultimately be delivered by the integration strategy team, who will also oversee designing it. Decentralized cloud technologies are brought together with on-premises and legacy technology through a collection of applications, data, and integrations.

Gather Demands from Various Domains

The demands for integration across the organization must be defined with the assistance of the various leaders within it. An Enterprise Architect and/or Integration Architect should ideally oversee gathering and assembling these requirements. These specifications will cover things like integrating applications, security and compliance, delivery models, and technology choices. 

These architects can more effectively match the integration strategy with the business strategy by utilizing these requirements. Consider the scenario where one of the functional requirements is to link the cloud-based CRM system to a different cloud-based marketing program. If so, it should ideally support a business objective like increasing customer retention by 10%.

Carefully Examine Integration Capability Gaps in Existing Systems

Throughout their integration journeys, organizations may be at various stages. Others have woven integration into the very fabric of their culture, while some rely on case-by-case, ad hoc approaches. Finding your current location and your destination is difficult. When assessing potential integration gaps, consider the following sample questions: 

  • Does integration follow a formal methodology? 
  • What equipment, if any, is being utilized? 
  • The person in charge of integration 
  • Is integration regarded as a skill within the organization? 
  • Can the company’s hybrid integration platform support a wide range of fields, deployment types, endpoints, and constituencies? 

These questions become some of the gaps that need to be filled as part of the integration strategy if the answer to them is “no” or if you have trouble finding the answers. For instance, as you evaluate gaps, you might find that applications obstruct efficient decision-making by failing to communicate in real time. 

When assisting businesses in creating an integration strategy through our integration assessments, we frequently begin with questions like these. And using our Integration Architecture Framework, we assist them in defining and creating world-class integration capabilities. By using this Framework, they can make sure they have the skills necessary to carry out their initiatives right away and the flexibility to adjust to rapidly changing needs.

Pick Technology Final

Technology is necessary, but when creating an integration strategy, it cannot be your first option. The integration team will develop technology recommendations, such as API Management solutions or microservices, as it identifies needs and evaluates gaps. Evaluation of vendors will only make sense after that. 

The use of fewer integration tools should be one of the objectives when choosing technology. In a perfect world, you would choose one tool for all integrations, but this may not be feasible in all circumstances. Different capabilities may require for data consistency, full lifecycle API Management, messaging, multi-step process integration, and composite services. 

However, there are numerous types of integration tools, some of which are more effective in certain scenarios than others. 

About the author

Neha Verma

Neha Verma is a content writer who has 5+ years of experience in writing content in different domains and industries. She has been working with B2B & B2C industries and has created content for presentations, the training worked on web content, and copy content. She specializes in blogging, email marketing, and digital marketing content. Currently, she lives in India.