Integration isn’t exactly a fast-moving part of IT, so it isn’t usually listed on New Year technology prediction lists. This year, I spied two integration trends among these lists that could potentially shake up IT and the business.
First, CIO.com lists deeper ERP integration as a top trend for enterprise software in 2015. This could be huge for business users, who could then leverage that rich ERP data for other applications — especially CRM. Jeremy Roche, CEO of cloud ERP provider FinancialForce, explained it thusly:
“Rather than continuing to allow vital customer information to be scattered among various pieces of a business, companies will begin to merge ERP and CRM into one single system of customer engagement, so they can better support the entire customer journey, from the initiation of interest to the delivery of a product.”
This is a trend that would be good for business users, but a major headache for IT, depending on how heterogeneous your environment is.
Second, CenturyLink Chief Innovation Officer Lucas Carlson ranked continuous integration and deployment as number three on his Top Enterprise Technology Trends list. Continuous integration doesn’t refer to integration in the way I usually talk about it (i.e., where you’re integrating data, systems or applications). In this case, it’s a development practice where developers integrate their code work into a shared repository several times a day.
His explanation is a bit unclear, though, so I found this explanation on Thoughtworks that’s easier to follow.
The main gain is that you’re cutting down on the time it takes to identify problems, which makes it easier to pinpoint what created the problem in the first place. It’s a smart approach, but you can see how it would require a change to the status quo in IT.
North American Bankers Down on Big Data Investments
North American bankers aren’t too keen on Big Data it seems, according to Finextra. It reports that a recent survey found 76 percent expressed dissatisfaction over Big Data, making it a “particular sore point.”
Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific bankers are much happier with their technology investments. That’s probably because they tend to be less experimental, investing in technology with which they were already satisfied, the report found. You’ll note the list includes multichannel integration.
The Aite Group surveyed 141 senior banking IT executives across Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, and the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for its Bankers’ Technology Impact Report. I’m not sure how many were actually from North America, so it’s hard to measure the significance of that. I didn’t find the original press release on Aite’s site, but you can download the table of contents for free.
How Midsize IT Can Solve Data Science Skills Gap
Drew cites research predicting a shortage of 190,000 data scientists by 2018. He notes that a number of universities are introducing new programs to address the gap. That’s the good news. The bad news? It won’t happen soon enough because business managers are pushing for Big Data analytics. It’ll especially be a problem for midsize companies that won’t be able to pay top dollar to attract data scientists, but may find themselves at a critical advantage without Big Data.
Of course, being a strategist, Drew has an idea how to solve this problem, and it’s just crazy enough to work: Educate your existing employees. And what if you can’t afford even that? Read the full blog to find his recommendation.
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.