How to maximise the potential of systems integration
Integration is best characterised as the glue that binds systems within an organisation, allowing "quality" data to flow seamlessly across platforms, functions, teams and geographical locations.
Unfortunately, it is often a poorly understood aspect of finance change transformations. Frequently disregarded during the initial analysis and design phases of a project, which usually causes projects to derail at the critical end stages when the focus should be on testing and transition activities.
Typically, most organisations extensive portfolio of manual, semi-automated and automated solutions across a myriad of applications and stakeholders, create a complex change environment. Meticulous strategic planning is paramount in developing solutions which meet the project and overall corporate objectives.
Here is how you can ensure the great promise of #SystemsIntegration is achieved and maximised to its full potential.
Integration capabilities and needs should be considered at the early phases of a project, whether assessing software capabilities as part of an RFP or as part of a detailed business analysis when capturing AS-IS and TO-BE processes.
Create a sound integration plan with distinct alignment to the I.T. and operations departments target operating models.
Know your landscape
Investing time in mapping and understanding the organisation's systems topology and how applications interact: these steps open the pathway to identifying what's possible, based on the limitations or opportunities provided by the upstream and downstream systems infrastructure.
Understand the capability
Looking for leading edge solutions in an immature IT function or manual infrastructure is often a false economy. Developing the right integration solutions does not always mean the most technically advanced.
Plug and Play
Decoupling functionality and hard coded integration across platforms allows for the software ecosystem to be updated more easily across specific components. For example by using interconnectors and messaging hubs allows for new platforms to be integrated more easily, without having to unpick legacy systems and develop new solutions.