Today, large enterprises run tens of thousands of applications simultaneously, creating countless integration points to optimize and manage. However, traditional integration approaches no longer suffice for several reasons. Established methodologies cannot cope with the fast pace of technology innovation and business change. The separation between application, data, business-to-business (B2B), cloud service, mobile app, and Internet of Things (IoT) integration technologies and skills is unsustainable. And, ad hoc approaches, such as do-it-yourself integration employed to achieve rapid integration, pose governance, security, and compliance challenges, as well as technical debt risks.

Given this complexity, every business needs a methodological approach to integration that not only reduces complexity and cost, but also lets you turn integration into a source of competitive advantage. To turn data into meaningful insight, enterprises need to integrate all of their functions and processes based on a harmonized data model, get the complete picture in real time, and make decisions with knowledge of all interdependencies within the organization. Otherwise, you cannot make use of the billions of data to offer personalized experiences for your customers or manage demand and supply seamlessly in real-time.

So, where does your company measure up when it comes to your integration strategy and methodology? Read on to learn about the levels of organizational integration development, and where your company currently stands.

Ad Hoc:

At the ad-hoc-level, you do not have an integration practice in place or an integration strategy being planned. Integration seems to be a largely overlooked practice across your business, and there is little internal competency focused on how to optimize integration for competitive advantage. As a result, you may find that integration efforts are often unorganized and duplicated, and IT resources are stretched thin. This results in frustration and wastes time, which negatively impacts your business.


At the enlightened-level, you may have an integration strategy in mind but haven’t executed it yet. Currently, you understand that there is a need for integration and that there are challenges. You have an integration specialist on staff, but no one is truly responsible for optimizing integration enterprise-wide, which makes it difficult to identify the needs of your business. You are advancing your business’s integration, but it’s primarily through word of mouth and what “feels right” rather than a comprehensive strategy that will ultimately result in becoming an intelligent enterprise.


At the systematic-level, this typically means that you are on your way to being an empowered, intelligent enterprise, but you could use some help to get to the next level. You currently have an integration competency center and broadly recognize integration as a critical component to the health and growth of your business. You also have formalized documents to showcase best practices that others can follow, and you are constantly adding new definitions.


At the adaptive-level, you are well on your way to integration excellence. Your company views integration as a business enabler to evolve and transform. You identify differentiating sourcing policies and have an integration board that regularly assesses the health of your integration landscape. You continuously monitor this and evolve as challenges arise.


At the empowered-level, your organization truly demonstrates integration excellence. Integration is embedded in the digital culture of your business and day-to-day processes, complete with self-service integration capabilities. Because of these self-service integration capabilities, your integration competency center has evolved into a self-service integration facilitation team. Business users are encouraged to tackle self-service integration scenarios wherever possible to address IT bottlenecks, lighten IT burdens, and empower business users.

Wherever you measure up in your organizational integration maturity, know that you can be on the path to becoming an intelligent enterprise with the right strategy and technology. SAP Cloud Platform’s Integration Suite connects people, processes, data, and devices everywhere, allowing people with different skill-sets to leverage wide-ranging synergic integration approaches, intuitive tools, and prepackaged content. Through this versatile, dynamic, and enterprise-grade cloud integration platform, you can achieve faster results and gain greater business agility.

Randa Khaled

Randa Khaled

Author Since: November 19, 2020

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