IntegrationConsidering patterns that let people workefﬁciently and elegantly. The people and business effects of systems integration. Amit Kothari Technical + Strategy Consultant Headshift | Dachis Group http://amitkoth.com
What is integration? Wikipedia: EAI/Enterprise ApplicationIntegration is the use of software and system architectural principles to integrate a set of enterprise computer applicationsGartner: The unrestricted sharing of data and business processes among any connected application or data source in the enterprise These only address technology integration
Systems integration• Mediation pattern (central broker).• Federation pattern (facade for apps).• Data transformation to canonical form.• Standard interfaces to content and services.• Issues include compliance, Chinese wall enforcement, permissions, compounded failure, content synchronisation, content migration from old apps, legacy vendors not having API’s, etc.
Why integrate apps?• Atlassian products provide hooks to integrate various platforms - but the canvas is wider.• Standardise data/content and a UI - including federated search and knowledge discovery.• Simpliﬁes business processes.• Bridges silos of data AND process complacency.• Technology “fosters” people integration.
Post integration effects• If activity streams are consistent and well designed - people enjoy the beneﬁts of ambient awareness.• An integration plan must allow for emergent outcomes that are unexpected or out of the scope of design or business intentions. Tools can often produce these - e.g. a Conﬂuence wiki.• Don’t “set people right” with a tool - you can only nudge certain use cases to happen. Adapt the integration after thinking about real-life usage.
To end - food for thought• Internal enterprise technology integration is not enough. Businesses need to consider the inside-to- outside integration that will be demanded by your staff, clients, suppliers and the public.• A key limb of the Social Business is “listening” on the social web. Various slower-moving FMCG companies will need to shift entrenched cultural norms to (positively) respond to public chat.