“I can’t wait 18 months or 18 weeks, I need stuff now.” News Corp Australia CIO Tom Quinn
Glaciers and waterfalls. Both made of water. Both powerful in impact. One robust, enduring (climate change aside) and impenetrable in its protective ability. The other forceful and dynamic, fluid in its ability to exhilarate and be harnessed to generate immense energy. But glaciers travel at…..well, glacial speed. And so it is with IT, with two speeds of technology driving the growth and sustainability of enterprise organisations.
Legacy systems are important. They underpin the complex mechanisms that drive large organisations, and in many cases help protect the competitive advantage such organisations have due to their size and scale.
However, cloud-first and mobile technologies are breaking down the barriers to entry for new entrants in multiple industries, and competition for the customer’s dollar is coming from previously unrelated quarters. Incumbents must respond with business and market strategies that are more dynamic and rapid. Their IT systems need to keep the machines running but also enable this new paradigm.
How do you manage these conflicting demands? Like most things, by using the right tool for the right job. Cloud first and SaaS applications are driving the ability to access and leverage new technology and functions quickly with minimum disruption. But such applications without integration are like a soufflé without the rise – they run out of puff because they become too inefficient to work with, and miss out on leveraging the wealth of data in the legacy systems.
Enter cloud integration platforms like Mulesoft’s Anypoint Platform. On the pack it “enables warp speed (integration) because it’s simple” – critical to support sales and marketing initiatives aiming to get an edge in the market. But the real beauty is in the simple and repeatable patterns that enable integration. The flexible deployment capability means an on-premise or cloud model is not set in stone, and it can run seamlessly alongside your existing investment.
We’re seeing large organisations embrace this two-speed set up and unlock the benefits of cloud integration with great success, particularly in retail. Dick Smith is reinvigorating its business through the dynamic use of cloud integration technology to support its mobile POS capability. Dan Murphy’s has opened up a new market place by connecting multiple new suppliers to their e-commerce platform utilising MuleSoft.
It’s not just a matter of plug and play, however. Good integration outcomes are a function of solid architecture, forward thinking design and optimised implementation. The cloud platform advantage is in its speed and flexibility, which will ultimately drive a better return on investment.
And remember over time and with enough heat, your glaciers will transform into waterfalls.