Thursday, November 22, 2012

Enterprise Integration Maturity Levels

In the previous posts, we have defined the key concepts of:

Today we're going to explore a related topic - Enterprise Integration. Integration is involved to some extent in all of the above listed topics. We will first review some guiding principles for integration and then provide a high level descriptions for integration maturity levels. 

Integration Principles
Enterprise Integration Maturity Levels

Legacy Integration Level
This level represents organizations transforming from a silo maturity level. In these situations integration is tightly coupled and usually not comprehensive. Even still the legacy integration maturity level generally reduces operational and maintenance costs while enhancing capability. These cost reductions are realized by reducing redundant and laborious data entry processes and reducing batch cycles to transform and transfer the data from one system to another. From this transition the data is available on a with reliable delivery of data and automated data format conversion for the integrating systems. The transformation from structured programs to all modular also leverages re-usability of the code and help and re-usability and reduction of the software maintenance complexity since the software is more modular. The modular code increases readability of the code best reducing maintenance time.

Componentized Level
Organizations transforming from an integrated maturity level to componentized maturity level  benefit in preparing themselves to expose business functionality at more granular levels. The re-usability also matures to a business function level as compared to an application level. Enhancements and new functionality are achieved through re-factoring in existing applications into smaller reusable components. The dis-aggregation of the business logic in itself helps in reducing the complexities of systems and facilitates the analysis of the impact of componentized solution on new business models and business transformations. This componentization also helps the business in reducing the time to market and increases IT response to business changes.

Shared Consolidated Infrastructure Level
This involves the deliberate unification / consolidation of Data Center capabilities including:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtualization 
  • Process Integration (ITIL)

Service Level
The transformation from a componentized maturity level to a service maturity level evolves the organization into a service provider. The service provider role can serve other organizations within the enterprise as well as external organizations. Business services now become reusable as this maturity level reduces the need for redeveloping the same functionality for multiple systems by the provision of reusable business services called through a standardized interface irrespective of the technology platform on which the application is running. These business services can also offer access to data in a controlled timely manner which reduces inconsistencies in the data within systems that access and update the data. The investment of effort in service identification, specification, development, testing and implementation is paid back when new systems require the same service from the providing organization since the cost of infrastructure and maintenance of common functionality is reduced.

Composite Service Level
Organizations transforming from the Service maturity level to Composite Service maturity level have structured their business and IT support so that new business processes may be more rapidly constructed out of business services and provide new business functionality to different parts of the organization more efficiently. This maturity level is also associated with reduction of the time to market for new business models or capabilities. At this level transformation it is primarily a re-composition of the business services provided by different organizations within an enterprise of the value chain in the enterprise.

Software as a Service (SAAS) Level (Cloud)
Software as a service is the next logical maturity level. SAAS builds upon the shared (Cloud-based) infrastructure and shared enterprise capabilities developed in the previous maturity faces. SAAS allows organizations to provide capability as a commodity which either enhances existing revenue generation functions or creates new ones. In addition, systems may be reconfigured to achieve higher reliability without the consumers having to modify their code. Software as a Service enables organizations to better align business requirements with IT capabilities by building robust services that are highly flexible, manageable and scalable.

Copyright 2012  - Technovation Talks, Semantech Inc.


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