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The Year of the Integration Competency Center (ICC)

The cover story on the March 8th issue of Computerworld is “Swinging Toward Centralization”. It talks about the pendulum moving toward IT consolidation as organizations strive to save money and improve controls. This article is not alone. A growing number of analysts are talking about consolidation, Lean IT practices, and taking “a production line approach to integration”.  When you combine all this rhetoric with the industry fundamentals, the stage is set for 2010 to The Year of the ICC.

By this I mean that 2010 will be the year when the pace of Integration Competency Center implementations picks up speed and we end the year with a majority of large organizations having one or more competency centers (or COE’s).  Gartner predicted this back in 2006, and the industry is on track to prove the prediction right.

The Computerworld article goes on to say that “37% of 312 respondents said that it’s likely that their IT units will become more centralized in the next 12 months.” A recent independent research (1) report notes “…application development professionals and enterprise architects should consolidate their skilled application, process, and data integration resources into a cross-enterprise shared services organization that will deliver faster, more economical integration solutions to support cross-enterprise needs.”

The other reasons that I believe 2010 will be the Year of the ICC include:

  1. While the recession is “technically” over, IT organizations are not out of the woods and the pressure to contain costs is as high as ever.
  2. The macro trends of globalization, rapid growth through acquisition, increased regulatory requirements, and proactive risk management are continuing unabated.
  3. The proliferation (explosion in some cases) of data has reached a critical level in many enterprises whereby the costs and risks of unmanaged information silos demands immediate attention and can’t be deferred to future years.
  4. The Lean Integration book (see www.integrationfactory.com) will be published next month. This is yet another example of the growing body of knowledge in the industry for how to effectively, and successfully, implement an ICC.
  5. The Informatica 9 Platform provides a step-function increase in capability which enables organizations to dramatically enhance and simplify their integration infrastructure.
  6. Professional services organizations such as Informatica, Accenture, Wipro, HP, and Teradata offer a broad range of services based on leading practices.

Items 1-3 explain WHY organizations need an ICC and items 4-6 show HOW to successfully implement an enterprise-wide integration strategy. 2010 is a “perfect storm” of motive and means which is why this will be The Year of the ICC.

Notes: (1)  “Update: Evaluating Integration Alternatives,” Forrester Research, Inc., January, 2010

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