In my last installment I spoke of the need for Supportability in your integration solution once you have put it into production. In this final post, I will discuss the need to expand your integration solution with the demands of your business.
To coin the old adage, there is only one thing in business that is constant and that is change. What happens if you identify some other touch points that need to be integrated? What is the impact of adding a new business application that is integral to your business processes into the mix? What happens if you make significant changes to the way your people interact with customers? How do you deal with the replacement of one of the applications involved? What if you acquire another company with different business systems and processes? These things occur frequently and should account in your integration strategy.
A common mistake with data integration is trying to do too much the first time. Seeking to integrate any and all touch points that you can envision up front can weigh a project down and significantly increase risk. A smart approach is to prioritize the different integration processes, particularly those things that will drive CRM user adoption in the initial phase, and then tackle a manageable number at the first phase. Additional integration processes can then be added over time.
This need for expandability requires that we think strategically and implement tactically when it comes to integration. It is important that the tools and approaches you utilize are nimble enough to meet your short-term needs without busting the budget while forming a strong foundation where future expansion can be easily accommodated.
Thanks for reading these posts and remember these five essential elements for successful data integration; reusability, flexibility, transferability, supportability, and expandability. And as I mentioned when introducing this topic, these elements should shed some light on the capabilities of our new integration platform, Scribe Online, as well as some of the continued investments we will be making in Scribe Insight.