When it comes to digital transformation and integration efforts, upper management and business leaders have a pretty hands-off, blasé attitude. They don’t want to hear about the effect of the newest API or the metrics on a random KPI dashboard.
They just want the end result that comes from crunching the numbers and seeing a rise in profits. This results in the IT team being left to their own devices, as they have to handle the integration and its hiccups by themselves.
It might seem like a good idea, as there is less interference from management, and the IT department has a good deal of freedom to flex their creative muscles and do as they see fit. But in the long run, this can have a negative impact on the business as a whole.
When Integration and APIs Aren’t Worth It
It may sound odd but good API design and automation can be a waste of resources for many businesses. Many developers have to deal with forced integration for companies that want to integrate for the sake of checking a box and calling it a day. Many businesses use integration as a sales pitch, or to drum up PR by using any trendy tech.
In cases like these, the IT teams have very little input during the inclusion of outsourced and cloud-based services. The developers don’t really design APIs with a proper goal or solution in mind, as the business doesn’t care enough to use them for long-term success.
When integration is an afterthought, good API design isn’t enough to make a difference. From a business standpoint, it ends up being a waste of valuable resources.
The Need for Strategic Integration
Although most businesses want to go digital, they can’t really pin down a successful digital transformation because of an inability to efficiently integrate data, applications, and systems. A digital transformation strategy is only as successful as the integration strategy that reinforces it. And the first step to nailing an effective integration is adapting a digital attitude.
A digital mindset shift for business and IT leaders means adopting a strategic understanding of integration. This shift in attitude should lead to the introduction of APIs, as they are the building blocks of any modern integration approach.
Moreover, APIs have a great market value and tend to have a greatly positive impact on business margins. They lead to a significant increase in market capitalization.
But simply using APIs won’t result in this boost in value by itself. Successful integration comes from a combination of a business-centric strategy, a solid and reliable operating model, and the tools and technology needed for it all.
Integration apathy leads to a lot of failed or middling integrations that do no good to a business. It also results in integrations being very underfunded. Without an airtight strategy created with the input of both IT and the business involved, integration becomes a mere tactical decision point, solving a few short-term needs, while squandering the potential of long-term value creation.
Business leaders do not need to understand the inner machinations of integration. But they do need to understand the compromises being made when one integration decision or choice is being made over another. These choices can and will affect the top and bottom line, so management needs to be aware of what is going on, as opposed to focusing on results.
When business leaders are indifferent to the finer details of strategic integration, they miss out on a myriad of benefits that it can bring to an organization. These include things like reduced costs that come from launching products and initiatives faster. Other benefits of an integration strategy are increased innovation, improved customer experiences, and new revenue streams.
Apathy will also miss out on increased scalability, a boost in operational efficiencies, streamlined data access, and automated manual processes. Improved stability and security are some of the advantages that come with properly planned and implemented integration.
In a Nutshell
At the end of the day, building a technology business based on apathy isn’t a good idea. The industry shift towards API product-based empowers technology teams at all levels and services. Businesses that continue to ignore the needs of their IT team will gradually fall off the market. Integration only works when it is planned with the business’s long-term benefits in mind. Organizations need to come up with an integration strategy that benefits their employees and processes and continue developing tools and APIs with this mindset for successful digital transformation.