Come on now. This day and age, you business leaders are still beholden to your IT organization. You are the cleverest business person you know. You have successfully negotiated the biggest acquisition in the history of your company. Besides that, you are on the leading edge with all the latest innovations in video, phone, and personal computer and tablet technology. You even rigged up a sensor to notify you when the bird feeder in your yard is empty. How can you not be frustrated that you just can’t seem to feel as confident about your IT infrastructure?
There are a number of reasons why some corporate IT tools and infrastructure have lagged generations behind the advances of consumer technologies, but that’s for another blog. The important message here is that finally, the next generation integration platforms have matured and are ready to turn the ship. Change has been incredibly difficult, and large companies, in particular, have been unable to respond quickly to opportunities because IT could not keep up. We have reached a point where those that adopt agile integration software will have a clear competitive advantage. We are seeing that transformation take place, and not at the speed of classic IT. At the speed of change.
I heard at a recent Gartner conference, the keynote speaker announcing that with the new imperatives of agility and supporting the “Nexus” of data integration demands, the Big Players will be DOA (“Dead on Arrival”). You must take charge and get on board with the next generation, even though you are faced with resistance from people whose IT knowledge may intimidate you.
How can you tell if it’s time to take up agility?
1. Not everyone is working off of the same numbers
2. Long wait times to get access to new data that you need
3. Manpower costs for building integration are exorbitant
4. More than 40% of the costs of new projects are for integration and data access
5. Data you get is not up-to-the-minute
6. You have business processes that are highly manpower-intensive
7. Your partners and customers are not getting information as fast and in the forms they would like
8. You may be moving forward with Cloud, Big Data, others, but the rest of the IT team can’t keep up with the demands of everyday project work
One tell-tale sign is that the data warehouse is the center of the universe, but is less than agile. Data warehouse is good for historic data, but not for real-time or close to live data. It’s taking an extra step in the storage process that requires the data to be staged when it’s needed.
How can you get the ship turning? Institute just a couple of new guidelines:
“All new integration must:
1. Leverage Agile Integration Software
2. Use Virtual Data Federation wherever data needs to be combined across more than one data source
3. Use Data Virtualization for all “on-demand” integration (proactively asking for data when you need it so you can get live data from the sources as opposed to getting stale data)
You will be met with resistance from all sides, but you will gain strong supporters quickly after the first jack-rabbit projects come in ahead of time and below budget. There are plenty of causes of resistance:
- The Big Vendors are always a safe choice
- Fear of change; stubbornness; laziness about learning new things
- There is a relationship between how much time it takes for consultants to do something and the amount of money they earn
- Anything new is up for more scrutiny than going with the tried and slow
And you can certainly augment the list in the context of your business.
The promises of Agile Integration Software like Enterprise Enabler are real and are being realized in many companies. The technology is definitely Enterprise-Ready, and not to be relegated to small projects with small potential benefits.
Do yourself and your company a favor. Take the plunge. Stare down fear with the guts that got you here in the first place.