Integration #FAIL


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Integration may not be new, but its role has drastically changed. Once used simply for support, it is now an enabler – serving as an indispensable foundation critical to achieving agility, efficiency, and growth. Done well, it can drive better business decisions, more cost-effective operations, and be the catalyst for competitive advantage. Architected without a clearly defined strategy, however, integration will fail to deliver on its promise. What are some of the pitfalls you can avoid when augmenting an existing infrastructure to maximize performance, results, and success? Read on.

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Integration #FAIL

  1. 1. w h i t e p a p e r1Integration #FailIntegration may not be new, but its role has drasticallychanged. Once used simply for support, it is now anenabler – serving as an indispensable foundation critical toachieving agility, efficiency, and growth.Done well, it can drive better business decisions, more cost-effective operations, and be the catalyst for competitiveadvantage. Architected without a clearly defined strategy,however, integration will fail to deliver on its promise.What are some of the pitfalls you can avoid whenaugmenting an existing infrastructure to maximizeperformance, results, and success? Read on.#Fail: TractionHow often does the success of an initial integration project fail to gain traction acrossthe enterprise and translate into benefits for the organization at large? More often thanit should.We know why it happens: different lines of business invest at different times for differentneeds. Big efforts with bigger risks require high-level approvals that can be difficult toobtain. Sometimes the big picture is hard to see. Other times, we simply take what wecan get.Built without clear direction or functional purpose, an infrastructure will be as fragmentedas the methodology from which it was assembled and over time, be unable to scale withand meet the needs of an organization as it grows.If overarching strategy is determined after an architecture is already established, all of theinitial expended effort can not only go to waste, but create additional work down the lineto modify existing components and reconfigure the application landscape.Heading off this challenge – and the duplicate overhead cost – requires infrastructurecapabilities to be closely aligned with enterprise-level requirements, even in early stages.By thinking ahead and expanding the architecture systematically, you can execute in waysthat don’t stall initial efforts, but reduce the likelihood their success will be short-lived andensure they translate into larger successes for the enterprise.By thinking ahead andexpanding systematically,you can execute in waysthat don’t stall initialefforts, but reduce thelikelihood their successwill be short-lived andensure they translate intolarger successes for theenterprise.How mature is yourintegration strategy?Measure it here.
  2. 2. w h i t e p a p e r2Tips: Areas to Evaluate•  High-Availability and Scalability: Demands on the network can rapidly increase asenterprise service bus (ESB) adoption rises, more services are deployed, and reachis extended across mobile and B2B channels. What degree of availability, scalability,and support should be anticipated to ensure a consistent end-user experience byemployees, partners, and customers?•  Connectivity: Application landscapes can vary drastically across the organization – andchange dramatically over time. What degree of connectivity will be required to supportexisting and future portfolios (incl. mobile, social, cloud)?•  Visibility: As technical issues can impact the business, enterprise services requireenterprise-level attention. What level of visibility will be necessary to identify troublespots before problems become bigger issues?In #fails that follow, we’ll tackle how organization – people, standards, mandates, andstructure – plays a part in integration, as well.#Fail: StandardsPoint-to-point integration can be a quick fix for getting information from system to system.All it takes is a bit of code and voilà – connection complete!While this may seem like an efficient way to solve problems in a pinch, it presents long-term risk for the organization. Why? Inevitably a change will be submitted by the businessand if the programmer who wrote the custom script is not around, how long will it take tofind the keys that unlock the black box?A single instance might be manageable, but if you’re like most organizations, dozens ofhard-coded, point-to-point interfaces run beneath the surface of application developmentprojects. And chances are, developers used different technologies over the years, makingit difficult to know where issues lie, let alone what could be causing a problem.It could take an army to overcome a situation like this on a larger scale, not to mentionthe escalated cost. So the question becomes: how much of your business’ agility andresources are you willing to put on the line?Tips: Future-Proofing Your Platform•  Stay Open: Standard interfaces allow you to expose the business functionality ofapplications without having to understand the complexity of integration logic.•  Keep It Simple: Model-driven, design environments (IDE) deliver visibility intoapplication logic and clearly depict connectivity between your systems andapplications. They also make it easier to incorporate or remove components, increasingflexibility of the architecture overall.•  Centralize Control: A bus-based architecture enables you to manage applications froma single platform. Added bonus: when the time comes for inevitable system upgrades,all can be administered through this unified environment – making it easier to scaleapplications, monitor performance, and ensure availability is never compromised.The question inevitablybecomes: how much ofyour organization are youwilling to put at risk?
