Why Integration should not be an after thought?


“Integration” has always been the “magical” word for the IT world. Traditionally “Integration” projects have always been after thought projects started after purchasing/building more than one system and result of making it to work together in some way for business to function with less frustration.
Complexity of IT systems and making it work together in the natural flow of day-to-day business process scenarios have always resulted in work around and half working systems. This is mainly because , integration has not been in the forefront of system designs.


I believe that integration should be a design / purchase consideration for business systems right from the very beginning.
Also Integration has always been thought as the middle tier level integration. I also think that the integration needs to happen at every level
• Data Level Integration
• System Integration
• Business / App Level Integration
• UI level Integration


It’s fact that company of any size will have more than one system and without “integration” being in the forefront of the design, we would never achieve the full potential of the incredible power of software. Consider that a mid sized company in some form will have the below systems
1. Finance
2. HR
3. CRM
4. Sales Analysis
5. Service/Support System
6. Internet web site /e-Commerce
7. Business/Domain specific systems such as Inventory , Procurement, supply chain , professional services etc
8. Mail Infrastructure and Communication Platforms ( Live Meeting/Chat)
9. Planning/Scheduling
10. Intranet/Knowledge Management / Collaboration
11. Training/Social Networking ( blogs, newsgroups, discussion groups etc)
12. Business Intelligence
13. Productivity Tools
14. and many more…


And without well thought out integration strategy, the systems would never fit in the natural business/operation process of humans using the system  and allow them to get the most out of those systems.
 
With the advent of XML and web services, this dream is slowly coming into the forefront of system designs.


I hope, my friend Anand Rajagopalan ( co-blogger of this blog) who is working in the XML web services team in Microsoft  would be providing more insights into this topic in coming days.


Comments (5)

  1. I could not agree with you more. I have seen almost countless companies frustrated by the lack of communication between their “best of breed” systems. After great expense, they still fight the headaches of double entry and other business management problems. Their point that often gets communicated to me is that there simply is not one affordable application that acts as a “Global Business Management” solution for their needs. Custom design houses, large software corporations and industry specific software companies are all making incredible amounts of profit capitalizing on this fundamental headache.

    In agreement with you, I would like to share this website with you: http://theEvoltuionOfBusiness.com

    On it you will find slides that completely describe and agrees with what you were speaking of:

    http://darwinproductions.net/presentation/displaySlide.aspx?section=i1&subsection=1&lastSlide=6

    Darwin Productions’ website details how they have created the world’s first “out of the box” affordable application. A good read and cost effective solution for any business. I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I do happen to have a relationship with the company.

  2. Damian Spaulding says:

    The site has just been revised. The slide link is now a broken link. Sorry about that.

    Love to hear what you think of the site anyway, the slides should be back up again by the end of this month.

  3. Carl Franklin has posted the .NET Rocks Show #117 with members of the Team System team ⊕

    Chris…

  4. Serves me right for speed typing. I am ashamed of myself. Here are links that work <smile> <blush>

    http://theevolutionofbusiness.com/

    http://darwinproductions.net