As the cliché goes, “you’re only as fast as your slowing moving part.” And for organizations today it’s particularly pertinent; it’s imperative is to ensure legacy technology does not disconnect and become a hindrance to new initiatives. Driven by digital transformation and cloud migration initiatives, integration architecture breaks down silos and helps different IT systems communicate, providing visibility over complex application landscapes and related critical data flows.

Common
Challenges

Rapidly advancing technology and top-down pressure to establish cloud-read enterprise infrastructure puts pressure on architecture teams to find fast solutions and integrations. But, reducing the complexity of the business application landscape and breakdown operational silos, presents a number of challenges. 

  1. Flawed Documentation

    The integration architecture landscape is often documented across a complex web of systems, people and artifacts, making it incomplete, out-dated or even inaccurate.

  2. Poorly Tracked Data Flows

    Poor and inconsistent documentation of data flows, leading to impossible data lineage and impact analysis.

  3. Badly Orchestrated Business Strategy

    Mapping to business elements such as people, processes or services is often inexistent, impeding alignment of data and application architecture to business strategy.

Integration Architecture in Four Weeks

Inputs

Undertaking an integration architecture exercise requires:

  • Application communication diagrams 
  • Data flow diagrams 
  • APIs catalogs 
  • CRUD matrices of systems, data entities and people 

Establish Goals and Centralize Integration Data

  • Establish goals and parameters for the integration architecture initiative. 
  • Decide what the scope will be for this exercise: Application Communication and Complexity? Interfaces Modeling? Data Lineage? 
  • Define overarching driver and motivation for the exercise: GDPR compliance, cloud-readiness, IT rationalization (cost). 
  • Gather and review available integration data content including existing available diagrams, matrices, third-party tool exports etc. 
Week 1
Establish Goals and Centralize Integration Data

Standardize Integration Modeling for Analysis

  • Identify key deliverables and integration architecture views to elaborate within the architecture repository. 
  • Define appropriate modeling notations and templates which represent integration from selected viewpoints in accordance with the established metamodel
Week 2
Standardize Integration Modeling for Analysis

Visualize and Analyze Your Integration Architecture

  • Import existing integration architecture content into the repository in alignment with established data mappings. 
  • Generate integration architecture views addressing identified stakeholder concerns from various standpoints. 
  • Define ready-to-use templates for impact analysis and dependency visualizations of data flows, applications, interfaces and CRUD operations. 
Week 3
Visualize and Analyze Your Integration Architecture

Communicate Your Integration Architecture

  • Create interactive and tailored navigation pathways for stakeholders to consume integration architecture deliverables.
  • Enable drilldown to granular details and answer specific business questions.
Week 4
Communicate Your Integration Architecture

Business Outcomes

An organization can hope to realize the following benefits by carrying out the four-week plan:

  • A standardized and consistent documentation of integration architecture, in accordance with architecture metamodels. 
  • Transparency over critical data flows and relationships between business, people, data and applications. 
  • Increased visibility over the complexity of integration architecture. 
  • Achieve readiness to align IT architecture to the overall digital strategy by managing risks and business impact analysis. 
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