Monday, May 17, 2010

Is "Agile Integration" an Oxymoron?

Most people would agree that "Agile Integration" is an oxymoron. The heavy footprint, heavy customization, and huge amounts of interdependence across an integrated enterprise absolutely negate the possibility of Agility! But we discuss Agile Enterprises as if you could instantly have an intelligent SOA implementation that detects and adjusts to business changes, maybe even anticipating the evolution of the business. What are we talking about, anyway? All the SOA initiatives I've heard about are isolated subsets of business solutions that impose the web services environment (which takes lots of design, development, and definitely anticipation of everything you will want to do in the future). The "agility" offered is limited to a specific, known set of options.

If we want to reflect the Agility that business wants and needs in this age of merger, acquisition, and increasing regulation, we need to be able to almost instantly support the underlying infrastructure implications. Buy a company and you buy a new ERP that manages and records that business. What can you do to absorb the new business? Switch them to your SAP system? Even if that would make your company Agile, you'll be frozen in place for minimum a year or two working to get them up. That's the only way many people, companies, and consultants can think about to achieve that objective. If you buy lots of companies and perhaps sell them again, you MUST be able to very quickly get the key information aligned and the systems sharing appropriate information.

And how can you ever get the latest live information to dashboards instantly, when it comes from a multitude of sources and it needs to be transformed and aligned in order to make sense? Pulling it together via a staging database simply doesn't cut it.

Agility is essential, but it's simply not achievable with the classic approaches to integration.

Agility will only come with a complete mind shift that reinvents the essence of integration. Stone Bond Technologies thinks about integration totally differently with its Enterprise Enabler system. By automating every step along the way and generating the run-time components behind the scenes, the time to implement and maintain an integration is reduced by up to 90%. I know, "90% - you are either crazy or lying!" Well, hear me out a bit. We really do have an off-the shelf product that is the product of 100+ man years of development and is built on a new paradigm. I'll discuss the fundamentals of it in the coming entries.

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