Integration platforms for digital business transformation

Johannesburg, 19 Aug 2020
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Systems integration is the keystone for digital transformation. Without it, a company cannot successfully unify its data, processes and systems to create the agile and informative business systems that modern companies rely on. Yet integration is also a gateway to complexity and other barriers, and without the right use cases, can often sink a digital strategy. This is why using an established integration consultancy is instrumental in realising a successful digital business.

According to Reportlinker, the global systems integration market will surpass USD 582.5 billion within five years, which illustrates how important integration is for digital transformation strategies. Many different factors are feeding into this trend, such as the growing popularity of cloud computing and demand for virtualisation.

Yet the most profound interest is emerging among business users, said Leonard Solomyak, Principal Software Engineer at mWtech: "Companies want to do certain things they see work well in the market. These can include automation, unifying business processes, leveraging artificial intelligence or creating better supply chain visibility. What they all have in common is data. If you can consolidate and streamline data in an organisation, then you can start creating real digital transformation. And the way to get that right is through integration.”

Integration is about data as well as connecting the various systems in an organisation. One of the most popular examples is connecting legacy systems to newer platforms via APIs. There are also the emerging advanced uses, such as integrating network services from a LAN, WAN or the Web into software applications. Motivations for integration range from sweating legacy systems to taking advantage of new cloud features. The many applications for integration expand every day, explaining its meteoric growth.

But, get integration wrong, and it all comes apart at the seams. Estimates vary on how often integration projects fail, partly because integration can be anything from establishing a minor relationship to building a complex web of cohabiting systems and data sources. The risks rise considerably depending on the scope and complexity of the systems involved. This is why integration projects must always have a clear use case to define their purpose.

"We see a lot of enthusiasm for integration because the value you get out of it is not hard to understand," said Solomyak. "But unless there are use cases by which to frame the project, you can run into a lot of problems. I'd compare it to the old switchboard telephone operators used decades ago. These are a mess of wires and holes to plug them into. If you know how, why and when to connect callers, it's easy to manage. But if you don't, then it's just a bunch of wires and a lot of frustrated callers."

A use case not only defines expectations but lays the groundwork for what the integration requires. Typical barriers include no flexible connectivity, a lack of suitable adapters between systems, or cumbersome maintenance and configuration of the integration platforms. For this reason, it's also not enough to only use an integration platform. Integration requires many pieces to align, often from different vendors. This is why using a trusted integration consultancy is key to experiencing digital transformation success.

"Integration can be made complicated if the components are not built on the right functions or services, or the wrong products are used for the job. Issues also arise from slow networks and even company policies. To get integration right, you need to address all these elements and other surprises."

mWtech, aka middleware technologies, specialises in creating integration strategies for its clients. We look at technical requirements, options in the market, and organisational hurdles, based on our customers' use cases. Unlike most integration approaches that try to shoehorn projects into specific platforms or vendor moulds, we take a scalable business-first approach with sensitivity towards cost and outcomes, and collaborate to build the best integration strategies for on-premises and cloud alike.

Professional integration services understand the IT applications and infrastructure, and have a good working knowledge of available integration platforms. We design and implement the integration nodes, mashups, and APIs between the business domains in the organisations, as well as install and maintain the integration products and platforms.

At mWtech, our services include:

  • Architecture consulting;
  • IT modernisation;
  • Enterprise transactions and SOA enablement;
  • Enterprise and partners integration;
  • Operations and support;
  • End-to-end solutions and services across the entire IT value chain;
  • Independent advisor leveraging the existing organisation IT assets; and
  • Experience working with product R&D.

We can gain a deep understanding of complex applications fast, and isolate proven business logic into re-usable components. We identify and harvest business rules to support BPM initiatives and provide a unified view of enterprise data to streamline decision-making. Our experience enables us to accelerate the delivery of new Web applications in just a few days or weeks and connect diverse technologies without disrupting systems.

The very success and performance of your digital transformation hinge on successful integration. It's the glue that holds your digital business together, from legacy systems to cloud services to DevOps to predictive analytics. As the office becomes more decentralised and remote working is creating the 'human cloud', integration is more critical than ever for modern companies.

Don't cripple your digital transformation before it can even get started. Choose your use case, talk to mWtech, and let us help build your digitally powered business.