Application and Data Integration Teams and Tools are Better Together – Here’s Why

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Ashley-Stirrup-CIn this special guest feature, Ashley Stirrup of Talend provides 7 key reasons why organizations need to prioritize unifying Application and Data integration. Ashley Stirrup joined Talend in 2014 as Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Ashley is responsible for driving market leadership, global awareness, product management and demand generation

The convergence of Application and Data Integration is off to a slow start. Digital businesses today need to break down the chasms that exist between application- and data-oriented people and tools within their organizations in order to succeed. According to Gartner research, more companies are beginning to recognize this problem: 47% of respondents to a recent survey indicated that they are planning to create integrated teams in the next 2-3 years.

And yet, very few integration platforms today provide a single solution that supports both application integration (AI) and data integration (DI). Although it seems intuitive that breaking down barriers to integration is a valuable initiative, many organizations are not fully aware of the specific benefits that will come from this move. Below are seven reasons why organizations need to prioritize unifying Application and Data integration.

Staying Flexible

Specializing in order to increase throughput works well in a predictable environment. Ford’s approach to the model T is a perfect example of this is – you could have any color you wanted, as long as it was black. With their mass-production and streamlined assembly lines, Ford could produce these cars for less than anyone else. Unfortunately, this does not work the same in technology, as IT organizations cannot successfully predict what their business owners will need: flexibility is key. That’s why Toyota’s flexible assembly lines have dramatically out-performed U.S. auto makers’ dedicated production lines.

Getting aligned

This is a familiar scene: multiple executives show up at a meeting, each with their own reports and data, giving very different views on the business that are almost impossible to reconcile. This is exactly what happens with separate integration teams. Each team develops separate rules around prices, revenue and product lines and it’s very hard to get a consistent view on key performance indicators and the state of the business overall. A unified tool allows businesses to build defining rules once and then apply them across every single integration job, eliminating a huge amount of data discrepancies.

Doing more

Application integration and data integration tools each have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, data integration tools may have strong data quality and cleansing capabilities that are lacking in data application tools. With a unified solution, you can benefit from the very best capabilities that each style of integration has to offer.

Cutting costs

Building two integration teams means buying two sets of hardware and paying people to set up and maintain two separate systems. This doubles implementation and administrative costs, which will be particularly expensive if you need a high availability environment with live backup. With a unified integration tool, you only have do all of this once: the savings can be huge.

Getting Ahead

With new types of data and cloud applications, data volumes are exploding at all companies, large and small. Being a data-driven organization is now a strategic differentiator that separates winners from losers. A critical part of becoming a data-driven business is putting the right data in the right places as quickly as possible. With a unified tool, you can be ready to add additional integration styles a moment’s notice. For instance, when a data warehousing project starts out with batch data movement and transformation requirements, and business teams later realize they can use this same data to make real-time recommendations to sales. Without a unified integration solution, this would require two separate integration teams and two separate projects.

Staying Streamlined

If you use two separate integration tools, you will also need specialists that understand each, or will have to train your employees on two completely different and highly complex tools. With a unified solution, developers can move between integration styles with minimal incremental training. This reduces training costs and employee ramp-up time while increasing flexibility.

Being Efficient

In many cases, the requirements of an integration job can be met with either style of integration – but with separate teams, you are forced to recreate the same jobs for different projects. Separate AI and DI teams can spend as much as 30% of their time re-creating similar integration jobs and meta data. With a unified integration tool, you can create meta data once and use it over and over, avoiding re-creating the same integration job.


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