The Importance of Integration

    Jeff Reser recently shared five signs that organizations should be investing in data connectivity.  His list:

    • The use of drones to collect safety and compliance data
    • Fitbit saved his life (no joke, it caught a heart problem)
    • Deep learning analytics
    • Predictive analytics for B2B
    • Data lakes as the new norm

    “This list touches upon just a few new data sources that are likely to become increasingly part of our everyday lives and offering the potential to yield deep and sometimes life-saving insights,” Reser writes. “As IoT becomes more prevalent, along with expanding data sources like social media, mobile and the cloud, being able to easily and quickly connect and access all that data is going to be essential.”

    Sure, Reser is the marketing manager for DataDirect at the application development and integration company Progress Software — so obviously he’s pitching the company’s product as the solution to this problem. Nonetheless, Reser is right. A data deluge is coming, and now is the time to decide how to handle it.

    I’ve covered integration and data technology for approximately eight years now. When I started, most people were still hand-coding point-to-point integration, the big debate was about EAI versus ETL, and SOA was just starting to be a discussion point.

    It’s been amazing to watch this portion of the tech market grow and change. There’s been a lot of progress, including a shift away from hand coding, more integration between systems and, of course, Big Data.

    At the same time, it’s also frustrating to watch some of the same mistakes being made over again as divisions adopted cloud solutions, which then became new data silos. And it’s a little bit overwhelming to think about the integration and interoperability problems organizations will face with the Internet of Things and wearable technologies.

    This is my last post for the IT Business Edge Integration blog. Over the years, I’ve come to accept that integration is not something anyone “solves” once and for all.

    New technologies and data types come online, legacy systems won’t work with the new systems, and business users love bypassing IT too much to ever solve this problem.

    There is significant room for improvement. After talking with hundreds of industry experts, the bottom line comes down to this: Stop making integration an afterthought!

    Integration has traditionally been a step in a bigger project, but we’re past that time. Now is the time to be more sophisticated about data, data governance, data quality and integration. That means really talking about data in a strategic way. Ask serious questions like, “Who else might have data we need?” “Are there other departments that could benefit from this eventually that we can include now in the integration plan?” “Will new access to this data create new business opportunities?”

    As I’m certain I’ve said on multiple occasions, data is proliferating like kudzu. Deal with the data now before it suffocates your systems.

    Thank you for reading and all the Twitter shares. Good luck.

    Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.
    Get the Free Newsletter
    Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis
    This email address is invalid.
    Get the Free Newsletter
    Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends & analysis
    This email address is invalid.

    Latest Articles