  3. 3. w h i t e p a p e r3#Fail: LanguageIn a perfect world, systems and applications have no trouble communicating with eachother. Able to seamlessly exchange data across platforms and channels, they work inunison to ensure information reaches where it’s needed, processes flow uninterrupted,and quality of service is never compromised.In our world, things aren’t so simple. Languages and data formats vary widely acrossthe enterprise, making it difficult for systems and applications to interoperate, exchangeinformation, and drive business processes forward. To capture and process dataeffectively, interfaces must run interference and translate messages as they’re transmittedacross the environment.In point-to-point infrastructures – where one application often requires the use of multipleinterfaces – data exchange can be challenging to manage and costly to maintain. Ahigh degree of manual effort is required, ultimately commandeering valuable resourcesdevelopers could be using to drive business innovation and growth.Integration can be used to overcome these obstacles in various ways. Eliminating the needto manage multiple interfaces, a unified, bus-based backbone will systematically mediatecommunication across platforms and channels. Used in conjunction with a service-oriented architecture, the use of existing IT investments and assets can also be optimized.Properly architected, this approach will provide an efficient and cost-effective wayto enhance infrastructure performance, improve process efficiency, and accelerateautomation throughput. Easier to manage, it will also free up valuable resources and allowdevelopers to spend more time focusing on efforts that drive greater business value.While the benefits are proven, it is essential for applications need to bring peopletogether with the information they need in a uniform and consistent manner. In anorganization that makes the switch from point-to-point to SOA, this can be a challengefor skilled engineers who routinely resort back to old habits, rather than embrace new,preferred practices.How can you be sure integration is implemented properly so performance is notjeopardized or exposed to unnecessary risk?Tips: Enforcing Consistency•  Set Well-Defined Guidelines: By outlining how to properly execute ESBimplementation, you can minimize confusion and provide developers with theknowledge to understand why a uniform approach is essential to meeting quality ofservice standards.•  Appoint a Design-Time, Governance Review Board: Enforce consistent use ofstandards by requiring all new implementations to be approved during the planningphase (performs best when administered in tandem with an SOA center of excellence).Projects can also be reviewed post-deployment to identify new best practices ormethods of improvement.How can you be sureintegration is implementedproperly so performance isnot jeopardized?
  4. 4. w h i t e p a p e r4Empower alignment andsmarter technology choicesby making all parties awareof the role and impact theirdecisions play in helpingthe organization meet itsgoals and objectives.#Fail: PeopleIt’s easy to forget that IT initiatives are just as much about people as they are abouttechnology. If buy-in from key stakeholders across the organization is ignored, the walls ofresistance will be high, adoption will be low, and efforts will be taken for granted.It stems from a lack of communication and understanding. When people are unclearon the benefits new technology provides or how capabilities can be leveraged for theirprojects, they have trouble justifying use.Stuck in the old paradigm – where value is perceived and measured in narrow terms(i.e. application quantity or budget figures) – people need guidance to understand thebig-picture benefits of integration: lower costs, faster deployment of updates, value-add applications.What they don’t see is the ability to quickly propose new services to customers. Theymay not readily realize, for example, they can adopt cloud-based systems to increaseperformance and free up monetary resources by reduced operating expense.An Integration Center of Competence (ICC) can help bridge the knowledge divide.Independent from procurement, it becomes a business partner by committing to qualityof service, rather than focusing on individual projects. This translates into shorter projectlifecycles, sustainable latency, and increased performance.Through education, it facilitates alignment between business and IT and empowerssmarter technology choices by making both parties aware of the role and impact theirdecisions play in helping the organization meet its goals and objectives.
