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Integration architectures offer numerous, unquestioned advantages, yet many enterprises are reluctant to invest in them. That tendency could well be penny-wise and pound foolish, according to ebizQ Vice President for Strategic Services Beth Gold-Bernstein and Candle Corp. senior architect Peter Rhys Jenkins.

In the ebizQ webinar Developing an Integration Architecture, part of the Candle-sponsored series Infrastructure Management: Strategies and Best Practices, Gold-Bernstein summed it up simply: “If you know where you’re going, you know how to get there.”

During the presentation, Gold-Bernstein and Rhys-Jenkins gave a sneak preview of the soon-to-be released ebizQ Integration Services Map, which categorizes available integration technologies by the business problem they are meant to solve.

“The idea of building services, and minimizing their redundancy, and being able to flexibly plug them into this infrastructure grid and use them flexibly, as needed, is the way everything should be built,” Gold-Bernstein maintained. “Building an overall plan is an investment up front,” she noted. “Few want to do it, but it actually saves later on, especially in terms of business agility.”

Rhys Jenkins heartily concurred, saying, “This is the story I preach in all my engagements.”

Gold-Bernstein went even further, pointing out, “This has been my mantra for about 12-15 years now. You can implement just about anything today. We have lots of technology to get the job done. But it may not be manageable or agile over time. So we really need to focus on that manageability long-term. That’s what will give the real benefit to the organization. Don’t implement what you can’t manage.”

“Make a plan, follow through on a plan,” quipped Rhys Jenkins, suggesting “common sense” tells you the benefits of integration architectures: avoiding redundancy, reducing maintenance and training costs, reducing the need to “integrate the integration technologies,” maximizing reuse, and avoiding costly mistakes. All adding up to maximizing ROI.

Still, many companies not only hesitate to spend on integration architectures, they don’t like forking over funds to create groups of experts to oversee the plans once they’re in place. Rhys Jenkins and Gold-Bernstein both lamented that.


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