October 5, 2012
If your organization is like nearly every other one I've talked to in the past 20+ years, you have a spaghetti chart of integration connections between all the siloed applications that run your business. Your customer is fractured across five applications. Your fulfillment process is broken across eight applications. Just try to pull together the data necessary to tell how profitable one of your products is. Or, as you implement mobile, external APIs, custom B2B connections, and more, how will you provide consistent, coherent access to your transactions and data?
- Traditional EAI reinforces silos and slows business change. Starting in the mid 1990s, traditional enterprise application integration (EAI) established a frame of reference for integration: Leave all the silos alone, and design technical integration flows to push data around behind the scenes to keep it all in sync. All of your users will still use the native user interfaces (UIs) of your off-the-shelf and custom apps — and most users will have to switch between several UIs to get their work done. When your business changes, you have a mass or rewiring to do to realign all your one-off integration flows. This is a technology-centered approach to the problem and it is, shall we say, less than optimal in today's rapidly changing business world.
- Business agility needs business building blocks. When your business changes, businesspeople think about it in terms of new and changed transactions, user roles, business data, processes, audit controls, analysis requirements, and the like. We call these "business building blocks," and the problem with traditional integration is that it centers instead on technical building blocks, leaving the implementation of your business broken across all your silos.
- Digital business design sets a new mindset and design model for integration. There's a better way, but the problem is that the traditional EAI mindset is so deeply ingrained in industry discussions that few people can see the better way. Digital business design puts a business mindset front and center, establishing an integrated, holistic design model for your business building blocks and guiding your use of integration technologies to build them. By setting a new mindset, we aim to help people break free from the strictures of traditional integration and focus on their business.
- The Future Of Solution Architecture: Six Business Design Focal Points
- Architect For The Next Digital Decade