Some of the benefits of integrated technology and business processes have become familiar enough that we probably don't even notice--or at least we don't think about--the complexity and effort that was involved in making them happen. Buy a plane ticket, and you expect to be able to rent a car and reserve a hotel without going to three different Web sites. I go to Amazon.com to buy a CD or a book for a friend, and I can also check to see if Toys "R" Us has the new Barbie my daughter has been asking for without leaving the site. This all seems normal to me. But when someone goes to a hospital where patient history isn't linked with pharmaceutical information and the wrong drug is dispensed, well, then integration moves from convenience to a matter of life and death.
I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but the need for better integration in many industries is rising. But more often than not, the answer isn't simply linking together data, systems, applications, and people, or hiring a systems-integration firm. Rather, it requires building a framework to tie together all of those strategies. In this week's issue, we bring you numerous stories on the many facets of integration. We hope you'll walk away more knowledgeable about the benefits, the pitfalls, the challenges, and other lessons learned by those in the thick of it. But in case you need a cheat sheet, here are a few things you'll learn:
1. Don't worry about the terms--EAI, EII, e-i-e-i-o.
2. Create a framework and vision for what you want to accomplish.
3. Don't just look at the data and technological problems; factor in the business processes.
4. Study the experiences of others. (The banking industry has learned a few things after a decade of mergers and acquisitions!)
5. Sell your plan to the business.
6. Get employees to buy in.
7. Find the technologies and service providers who can help you succeed.
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps ReportThe DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.