Executive Briefings

Is Your Systems Integration an Unplanned Patchwork?

Once we were discussing how supply chains are designed when someone made an insightful comment: "The vast majority of supply chains are not designed. They just happen. Their current form is the cumulative result of hundreds of mostly uncoordinated individual decisions made over many years or decades." The same could be said about enterprise application integration for many companies, in spite of the earnest efforts of enterprise IT planners and architects.

Many companies buy systems one at a time, figure out how they will integrate to whatever is needed to just make it work (pull in some data from here, connect to an API over there) all within the constraints of the initial schedule and budget; usually with the intention of doing a more complete job of integration in "Phase 2" and beyond. Almost immediately and continuously things change"”new applications are added, the data changes, customers make demands for new data/integration, initiatives to streamline are launched, etc. As a result, there is a patchwork of integrations, both internally between the enterprise's own applications and externally with trading partners.

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Many companies buy systems one at a time, figure out how they will integrate to whatever is needed to just make it work (pull in some data from here, connect to an API over there) all within the constraints of the initial schedule and budget; usually with the intention of doing a more complete job of integration in "Phase 2" and beyond. Almost immediately and continuously things change"”new applications are added, the data changes, customers make demands for new data/integration, initiatives to streamline are launched, etc. As a result, there is a patchwork of integrations, both internally between the enterprise's own applications and externally with trading partners.

Read Full Article