Digital Integration Strategy Canvas
When it comes to defining your own Digital Integration platform, it’s always hard to scope your studies. Here’s a canvas to begin.
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In my article about the state of Integration in 2018, I gave a look at topics to watch, as the era of hybrid integration, multi-cloud, and many underlying technologies. This integration stack, which is to be built by yourself, requires framing studies to know how to articulate its stack. So I propose to you my pre-study canvas of digital integration choice.
This canvas is structured around four main axes:
- The business strategy, because any architectural study should start with a why.
- The user strategy, because it is a question here of bringing integration to a large number of types of users
- IT strategy, Do I need to justify?
- And the cloud strategy, because it has a strong impact on architecture and solution choices.
- Which needs?
- Obviously, we start with business needs and business strategy. The two big questions to ask are what and when? These are the two questions that will draw the rest from your study. You are also free to challenge this strategy because the culture of integration of business managers is not always at the same level as yours. This is an opportunity to talk to them about what can be done and explain that it can be done simply and quickly.
- Speed of evolvements
- Another question to ask is how rapid developments are likely to be and how radical these changes can be. Translated into a business context, you can ask if the competition is fierce, if they are sure of what they should do, and if the company is evolving in a changing political and/or legal context. If you get at least one yes, you're going to have to be very agile.
- Devops and agility maturity
- You can define an extremely industrialized, automated integration stack, allowing you to go very fast, but if you don't have the agility and devops culture, making radical changes would be like putting a ferrari in the hands of a young driver. You may not know how to use it well. In this case, you might as well go step by step, gradually, so that everything is in place.
- Digital maturity
- Well, with a new Integration Stack, you'll be able to propose APIs to many different personas like Project Leaders, Devs, and maybe some business users. The same way with iSaaS solutions, you'll give Integration to everyone, or not. And what about Data Science users? We are talking to Data Citizens, do you think you'll be able to get some Data Citizens in your organization?
- Flows and apps map
- Well, you'll have to know what are the flows you have right now. You want to find bottlenecks, flows that should be improved to deliver more values, and you'll need to know which applications are involved. And of course what the future of your flows could look like.
- Data map
- Where are your datas? Are the same relative datas in different applications? Will you have to replicate some? And what about resolving issues with some integration tools?
- Infrastructure strategy
- Mmm, it's a good point that needs to be seen. Obviously, everybody goes to the cloud. If people are saying to you no, or "it would be difficult", it will just sounds like what I've heard many years ago "It's too hard to go to Vmware". Saying that, some iPaaS solutions are pretty good if you need on-premise to cloud Integration. So no excuse please!
- SaaS strategy
- Are you into let's go the SaaS for anything? It's not a "Buy vs. Build" debate, it's a "Deploy it on-premise or on cloud" debate. It's the same way for Infrastructure strategy, don't say it's too hard, please!
And you? What are your areas of study for framing an integration strategy?
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