Occasionally, I write about the dream of an integrated desktop. But mostly, it's something I daydream about. I'd never really stopped to consider if it's worth pursuing from a business standpoint.
I mean, seriously, are we really wasting that much time moving between all these applications?
Well, yes, as it turns out, we are. In a recent survey, Aberdeen found businesses could reclaim six hours per employee of lost time each week with better tools.
Of course, the gains aren't all about moving between applications. It's also about being able to find and manipulate data more quickly, which leads to faster decision-making. But still, six hours is surprising. That's a lot of time. That's practically a full day of work, give or take a meeting.
Aberdeen also connected this type of integration with a 21 percent increase in gross margin year over year. That's not a bad beginning on a return on investment.
So, until we can do everything from a browser, what can you do now? The press release offers three specific recommendations:
- Use desktop integration.
- Web-enable your applications.
- Integrate enterprise applications and desktop tools as a two-way street. In other words, it's time to surrender in the battle against spreadsheets. Accept it by supporting the flow of data from the spreadsheet into the application.
You can also download the full report for free until Nov. 28.
In other integration news: Speaking of Desktop Integration. OpenSpan and Software AG recently announced a partnership, based largely on service-oriented architecture and the value proposition of desktop integration. OpenSpan offers a platform for integration applications and specializes in desktop integration. To explain what this partnership accomplishes, I think it's best to just quote from the press release:
The webMethods Product Suite also extends core systems for use in a service-oriented architecture by exposing existing IT assets as new services and enabling core systems to leverage any service. OpenSpan enables virtually any corporate desktop application to consume Web services and allow integration with new applications without having to redevelop the application or modify the source code. Any new service created via the webMethods Product Suite, as well as those developed independently by the customer, can be integrated with existing applications to deliver immediate value.
Eclipse Kills SOA Projects. The Register reports the open source Eclipse Foundation is axing several of its SOA projects due to lack of interest. Alas, the casualties included integration-related projects. The Application Lifecycle Framework, a project to solve integration problems of application lifecycle management for SOA developments, was nixed. Also, the STP Service Creation sub-project (under the umbrella project, SOA Tools Platform), which would have provided tool integration for SOA developers, was also eliminated.
SOA, What's the FAQs? The outlook for SOA is pretty bad these days, but who knows, it could just be on the down part of the hype cycle. Either way, if you're curious but clueless about SOA, Computer Weekly just published an easy-to-follow essential guide to SOA. It's very readable, even if you're not a techie.