Are you having a hard time keeping up with the pace on the introduction of the cloud, users that want to go mobile, project sites that have stopped using your traditional databases and moved out to the cloud? Too bad for you, but if it is of any comfort, you are not alone; and there is a way to get out of there.
If you ought to summarize the last 10 years in IT you would probably, like myself, have somewhere on your top 5 list the word change. Changes are of course something that is not IT unique. We see it in every business where lifecycles of products is getting shorter which makes the time we have to develop products shorter. We seem to have a never ending demand of experiencing new emotions driven by mobile phones or any kind of new devices and accessories. Change is a good thing and without change life would of course be boring and probably most of us wouldn’t have a job either. With Change constantly happening like in IT and you never really have time to finish what you are currently up to before a new thing is on the arise. Maybe you start to dream about that the evolution of IT should stop for at least a couple of years so that we get the time we so well deserve to clean up what we have today and start all over again. With all the wisdom we have collected during the “wild years”. Unfortunately this could only happen in our dreams…
But maybe there is another way to get out of the feeling of chasing techniques and never really reach the finish line until the next version is knocking at the door. Instead of setting focus on the devices or whatever the new hot thing is, you should change focus and aim for a goal that you can reach with a reasonable amount of investment.
Think about it; How many different types of E-commerce solutions, PC’s, mobile devices have been around for the last decade? I have lost count and a few years ago my webhosting company sold me application hosting and now they are suddenly in the cloud; I don’t know how that happened there! But think again and remind yourself what have happened to the information? An order, customer or a product look pretty much the same as it did 10 years ago from an Information perspective. You would probably say that not very much have happened there, a few more attributes on the product, maybe geo position is added to your customer if you are a company in time and working with location analytics. But it isn’t that dramatic change in Information compared to what my mobile phone can do today and what it did 10 years ago.
This is really good news for all of us because if we start to think that information matters and information is moving in a pace so that we can actually follow the changes and maybe even be a bit proactive. Then we can suddenly feel a little bit better and start to think that there is at least one area that I am in control of. So now we are in control! Think a little bit further and create an imaginary world where you also have connected the enterprise business entities into well-defined and communicated interfaces and services. Then yet again the world looks better because in that imaginary world you have built a foundation where you can meet the evolution in devices and technique by looking at interfaces and information flows rather than fixing thing based on project demands and your services interfaces will most probably live much longer than the device that is currently consuming it. If we are honest to ourselves, not so much have happened the last 15 years when we are looking at integration. Of course the possibilities increased dramatically with the introduction of XML at the end of the 90’s and with the use of integration middleware like Tibco, BizTalk and others. But those who did focus on Information and integration in the beginning of 2000 have been well prepared to support the technical evolution during this time. Because what happened from an integration perspective is that we went from XML-RPC to SOAP and for the last years we see REST-services and JSON-structured data being very popular especially on the web for mobile devices. But if you are on a modern integration platform it doesn’t really care if the information is presented in JSON or Xml or any other formats for that sake. It is still the same old information.
So what do we do then? In a world in a rapid change you need to have a plan! We know that we cannot stop the world from evolving so you will not get very far by trying to stop Google, Apple and Salesforce from providing us with new exciting devices and services. We need to put focus on something that is under our control. We know that we at least can affect our own organization even if it takes a little longer time in some organizations due to size or other factors but it is for sure possible. By finding the right ambassadors and by starting to implement the new thinking of information and integration and how it can make your IT productive and give great value to your organization you will see that you will sleep better at night. Find the low hanging fruit in your company to gain trust and qualify the plan we just worked out. By finding the low hanging fruit that delivers value you will be lifted by success stories rather than pontifications and enforcing standards that cannot be linked by the business to business opportunities. Just make sure your first low hanging fruit is achievable…
By working information and integration closely together you will be better prepared when your colleagues wants to go mobile or move a module out to the cloud because you will now work with identifying what need of information the piece of functionality that you are moving requires and map the information need to your Enterprise services.
iBiz Solutions Integration Framework provides a methodology and framework that gives you a jump start to be more prepared for a world in a rapid change. Integration Framework addresses both architecture and tools on how your information integrates into your IT-landscape. It also gives support for strategic planning for coming opportunities with city planning that makes it easier to manage the information flows in your organization. Important aspects as the governance of SOA-services and how integration patterns links to information in your organization are also covered by Integration Framework.
So let’s start to meet the techniques that are a changing with a stable foundation built on Information and integration and a plan to put them together with the help of Integration Framework.