Barbara Babati 24.01.2018 8 min read

5 Tips for a Future-ready Data Integration Strategy

It is time to have a state-of-art data integration strategy – so start creating one or adjust the existing one to better reflect on your digitalization goals.

Data and system integration has always been a challenge for enterprises, however, the growing amount of systems and applications you must connect with has been increasing rapidly and so does the volume of data flowing through different stakeholders. An integration strategy needs to focus on overcoming the complexity of the system and application integration challenge to ensure the seamless and real-time flow of information across all relevant stakeholders.

Data integration today is a bit like the internet – you don’t necessarily realize it’s there, but when it’s gone everyone loses their mind. Utilizing an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) can have a significant impact on your integration strategy. We will give you a few tips to include in your strategy to improve your operations and processes.

1. Develop a data governance approach

MDM Institute defined data governance as:

“The formal orchestration of people, processes, and technology to enable an organization to leverage data as an enterprise asset.”

To utilize the full value of the data you need to develop an approach in which you include and prioritize data quality, data management, business process management, and risk management. Meanwhile, the Chief Digitalization Officer needs to ensure that the entire organization is aligned with the approach and you have the best possible technology for your data governance initiatives.

It helps to improve operational processes and ensures that the right data in the right format is always available to the right stakeholders at the right time.

2. Understanding key emerging data integration trends

There are a few key factors to keep in mind. Currently, trends have shown us that everything is moving towards the cloud – however, just yet it does not make sense to rush to move everything to the cloud. It would be too radical. However, you want to start the migration slowly – and you also want to be able to better connect on-premise and cloud systems and applications.

You are already dealing with a large volume of data, but it will continue to increase rapidly. Partly, because IoT is the present and the future – if the predictions are right and by 2020 there will be 50 billion IoT devices, you can imagine the data you will capture and you will need to be able to share in real time.

This is one element that is complicating the complexity of data integrations together with other new sources of data that enterprises can access, integrate, or manipulate.

Security is also a burning issue that you cannot neglect, together with regulations around data.

Finding the right vendor that can support you overcoming data integration trends and challenges will put you in a good position in terms of executing your strategy.

3. Find the best data integration provider

There are plenty of vendors in the integration market with plenty of solutions. It is probably worth a whole blog post on its own to discuss how to choose the right vendor(s). You want to find a partner that is agile, yet able to deliver integration projects within your timeframe, the faster the better. You also want to be aware of the accurate costs before kicking off the project, so you can forecast profits better. Investing in modern architectures will pay itself off by reducing the time you spend with custom coding.

4. Legacy System Modernization

There are several legacy system modernization approaches to choose from. You may want to do a total transformation. However, this would be an overwhelming and risky task despite that it would be the most rewarding approach and the best competitive edge.

You can start gradually replacing legacy systems. This is a lot less risky approach and the budget can be considered as the project is progressing. On the other hand, it can lead to a set of disjointed systems, applications, and processes that won’t be able to communicate with one another efficiently.

Here comes into the picture the “duct tape approach” – in which you can fix existing issues with utilizing modern cloud-based technologies. With using this method, you can implement small-scale changes and achieve surprisingly big returns. With this approach, you can deliver solutions faster and as it does not need huge investments, it can be supported by an ad hoc budget.


5. Hybrid Integrations

This leads us to the next tip to consider: hybrid integrations are probably going to be a big part of your integration strategy.

Integrating data from multiple sources has always been a complex problem for firms. Today it is even more complicated with an endless amount of systems, applications, data sources that can be on-premise or in the cloud.

Integrating legacy systems and SaaS platforms with the help of an integration platform ensures that you can make changes in the integrations or scale if necessary, why ensuring data security.

Accelerate your data integration strategy

In 2018, neglecting the adoption of a data integration strategy is not too wise. All the above-listed tips need to be considered when you plan to make changes, however, additionally, you want to ensure that you deliver integrations fast and cost-effectively. It is very likely that your needs for integrations are yet to grow and we know – time is money.

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