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The complexity of building an in-house Integration Team

Having worked in the systems integration space as a developer and integration architect for the best part of a decade, I’ve been involved in a large number of projects, ranging from huge digital transformations to small system implementations.

Each organisation I have worked with has been very good at building teams focused on a business application or domain, however, struggles with cross-domain functions such as Integration.

Integration challenges

Recently I’ve been reflecting on an assignment with a client from a couple of years back, where we faced major challenges in trying to build an in-house capability for application integration. Very early on in the project plan, we identified that we would need to put together a team to run and manage the brand-new integration platform (iPaaS), which immediately raised key questions:

  • Who should own this critical cross capability beyond the scope of the project?
  • How can we accelerate and establish the key integration platform that enables my business project?
  • Do I find the skills within my already stretched team, or engage with independent consultants ?

The plan was seemingly straightforward; we would upskill existing employees with the required domain knowledge and give them the necessary technical skills, as well as bring in outside hires for more senior technical experience.

Problems started to present themselves when the existing employees either were not interested in the new position or found the new job role requirements did not suit their strengths. Furthermore, the capacity within our internal organisation was already thin. As a result, we struggled to get the internal people we needed to build the new team, and even worse, we lost the traction needed to ensure the integration requirements for the project could be delivered.

Suddenly we found ourselves getting closer to go-live, but way off the plan for the strategic integration platform. Do we now revert to old ways of FTE based planning for niche and rare skills, or look at other options?

Externalising the team

At that point, due to the typical lead times and market constraints with new hires, we were faced with the typical options:

  • Contract outsourced support. A couple of proposals were on the table, but even with the cheapest offer we would, paying rates that were too expensive and would require a difficult conversation with programme management for more budget.
  • Extend the contract with the SI partner to include support. However, this would have been even more expensive, and we wouldn’t have availability guaranteed for more than 3 months.

Managed service for integrations

Recent progression in technology has led to core services being split out into specialised, cloud-based systems. To help businesses stay competitive and better adopt technological advancements, Pace Integration offers a flexible Integration Managed Service (IMS) that mitigates typical integration challenges faced in the enablement of cloud, as well as on-premises systems.

Pace Integration provides a team of high-quality and local integration experts, working as an extension of your organisation, with a scalable fixed-cost structure suited to system integration challenges. This alleviates the pain of building a fragile integration capability, through a managed service model.

Written by Chris Fitzgerald

If you can relate, have previously come across this, and looking to solve your integration challenge then we can offer a solution to your problem!

Find out more by clicking here to download our free Pace IMS offering brochure, or contact us directly at ims.connect@paceintegration.com

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