One of the latest, more popular trends in IT is consumerization. Mobile has a lot to do with this as employees want to use their personal phone for work, but consumerization goes far beyond accessing enterprise apps on a mobile device. As I see it, consumerization is about bringing consumer expectations to the enterprise. As with Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter, you don’t need a manual to learn how to use these apps, yet they often exceed the demands that the enterprise requires. They scale to hundreds of millions of users and are cutting edge in terms of ease of use, security, scalability, cost effectiveness, and reliability.
So why can’t consumerization be applied to more traditional IT solutions that typically require custom coding, consultants, and third-party dependencies?
Let me be the first to introduce the term, “consumerization of integration.” Need a minute to think that one over? If anything is more in need of consumerization — and less likely to be consumerized — it’s application integration. Can integration be self-service, scalable, collaborative, intuitive, cost effective, and easy to use? Absolutely.
The “traditional approach” to integrating applications is a programmer’s dream — lots of coding, complex infrastructure, built to handle extreme volume and deliver blistering performance. It’s great for internal integration with existing APIs and numerous dependencies on consultants, time, money, and third-party vendors. This is a very IT-centric, tech-heavy proposition to integrate applications. It’s also very inflexible; it takes a lot of planning and is difficult to change.
Yet when you consider who benefits from integrating applications to automate manual business processes, create efficiencies, innovate, and move the company forward, it’s line-of-business (LOB) employees. These people need more agility — to create new products and services, to improve productivity, and to enhance business processes. They need “retail”-level integration, which has to be flexible, agile, easy to use, and easy to update as conditions change.
Kapow Software’s Katalyst Application Integration Platform gives LOB users the ability to intuitively create, without coding, automated workflows that integrate applications in real-time without having to wait months for someone else to do the work. This is huge because LOB workers can see the applications and data they need to access, yet until now they were unable to automate the access, transformation, migration, and integration of that data or application. So we’ve empowered the LOB with a “do-it-yourself” solution.
We by no means bypass IT. Katalyst Application Integration Platform is widely loved and adopted by IT departments — more than 500 at some of the largest global companies — because we allow CIOs to focus their efforts and resources on more strategic projects, while enabling LOB users to satisfy their own needs with a robust, enterprise-grade automation and integration platform.
This is what we call “delivering time to value.”
By: Rick Kawamura