  5. 5. w h i t e p a p e r5Tips: Integrating People with TechEliminate Interpretation & AssumptionsKeep business and IT users in sync by having both parties follow and operate along ashared implementation process. Doing so will not only help IT understand and executeon what the business wants to achieve, it also helps the business grasp IT’s objectives (i.e.minimizing time and resources for management and maintenance).A central system of record can be used to support the process lifecycle end-to-end – frombusiness request to service retirement – ensure compliance mandates are enforced, andtrack authorization along the way. Key stakeholders can also gain visibility into currentstate, enabling them assess yielded value.Learn from Experiences, Commit to DecisionsEnsure initiatives map to overall strategy by requiring people to identify and outline hownew initiatives will deliver on organizational objectives. Inserting this step into the processnot only safeguards best practices, it helps shorten project duration and optimize howresources are utilized.Provide a Capability CatalogOnce equipped with best practices, the ICC can look for recurring integration needs.Similar to how ERP is standardized – where a global template enforces compliance yetleaves room for specific, local needs – the same approach can be applied for integration.A pattern can be used to structure and standardize communication with corporateapplications, yet remain flexible to support localized data exchange. The ICC can alsooffer a catalog of capabilities to supports the deployment of standard applications, orleverage events to identify specific situations.Having reached maturity, an ICC is proven to ease the expansion of integration across theenterprise and supply business and application teams with a partner to deliver provencapabilities that can be fine-tuned to comply with their needs.As the pace of our globalbusiness landscapeaccelerates, organizationswill need greater flexibility,speed, and access tocritical data.
  6. 6. w h i t e p a p e r6TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) is a provider of infrastructure software for companies to use on-premise or as part of cloudcomputing environments. Whether it’s optimizing claims, processing trades, cross-selling products based on real-time customerbehavior, or averting a crisis before it happens, TIBCO provides companies the two-second advantage®– the ability to capture theright information at the right time and act on it preemptively for a competitive advantage. More than 4,000 customers worldwiderely on TIBCO to manage information, decisions, processes and applications in real time. Learn more at©2013. TIBCO, TIBCO Software, and The Two-Second Advantage, are trademarks or registered trademarks ofTIBCO Software Inc. in the United States and other countries.www.tibco.comGlobal Headquarters3307 Hillview AvenuePalo Alto, CA 94304Tel: +1 650-846-1000 +1 800-420-8450Fax: +1 650-846-1005What will differentiateleaders from the pack?The advancement ofintegration with new formsof technology.#Fail: ProcrastinationWaiting for a big, game-changing enterprise project to sell the idea of integration is riskyand damaging for any company. If resources solely focus on keeping the lights running,rather than empowering the organization, new projects are in a prime position to seizetheir share of the budget. By aligning the architecture with critical systems and proceduresand reducing the level of resources required to maintain it, this balance can be inverted.The longer integration is put off, the more amplified an enterprise will be exposed to risk.And if budget resources are reallocated, you’ll be forced to manage integration on thecheap – resulting in higher costs down the road.#Fail: New TechnologyWhether it’s connecting different cloud systems, extending data to mobile devices, ordriving business processes forward, integration provides the foundation to realizingthe speed and flexibility required to succeed in the 21st century. Failing to augmentintegration capabilities with other forms of technology will not only limit the full potentialof the platform, but of the organization as well.When matched with complex event processing (CEP), for example, value can be amplified.Used together, they enable greater awareness and performance – accelerating theidentification of situations that might go undetected otherwise. Extracting actionableintelligence from high volumes of streaming data – enriched by information fromanywhere – you’ll gain the ability to get ahead of opportunities and risks, engage withactivity in real time as it happens, and respond relevantly to optimize results.What more could you be doing? Explore your options at