What do you think of connectors, or integration solutions?

2.3k views1 Upvote9 Comments

Director IT | CTO Office | Digital Factory / Industry 4.0 in Hardware, 10,001+ employees
There are all these software companies who are selling an API, a connector or data fabric, but then it turns out that there's a human building all those connectors, acting as the broker in between. Right now, there's a whole sales pipeline of people selling the ability to merge your solutions seamlessly, but all you end up doing is throwing human bodies at the problem. That's just the old school way of doing things.
2 Replies
Director of Engineering in Software, 11 - 50 employees

It’s true, the majority of those connectors still require a human to build them. We have been following a pattern of building these connectors and now we are creating our own solution that can help people connect to multiple machines. But it's still going to be driven by humans. It can't be automated; that's not possible. APIs also change over a period of time, so you end up reworking.

Director IT | CTO Office | Digital Factory / Industry 4.0 in Hardware, 10,001+ employees

It's a difficult problem to solve because there are all these competing softwares that are also trying to build their own services layer. So you're never going to get a clean API between solutions. When I look at valuations for data fabric, I always think about how hard it will be for that market to exist. You will have software to manage those APIs, but it's not real. You'll still have to have a whole team of developers, with one speaking finance, one speaking ERP, one speaking warehouse, etc.

CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
One size can't fit all, so silos - best of breed solutions, emerged. There's no avoiding integration or APIs or connectors between cyber-physical systems. Some are better than others, RPC and RPA take care of some, but until we have defined integration patterns and the ML and AI to connect the dots between them, people will be responsible for creating the connections between these systems. Unfortunately none will be perfect, as biases, skill proficiency  and experience will figure prominently into their creation and we are human after all.
IT Director and Software Producer in Software, 11 - 50 employees
It's a really difficult proposition. At any time, the "source" and "destination" (2 different vendors) can receive "minor" changes that effectively break previously-established connections. The pain and/or ongoing cost of having to constantly work with another party (the integration solution provider) to ensure that connections are functioning as originally specced is often not worth the hassle vs. just doing it yourself.
1 Reply
Board of directors, former CIO in Software, Self-employed

This can be addressed via modern autonomous data models and a data collaboration platform that obsoletes data integrations through connected data.  This type of solution address the huge integration debt and spend and improves IT team agility, reduces challenges driven by data silos and the copies created as a result.

Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
A long time back when I worked in the logistics business, we had multiple systems which needed to talk to each other to ensure that our customers are able to track every package across the call center, web, and more. At each stage data is captured across countries with different levels of infrastructure and maturity. The same data goes into billing and sales to create a single view of the customer. This was my introduction to integration by design and standards based solutions. Our ESB required a team of people to manage the volume of data that needed to flow through the systems (estimated a billion transactions a day). We used to operate at 99.3% accuracy.

Similar setup in another pharma company where different systems needed to talk to each other and were configured using a complex ESB with 100+ connectors. The cost of bad data could be a rejected batch of medicines; we had 3 people making sure that the mesh did what it was expected to.

Today the expectation is that systems integrate even when there is dynamism in the data. There is enough tech out there to provide for integration; there will always be exceptions and that needs humans to manage it. Will it ever be fully machine run? Probably not, but I am happy to be proven wrong on this.
VP in Software, 10,001+ employees
Most of the customers we deal with come with a varied ecosystem of legacy and modern applications and systems which requires to be migrated and/or integrated with modern solutions. Reliable and secure connectors plays important role in such project. This also requires the guarantee of long-term support that comes with Open or Native connectors. Integrated solutions are essential for a business to have a seamless experience for delivering value. The key pillars for integration are agility, reliability, security, operational cost management and performance efficiency. Integrated solutions also rely on the DataOps processes which is a pivot of People, Processes and Technology.
Founder & Technical Coach in IT Services, 2 - 10 employees
I find connectors a useful approach in segregating our software systems from third-party systems. Thinking in this way, it helps us focus on building effective interfaces and then implementing adapters for the third-party systems. In this way, we minimize direct dependencies on third-party solutions.

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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