Enterprise Integration: the nervous system of the modern enterprise
What is Enterprise Integration?
Enterprise Integration unites business applications, data, processes, and devices across the whole IT ecosystem allowing organizations to react against rapidly fluctuating business needs to become more responsive and agile. It takes a holistic approach to solve integration challenges by merging the separate data and application integration disciplines, into one combined effort with a single governance model.
Organizations can connect customers, employees, and partners to all applications, processes, systems and other technologies that drive the business with Enterprise Integration.
Enterprise Integration is a Today Priority
Digital Transformation has made connecting and integrating data quickly become a priority for most organizations. The abundance of Business Data, coming from new complex sources (cloud services, sensors, devices, events), has a Value that companies need to capture effectively. Such data volume and its integration, if not properly managed, are one of the main reasons for the failure of Digital Transformation initiatives.
In fact, companies are often disconnected from the data that helps them understand what’s happening with customers, partners, and employees, so projects are slowed down or derailed by integration challenges.
Where do you start?
The heart of the digital transformation is data. But today, data and processes are highly fragmented and live in multiple systems and applications, which ultimately makes unlocking data an intricate task. Without the ability to integrate and unify data expeditiously, you can’t deliver the connected experiences according to your customers’ demands.
Just like the human body needs the nervous system to distribute signals throughout, every organization requires a network capable of sharing or transferring data through all the heterogeneous systems of their landscapes in a reliable way. Enterprise Integration acts as a nervous system for the organizations enhancing communication and transfer of data.
Integration Platform as a Service (IPaas)
Gartner defines the Enterprise Nervous System (ENS) as an intelligent network that provides unifying connectivity among people, application systems, and devices in different locations and business units across a virtual enterprise.
The incipient ENS is an evolution of the traditional enterprise network since providing value-added functions elevates the network’s role well beyond that of plain communication. Whereas a conventional network simply aims to transfer data between sending application systems and explicitly defined destinations, an ENS offloads work from the application systems because it:
- Offers enhanced quality-of-service for communication
- Transforms messages
- Redirects messages as appropriate, using logical business rules
- May track and control business processes
To provide such capabilities, an ENS must be characterized by a tool that, enabling integration technologies, can carry out all the integrations, translations, and routings among systems that have to interact with each other: an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). The ESB serves and connects the central data centers of the network, similar to the collections of neurons that access the memory center of the human brain.
Integration technologies have traditionally formed the nervous system of large enterprises, connecting systems, and moving data. But the human nervous system doesn’t just link and sense; it also acts on data in real-time.
In some ways, an ENS is a reflection of the rise of new data-handling models and technologies that promote much more sophisticated and modern IT systems with the ability to handle more data, deliver more computing power, and support decision making in innovative ways.
In addition to the ESB, creating an ENS model requires additional tools that make access to data and functionalities easier and more secure with respect to old integration technologies. One example is the use of an Application Programming Interface (API). APIs, unlocking data access, are becoming more critical since it is possible to generate value via API monetization through APIs. But having APIs is almost useless if they are not properly managed and governed. For this reason, tools for the complete lifecycle API Management (analysis, design, implementation, deploy, management) represent one of the building blocks of the integration landscape.
Considering the relevance of ENS adoptions, organizations are looking at solutions to enable both the ESB and the API Management capabilities. In particular, considering the Digital Transformation Journey that most of them have started during these years, they are looking at cloud-based platforms that can also have an on-premises runtime (also called hybrid deployment), able to provide such capabilities as “services”: the Integration Platform as a Service (IPaas).
Gartner marks them out as a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution, and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data, within individuals or across multiple organizations.
How we can help
At Syscons, we can help you lay the integration foundation of your Digital Transformation Journey. Through our Integration Competence Center and Integration Packaged Solution, we support you in designing, implementing, and maintaining your Integration Landscape on the best in class iPaas and API Management products.
You focus on the Business Value of the digital ecosystem, and we take care of the Technology to enable it.