Building your own app: Self-service application integration
By Aditya Abeysinghe
In a previous article, I described about composable enterprises. In summary, a composable enterprise means handling businesses in a modular approach where blocks of processes are either added or removed based on business requirement. However, if we go a level further down, a module consists of an application which in turn consists of components integrated together. With growing demands and changes in applications today, building apps and integrating them to create systems cannot be handled by developers only. Therefore, a self-service integration is seen feasible in such scenarios.
What makes self-service integrations a hot topic?
At present, almost all digital systems use software components for various functions. From reporting to monitoring these systems, the use of software applications is ubiquitous. With continuous monitoring required, a team to develop these components and troubleshoot issues is required. Large systems require several teams to achieve these processes and cause a large time and cost on organizations.
Added to this, changes in business requirements cause updates frequently which results in the maintenance of these components time consuming and costly to build. Business logics arise from a business requirement and is often handled by a department separated from the IT team. Therefore, agile processes between these teams make these integrations continuous cycles of building and quality assurance. In a complex environment where several systems are operating, this is often not considered a viable approach where teams involved in maintenance have less time for such integrations.
With several systems moving to hybrid cloud environments today, integrations are even more complex and difficult to maintain by only a limited team. Not only the in-house maintenance, but also vendor deployments in the public cloud needs to often be monitored by these limited teams.
With complex data analytics seen in many systems, analytics teams have to often wait when data is provided from teams who have access to raw data for cleaning, extracting and analyzing. This causes unproductivity in decision processes and time for data analysis. However, productivity can be improved, if analytics teams are provided with direct access to data they require, through self-service integrations.
Due to these reasons, self-service integrations have emerged, where business teams or teams with direct needs of new developments or changes in existing systems, develop required applications. In this method, applications are created or changed by a team closest to the requirement and integrations are monitored by tech team.
One of the methods used in self-service integrations is to use templates provided by tech teams. In this manner, teams who are not on tech teams can build components using these templates and allow integrations to their existing system.
Another method is to use GUIs (Graphical User Interface) provided by cloud service providers, where components developed could be integrated with existing systems. In these GUIs, few settings need to be modified to suit business needs where minimal abilities to handle such systems is needed for non-tech members.
Composable Enterprises article: https://www.elanka.com.au/composable-enterprises-adaptability-with-a-common-caller-by-aditya-abeysinghe-2/
Image Courtesy: https://frn.cvg.utn.edu.ar/