As enterprises increasingly leverage the relative implementation ease of best-of-breed, cloud-based applications, the IT landscape of these organizations is becoming increasingly fragmented. Even now, with cloud adoption in its early phases among large enterprises, our clients all have chosen to leverage multiple cloud-based applications to run their business processes. All of them also run a suite of on-premise solutions, such as older versions of SAP or Oracle ERP.
The result is a Frankenstein of IT solutions –
Business processes contained within a given application see vast improvement (ex: CRM processes within your fancy cloud-based CRM system), while other integrated processes become more challenged (ex: the non-integrated handoff from your CRM system to your Sales system, Project system, and Accounting software).
But your Frankenstein can have a brain –
The obvious choice for improving processes across disparate systems is some sort of interface. You either build a direct connection between your two systems to help pass and transform data back and forth, or you go with some sort of middleware solution to handle these tasks. Either way, it is critical to make these interfaces both flexible (for changing business needs) and scalable (for growth).
The choice of how to integrate your various applications is usually based on:
1. The number of applications you seek to integrate: the more you have, the more a middleware solution may make sense.
2. The volume and complexity of the data exchanged: sometimes the level of detail and transformation required to pass between systems gets unmanageable with direct connections.
3. The current skillset of your IT organization: most enterprises that have implemented various cloud applications have not chosen to outsource their integration. Therefore, the in-house IT department bears this responsibility, and they tend to gravitate toward the solution they already know.
Next steps for your Enterprise (I’m talking to you, CIOs) –
Don’t wait. Be proactive in determining your application integration approach, or else it will be determined by default. Your application project teams will choose the fastest option, but the quickest route to integration for a single application is not necessarily the best option for optimizing and supporting business processes with your overall solution. (Frankenstein’s brain could be “Abnormal”!)
If you need help formulating an integration strategy, we are happy to lend you the expertise that has successfully guided multiple enterprises.
Contact us at www.wyndhamgroup.net or 866-578-6229