What we help with, for end-to-end integration
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Our approach to integration
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- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications
- Legacy and mainframe applications
- Customers and partners across our value chain and ecosystem
- Mobile apps and user experience platforms
- IoT devices (e.g., sensors, factory floor, medical devices, etc.)
- Data lakes, disparate cloud data sources, data warehouses
- Automation across diverse apps and user experiences
- On-premise and Cloud Applications
- SaaS app integration patterns and limitations
- Cloud integration technologies
- On-prem to SaaS Migration
- Legacy replacement and data migration to SaaS
- Hybrid Integration Strategy
- Empowering citizen integrators
- Integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) products
- API management platforms
- SnapLogic, MuleSoft, Boomi, and more
What is system integration?
System integration involves connecting multiple cloud-based and on-premise systems into a single, cohesive unit in order to improve operational efficiency and enhance functionality, often as part of a larger digital transformation initiative.
Many enterprises, however, simply don’t have the capacity to integrate all their legacy systems, leading them to rely on a modern hybrid integration platform model to accomplish these objectives. An integration platform provides the fundamental building blocks and components needed to undertake the integration process.
Enterprises are shifting to hybrid infrastructures – combinations of on-premise plus public, private cloud and multi-cloud resources. Seamless integration is essential if they are to reap the benefits of cost, speed and scale. Moving to integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) and cloud native technologies from enterprise service bus (ESB) software and webservices, for example, will have a profound effect on return on investment.
How can application integration help your business?
Enterprises operating in the digital economy are collecting, storing and managing enormous amounts of data. Many of them, however, don’t have the infrastructure in place to effectively access each data source and leverage their business intelligence for maximum value.
One of the ways integrated applications help your business is that they facilitate seamless, frictionless data exchange and accessibility across all systems, teams and departments within the enterprise. Application integration unites and enhances data flows between multiple software applications. Businesses often use application integration to connect new cloud applications and legacy applications, enabling a wide range of independently designed applications to work together.
What is the purpose of system integration?
System integration enables enterprises to connect different systems and provide greater cohesiveness across their entire computing and programming architecture. In many cases, the ultimate purpose of system integration is to break down data silos and facilitate easier and more seamless data exchange between different teams, departments and systems.
There are numerous benefits organizations gain by integrating their systems. It gives users complete oversight of all company and customer data, enabling more effective and accurate data analysis and giving employees ready access to data when they need it.
System integration also automates numerous processes, particularly as they relate to data exchange. This drastically reduces the possibility of human error, minimizing mistakes and creating more accurate outcomes for both employees and customers.
How do you do system integration?
Integration is no longer solely about enabling and improving internal processes and interoperability. It is essential to enable companies to evolve into extended enterprises, offering services, products and solutions to customers as part of an ecosystem.
System integration is a multi-step process that requires input and buy-in from numerous teams, spanning many levels of the organization. At the beginning, is an extensive planning stage. Executives must assess their entire organization and identify systems that would be enhanced and optimized through system integration. A roadmap helps make the business case for integration transformation overall, as well as in specific instances, by mapping business capabilities to integration components.
It’s also important to gather information about individual team requirements to make better decisions about the type of software that’s needed to facilitate integration. From there, the enterprise must either develop or buy the software needed to meet its integration objectives and fulfill the requirements of all teams.
Once the software has been developed or installed, organizations can begin implementing their solution, rolling out the software and training employees on how to use it optimally. Ongoing maintenance will ensure the system is working appropriately and consistently meeting the objectives of the organization.
What are the challenges in applying application integration?
The main challenge enterprises face when integrating their application ecosystem is the complexity of the process required to accomplish it successfully. Enterprises must undergo an extended period of planning and preparation to identify the systems and processes that require integration, involving stakeholders throughout the organization to understand needs and set expectations.
Another challenge is the ability to manage data, processes, and applications at scale. Enterprises need to have a robust infrastructure consisting of appropriate governance protocols and procedures to handle different types of data. Without a governance system, enterprises can suffer data inconsistencies, data loss and even security breaches. These can combine to harm the customer experience and ultimately damage the long-term success of the business.
Many enterprises don’t fully appreciate that application integration is an ongoing process; new data, processes and applications are constantly being created, and that means they need to be properly integrated into the larger infrastructure.
What are the methods of system integration?
The four principal methods of system integration are:
- Vertical integration: Refers to the integration of a variety of subsystems into a vertical silo to optimize processing in one area. The sub-systems in these silos operate independently, without any communication with other silos.
- Horizontal integration: Involves the specialization of a single subsystem to serve as the common interface between all other subsystems. In contrast to vertical system integration, the horizontal method’s purpose is to allow communication between subsystems. This was done by creating an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) technology in the past.
- Point-to-point integration: A highly localized form of integration involving the connection of two disparate systems to optimize the performance of each. With a point-to-point connection, data is extracted from one system, modified or formatted, and then sent to another system.
- Common data format: Data is converted into a shared format all systems can interpret. It’s most commonly used by enterprise application integration systems.
What are some common types of application integration?
The most common types of application integration are bus, hub and spoke, and point to point:
- Enterprise service bus (ESB) integration: All applications adhere to a standardized set of rules and workflows, facilitating seamless integration.
- Hub-and-spoke integration: Enterprise applications are not connected directly to one another. Instead, they are connected to a central source where data is accessed, and requests are carried out.
- Point-to-point integration: This is the simplest form of integration and involves using middleware to connect a single application to one or more enterprise applications.
- iPaaS: iPaaS, or integration Platform as a Service, is a set of a cloud-based automated tools that integrate your data, applications, and processes deployed in different environments making it easier to automate business processes and share data across applications.
- Hybrid Integration: The ‘hybrid’ describes the essential co-existence of legacy and modern integration technologies as part of digital transformation. Through hybrid integration, you can integrate cloud-bases services and applications with your on-premises systems and applications, and both can co-exist.
Why is system integration important?
Done correctly, integration ensures business outcomes are greater than the sum of the smoothly interoperable parts. Done badly, it becomes an inhibitor, preventing the recycling and reuse of IT building blocks, and stopping internal capabilities from being consumed by external – and possibly even internal – parties.
System integration is important because it enables businesses to eliminate excess redundancies from their operational processes, allowing them to become leaner and better adaptable to change while creating greater consistency between cloud, on-premise, and multi-cloud systems.
This is critical in the modern business environment. Modern businesses operate numerous —different systems to optimize specific processes. Most of those tools and solutions are developed independently, and until recently, their development far outpaced the emergence of solutions like the system integration platform to facilitate integration.
However, the modern economy is fast-paced and in a constant state of change and unpredictability, meaning businesses must accelerate their digital transformation to stay agile and flexible to be able to adapt quickly to changing market conditions.
What makes application integration effective?
Application integration is a coordinated, multi-faceted plan to move the entire organization towards desired business outcomes. Application integration is effective when it consumes a minimal amount of the enterprise’s resources, maximizing time to value while minimizing downtime. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to empower employees to spearhead application integration as their own initiative.
Equipping citizen integrators with low-code or no-code tools lets them easily integrate applications without direct management oversight putting the initiative in the hands of those who will benefit most from their integrated applications.
End users tend to be the ones closest to your enterprise’s applications, meaning they’re best able to determine which integration configurations will most benefit processes and operations, making the entire process more efficient and eliminating potential missteps.
Want to learn more about Torry Harris’s application integration & system integration services? Reach out to our team today, and get started.