Digital platforms have arrived in a big way owing to the current need for efficiency and accuracy, which is driving digital transformation across businesses. All the digital needs of a company – from insights to infrastructure development to service delivery – are being met by different digital platforms today.
Leading software vendors have realized that, by employing applications and platforms that are tightly knit and can communicate with each other, enterprises can push for better efficiency and unlock new avenues for growth. Successful modern platforms can be defined as SIMPLE …
- Swift – Building applications on top of them is fast and easy
- Integratable – Integrates easily with other enterprise applications and technology systems
- Modular – Built with a microservices architecture where each part of the platform can function independently
- Pooled – Designed to evolve through ecosystem contributions
- Low-touch – Deployment and functioning are largely automated through next-generation techniques
- Experiential – Designed from a ‘customer-in’ perspective, prioritizing user experience
Different applications are being used to carry out several sets of activities across organizations. For example, there may be one system carrying out marketing, another for customer relationship management, and yet another for accounting and finance. The presence of various applications results in siloed information, hampered collaboration, reduced productivity and an imperiled bottom line. The proliferation of the Application Programming Interface (API) economy and the vast number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in use also means that a massive amount of data is generated in these siloes.
If actionable insights need to be extracted from this data, it should be readily available for access and analysis with other relevant internal and external data sources. When all the platforms, which support these applications and APIs, start talking to each other and are ‘integratable’ – capable of integration with other digital platforms and applications – they can bring in new efficiencies and create value for the organization. In other words, ‘integration’ is the key to discovering actionable insights and creating efficiency, visibility and flexibility in the enterprise.
Integration refers to the building of software assets that allow for communication between technology systems within an enterprise, as well as in the external ecosystem, to facilitate unified and seamless workflows, data sharing, enhanced collaboration and analytics enablement across the enterprise. Integration is broadly categorized into four types:
- Platform Integration
- Enterprise Application Integration
- Data Integration
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Integration as a process is being affected by several emerging trends in technology like AI/ML, consumer demand variability, omnichannel commerce and the need for real-time actionable insights. And despite its apparent advantages, integration has its own set of challenges across enterprises, ranging from lack of ownership and opaque technology architecture to regulatory and security concerns.
A well-crafted integration strategy and roadmap go a long way toward ensuring the success of an integration program in any enterprise. Our ‘Integration Factory’ approach is one such framework. Rooted in deep practical experience in product engineering, our approach reduces risk, drives predictable outcomes and enables enterprises to extract maximum value from their platform investments.
Interested in taking a deeper dive? Download this white paper:
Smart Integration, an Essential Building Block for Digital Platforms
In this white paper, we explore the increasing role of integration in today’s platform-led economy and various integration types – and provide a deep-dive into challenges and best practices.