Embrace change in the interest of integration standards

Fighting change can be a waste of time and energy. Instead, elevate your role in the organization by focusing on fundamental business problems.


As difficult as it may be, put yourself in the role of technology consultant to the business and accept an environment in which the integration platform is defined as a business system and not a technology tool.

Organizations waste undue time and resources fighting unnecessary or even wrong battles. If this sounds familiar, you may be fighting progress instead of joining a unified effort to institutionalize integration standards across the company.

The goal of data integration is the smooth flow of data from different source systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Data is extracted from these applications and transformed into a format that can be loaded into data warehousing and other storage systems. Once integrated, that data can dictate business strategy and translate into competitive advantage.

Business leaders want, and often need, access to real-time data at critical points in a business process, which can often put undue stress on technology resources. Enter automated solutions and self-service. Business users now have the tools to design their own queries and interfaces and access enterprise data with minimal intervention from IT.

Foster a cooperative environment

These tools can help foster business and IT collaboration. Data integration standards and automated data mapping reduce the chance of human error. As a result, data is in line with governance and compliance requirements, which empower the business to take ownership. And this frees up your time to focus on data-management processes and lifecycle.

This model won’t succeed unless you move away from the notion of IT as the driver of business technology and toward the concept of business-led technology initiatives. As difficult as it may be, put yourself in the role of technology consultant to the business and accept an environment in which the integration platform is defined as a business system and not a technology tool.

Focus on integration not aggravation

Data integration activities typically have not been centrally managed and governed. As a result, organizations often experience:

  • Higher deployment costs and slow response to user requests due to a lack of reuse
  • Increased support and enhancement costs due to the complexity of legacy integration points created in silos
  • Higher levels of risk because of a lack of visibility into data lineage
  • Higher potential for inconsistency in business rules governing data transformation, calculations, and data quality controls
  • Slower adaptability to change

Relinquishing control and management of tools traditionally in your domain can be a challenge. But you are in fact gaining more prominence across the organization because of your work defining governance and standards for the business at large.

Instead of fighting self-service trends, embrace your newfound ability to innovate. Focus your energy and influence on developing standards-based interfaces and models to seamlessly move the business forward. You and the business are fighting the same battle. And only by combining forces can you institutionalize change.

For more perspectives on changing roles within your organization, read The Great Rethink: Building a Highly Responsive & Evolving Enterprise Data Integration Architecture.

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