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Resource Centre | December 19, 2018

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Building an effective IT integration strategy

With technology being essential to Industrial 4.0, an effective integration strategy can spell success.

No two technologies are the same; but the way you integrate them into your existing infrastructure should be.

Every organisation has the same goal when consolidating IT infrastructure, but not everyone approaches it the same way. While it's true that the requirements of one solution may vary greatly from those of others, the same underlying fundamentals of an integration strategy should always remain the same.

Multi-pronged plan of attack

When looking at new applications or services, it's best to take a step back and understand how it fits into the greater scheme of things. Will it be a mission-critical program that multiple departments will routinely rely on? Or is it innovative software that doesn't necessarily need the vast amount of care and resources that something more integral to operations would?

Base your integration strategy off of bimodal IT infrastructure.

Companies are increasingly rolling out bimodal IT infrastructures, Gartner reported. On the one hand, the staff should be able to manage for consistency: The platforms that are most valuable to the business. On the other, personnel should also facilitate agile development, often the key differentiator in many competitive industries.

So, when evaluating how to better connect siloed solutions, understand how they're supposed to fit into the larger picture of what your IT department is aiming to do.

Map it out

There isn't a successful business in the world that doesn't identify market risks or capability of human capital before rolling out a new product, and the same should go for its technology. Let's take a hybrid cloud integration strategy as an example. An organisation should sit down with an external consulting firm or internal expert and evaluate the following:

  • Review the needs of the company, employees and platforms in question.
  • Discover the desired outcomes of the project as they pertain to each party.
  • Detail each action, from beginning to end.
  • Establish the IT staff members in charge of each activity and evaluate their skill sets in accordance.
  • Determine which compliance forms, management buy-ins and resources are needed to complete the project.

Considering cloud strategies often revolve, in some shape or form, around the movement of personal data, understanding the potential risks involved and the level of cybersecurity needed are just as important as figuring out how to successfully complete the project.

IT infrastructures are connecting more applications and platforms than ever before, making an integration strategy vital.IT infrastructures are connecting more applications and platforms than ever before, making an integration strategy vital.

While your internal staff members may have an excellent comprehension of how the technologies work, if they can't recognise potential dangers before they arise then the project could be a failure before it even gets off the ground.

The key in this part of the equation is building a basis upon which future integrations can pull from. By successfully mapping each proposal, you're taking a unified approach that mitigates risk.

Prepare your business for Industrial 4.0.

Looking towards the future

Other than mapping the processes, you'll also want to outline your IT infrastructure to understand its capabilities. This helps you understand the limits, advantages and potential liabilities of, for instance, utilising the public or private cloud.

Organisations now find themselves in what PricewaterhouseCoopers has dubbed Industrial 4.0. The fourth iteration of the industrial revolution is defined by three characteristics that every company should be meeting:

  • Digital unification of product and operational data – horizontal and vertical – chains.
  • Transformation to digital offerings and services.
  • Development of an internal and external digital ecosystem.

In case you didn't notice, there's a common theme behind all three: They're fueled by technology. Companies need to be able to move quickly on potentially disruptive ideas, all while maintaining a business model that increasingly relies on digital capabilities. At the core of it all is the IT infrastructure, which will be impacted by one application after another.

Moving forward, having an effective IT integration strategy that's set in stone will be an advantage over other companies that haphazardly incorporate new solutions. Contact ANATAS today for more information.

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