Monday, February 10, 2014

CIO as ‘Chief Integration Officer’: Quality Attributes in IT Integration

IT Management Philosophy is Transforming from 'Built to Last' to 'Wired to Change'!

To compete at digital speed, IT is transforming from a builder to an integrator, from a plumber to an orchestrator; from an order taker to a business advisor; IT management philosophy is also transforming from ’built to last’ to ‘wired to change,' or "wireless to design." Integration becomes the key step in building solid IT-enabled business capabilities. But what are the top quality attributes in IT integration though?

Performance tends to be one of the differentiating factors ultimately. This can affect decisions regarding both hardware and software, such as OS, hardware platform, use of VM, clustering configuration, SAN...the list goes on and on. Typically, in the end, the decision is based on what solution is going to provide the most bangs for the IT budget, but the contributing factors vary from site to site. Some additional, less technical attributes are frequently considered such as ease of use, the speed of implementation and learning curve.

Flexibility, no single organization does things the same way, flexibility means to have alternative ways to do the things. Therefore, a flexible integration is required in order to meet the variety of business cases that exist. There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution or a magic pill that fixes all organizations needs.

Stability is another critical attribute in integration. It might have an inverse relationship with flexibility, especially when integration is performed on shared gateways. The more flexibility might mean more functions, more coding, and more issues. Stability enables to bridge the industrial model and digital speed, keep track of maintenance beyond implementation.

Connectivity: The ability to co-create in a digital ecosystem—A co-creation strategy treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to integrate the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences. Sophisticated enterprises are starting to think more like a software company—as a platform and an ecosystem. 

Scalability: is an important attribute of cloud computing, the business can scale up and down more seamlessly to balance speed and stability, and adapt to digital velocity and uncertainty. Integration glues stuff together, brings unknown connectivity requirements via flexibility, unknown dynamics of integration via scalability, unknown requirements to transform process via capability, unknown standards/non-standards via connectivity and exponential growth of operational support via stability.

·                            Performance

·                            Stability

·                            Scalability

·                            Connectivity

·                            Flexibility

 The successful integration will depend on the underlying relationships between all of these points and how they influence each other. Through quality integrations, business capabilities and assets inside the enterprise are easily combined with assets and capabilities outside the enterprise, for orchestrating agile and high-performing businesses.


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