The continuous growth and expansion of user interaction channels - one of the trends that have characterized the digital market in the last decade - have led companies to develop a range of API connections between business systems (systems of record, SOR) and digital touchpoints (systems of engagement, SOE).
This "skein" of connections, which often integrates low-performance legacy systems with the latest generation touchpoints that serve thousands of users per hour, has become increasingly tangled and has created a really difficult situation to manage.
At Mia-Platform we call it "Spaghetti API Architecture".
Does the image give you the idea?
Why the classic integration approach is not enough
The main consequences of this phenomenon, clearly visible in most large companies, generally are:
- a slowdown of the time-to-market: it becomes increasingly difficult to integrate new touchpoints and make them evolve;
- safety issues: the unclear governance of connections exposes the company's core systems to serious risks;
- increased costs and low performance: business systems are not often designed to handle millions of API calls of the modern omnichannel world and, consequently, they are suffering. Scaling is generally very expensive and complex.
Even traditional integration middleware, which is used for orchestrating, mapping and transforming data from SORs, is not enough: as the research firm Gartner says, “API-based fast access to data dispersed across multiple sources is costly and needs notable integration work”.
As a matter of fact, integrating systems involves many technical obstacles. For example, if you want to modernize legacy systems, which often aim to integrate them with the most modern digital channels and touchpoints, you must take into account the integration effort and the high costs required to connect each new channel. Not only that but also both IT governance problems and systems control loss arise when integrations are individually executed.
These problems can be expressed in various forms:
- duplications of code and business logic,
- security problems and protection of applications,
- difficulty in scaling in relation to traffic peaks,
- greater risks of unexpected operational events.
Systems integration: a digital platform for omnichannel
The omnichannel technological systems integration strategies represent the privileged path for an organization that really wants to interact more efficiently with its consumers. Indeed, the new architectural paradigm, called "Digital Integration Hub "(DIH), is clear evidence for the omnichannel strategy.
The DIH is the solution that aims to build a single digital corporate platform, through which to manage all data and system integration operations and the delivery of information to all omnichannel touchpoints.
A platform of this type, based on Fast Data, Microservices, and API, as a matter of fact, allows to:
- strongly decouple the digital channels from the underlying systems;
- integrate once and for all the SOR;
- release the information from the systems themselves;
- make information available to all possible applications of the corporate ecosystem.
Benefits of adapting Mia-Platform for systems integration and IT governance
The Suite of Mia-Platform products is the first end-to-end solution on the market which provides all the essential components to develop and manage a corporate digital platform of this type.
The benefits for the company are evident:
- business systems are finally decoupled and protected from excessive workloads because they no longer receive loads of touchpoint API calls. In this way, they can also be turned off for maintenance and night batches without affecting the operation of the business channels, and you no longer need to scale or modernize them - unless you really want to!
- touchpoints can be active and operational 24/7, always having the information they need in handy; it also becomes much easier to make applications evolve, add new ones or even open up to third parties, new partnerships, and new business channels;
- the company's digital platform, the DIH, is entirely cloud-native: it can thus guarantee the maximum advantages in terms of availability, scalability and the minimum downtime.
In addition, by centralizing the management of data, microservices, and APIs, the platform ensures clear and simplified governance of corporate IT assets, promotes the management and parallel work of internal and external teams and facilitates the implementation of security policies and good practices.
All this is in favor of the ability of organizations to provide users with functionalities, applications, and services they want in a shorter time, promoting the omnichannel user experience and accelerating time-to-market.
Mockup from an Unsplash image.