Data Integration Drives Organizational Changes
I was recently struck by a job listing entitled Head of Integration Excellence. “The Integration Excellence function is responsible for managing the integration platforms and associated capabilities that support the AstraZeneca application estate, ensuring effective systems and service integration of new solutions into that estate. Integration Excellence covers the domains of Application Integration (A2A and B2B), Data Integration, Data Management and Data Exploitation. The function will provide world class capability and use standard methodologies to ensure applications and data are integrated into the AZ landscape in an effective manner. The function will help formulate and underpin the Information Integration Strategy in conjunction with Customer Facing and Technology Services teams.”
These job listings are signs of the times. As enterprises begin to understand the strategic need for an integration approach and technology solution, they build specialized organizations and provide piles of funding.
Enterprises now make this investment for the following reasons:
- The rise of cloud computing creates new silos of data that cause concern in enterprises. Most cloud deployments lack a sound data integration strategy, and now enterprises are doubling back in an attempt to correct this problem.
- The rise of data analytics as a strategic business tool provides new opportunities. With predictive analytics, business can make some very powerful uses of data, although the data existing in silos needs to be culled through as well. Data integration is table stakes, in terms of the effective use of enterprise data.
- Operational data needs are becoming more important. Customers, for instance, don’t like entering data twice to support systems that have not been integrated. Employees are also sensitive about the lack of data integration to support business operations, including dealing with inconsistent data and lacking a single source of truth.
The data integration issue has gotten so much attention that enterprises are changing their organizations and hiring leaders to deal with the problem. The most forward-thinking leaders are not just meeting the data integration expectations of the organization, but looking at data integration for what it is; an approach and technology that can create a great deal of value for the business.
Not all enterprises have bought into this new world order. Many must deal with integration as an afterthought, and use one-off technologies and programming to solve the problems. They will end up spending much more money and neglect the value drivers at the end of the day, and won’t understand why things are getting worse when their competition is getting more traction in the marketplace.
Integration is just good business. This strategic advantage has been a trend for the last 10 years, and has increased in the last 2 years. This trend will only accelerate. The cloud and the strategic use of data are the obvious motivators here.
So, do you have a strategy? Are you willing to change the organization around the use of data integration technology, and more holistic approaches to data integration? If you are, you’re not alone, and you’re likely to see value from those efforts.