Enterprises face many challenges as they attempt to integrate newer digital capabilities and architecture styles with their existing technology, and the incremental migration they can expect as they move toward a target state.
Integration in the Digital world is about delivering contextual information to customers to provide superior and seamless customer experience across channels underpin by adaptive architecture.
Enterprises are looking at new approaches and emerging architecture styles to:
- Adapt to changing customer expectations and behaviors
- Keep up with accelerated technological innovations
- Use analytics to develop more personalized end user experiences
- Eliminate boundaries and enable data flows across organization siloes
- Reduce integration costs while driving customer satisfaction
- Reduce time-to-market of new products and services
- Improve change responsiveness
Enterprise Integration Challenges to Digital
Proliferation of smart devices and emergence of disruptive technologies, enterprises are striving to keep up with the pace of change to sustain in the industry which is changing rapidly. Integration has always been an issue for enterprises and it has become even more complex in the “age of empowered customer” due to:
- The barriers posed by enterprise legacy systems, which often prevent real-time access to the data and insights needed to deliver a personalized and consistent user experience
- The need for real-time processing of structured and un-structured data for context
- The speed at which the integration changes are required due to fast changing customer expectations, and the complexity associated with integration
- The velocity and volume of messages, data and events exchanged between systems, M2M and IoT
- End-to-end security requirements which require a change in integration architecture and technologies
To overcome enterprise integration challenges, Enterprises are looking at new emerging architecture styles such as Adaptive and Re-active architectures/design patterns compared to traditional ESB/SOW based integration patterns and web based architectures.
Paradigm Shift from Functionality-Based Integration to Interaction-Oriented Integration
Enterprises have decoupled the systems of interactions and records in their application landscape due to multi-speed release cycles and fused them to achieve agility and deliver contextual experience through emerging integration solutions and technologies.
As this illustration shows, industry dynamics and growing customer expectations are transforming the integration landscape:
The architecture and design of interaction systems for digital are radically different than traditional web or Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). The environment is very complex due to the changing customer expectations and behavior, the traditional web and SOA architectures will not provide necessary agility and flexibility in this complex environment.
Traditional Web based Architecture Solutions
Solutions built on traditional web architectures are logically separated into layers.
As the above illustration shows, presentation, business, data access and integration logic are logically separate but wrapped within the application that will present the following challenges:
- Functionality is developed over a period of time, leading to resistance to change and difficult maintenance
- Built-in Session State management complicates multi-channel interactions
- There is no domain separation or abstraction
- Security is compromised due to centralized security implementation which can lead to more data exposure
- The entire application may need scaling – rather than certain components or services of system – and this can be difficult and costly
- This solution forces to a single technology stack which presents a challenge to adopt or incrementally adopt new emerging architecture styles and technologies.
Service Oriented Architecture Solutions
Solutions built on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) resolve traditional web architecture challenges to some extent, but to address digital world needs, enterprises require a flexible and agile integration, which ESB’s can’t provide.
As this illustration shows, the business logic is separated as coarse-grained services hosted on ESB/middleware platform:
The solution can present the following challenges:
- Services are often coarse-grained, as opposed to fine, and functionality grows over a period of time, making an SOA “monolithic,” and difficult to change
- There is vendor lock-in due to vendor specific middleware (ESB) implementation and associated overhead
- Changes require a significant effort to develop and test, impeding agility
Enterprises need to re-think architecture and design to build solutions that are simpler, adaptive, intelligent, secure and more appropriate to customers in the “age of empowered customer”.
In my next blog, I will discuss new approaches, emerging architecture styles and capabilities and how they can help transition to digital.