At Visual Integrator Consulting, we have the pleasure of working with Fortune 2000 companies on integration projects and building in-house capabilities for integration and digital transformation.
One of the companies we recently worked with perfectly illustrates why so many enterprises today need an integration center of excellence (ICoE), also known as an integration competency center (ICC).
This company had some strong talent in its IT department, but it was treating each integration project as a blank-slate endeavor. Developers would start coding more or less from scratch, then discover they had overlooked a requirement such as security or monitoring and have to start over again, incorporating guidelines from another department. Progress was always “one step forward, three steps sideways.”
This ad hoc approach made integration work expensive and unpredictable. The development team had difficulty estimating how long projects would take. Estimates were usually off, sometimes significantly.
The team was losing credibility internally, and integration work simply wasn’t getting done at the pace that the business required. That’s the “before” picture.
Here’s the “after” picture:
The IT department is now able to easily spin up the integrations that business units request, within agreed-upon timeframes. Teams are more collaborative and efficient. Overall, the organization is more agile and more effective.
That’s the difference an integration center of excellence can make.
This company offers a glimpse of the benefits that an ICoE can deliver. Here’s a more complete list:
If you assemble the right team, create a roadmap, tackle some short-term projects and continue down the various development paths in your integration roadmap, you’ll eventually reach a point where everything works like a well-oiled machine.
If an integration project follows the best practices and tools provided by your integration center of excellence, your IT teams and business users can be confident they are building integrations the right way. And they can work faster, by having a central resource that can quickly educate them, guide them it makes sense for the business, was built well, and tested and deployed efficiently.
You now have the right integrations built by the right subject matter experts, built the right way and delivered on schedule. You’ve changed integration from a perfunctory requirement into something truly excellent. What enterprise wouldn’t want to do that?
About the author: Jordan Braunstein is chief technology officer and co-founder of Visual Integrator Consulting.
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