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Robert Eve

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Article

Maximize Your Integration Competency Center with Data Virtualization

Data virtualization projects benefit from ICC processes and support

If you have been doing data or business process integration for a while, you understand the importance of an integration competency center (ICC).

The reason is simple.  An integration competency center can be IT's expressway to delivering value to the business.

How ICCs Provide Business and IT Value
A number of ICC value propositions are now mainstream including:

  • Business users become familiar with the ICC's requirements definition and governance processes. This makes them more comfortable with needed IT rigor.
  • IT develops a consistent SDLC that shares resources optimally across projects rather that improves the quality of deliverables and reduces project costs.
  • New technologies, for example, data virtualization, can be easily folded into the ICC enabling faster adoption and quicker return on new capital investments.

Leverage Prior ICC Investments
An Integration Competency Center is the nexus for an enterprise-scale strategy that successfully combines and evolves the people, process and technology required achieving all the business and IT benefits that integration middleware can deliver.  Including data virtualization in your existing ICC lets you leverage existing ICC infrastructure, organizational alignment, and lessons learned.

Move Faster
Including data virtualization in your existing ICC also helps accelerate time-to-solution in multiple ways:

  • Guides a unified, complete data virtualization strategy and architecture that supports rapid execution
  • Concentrates subject matter expertise to resolve data virtualization design and development issues faster
  • Reuses objects to save development time

Save Money
Finally, adding data virtualization to your ICC can also help reduce initial and on-going costs by:

  • Optimizes internal and external staffing across multiple data virtualization projects and activities
  • Better utilizes data virtualization infrastructure
  • Develops and ensures use of best practice methods
  • Anticipates and proactively overcome obstacles thereby avoiding extra costs

Practical Implementation Approach
Bringing data virtualization into an existing ICC need not be difficult.  Yet every situation will be different.  As such use a flexible implemention approach adapted to your organization's unique situation and needs. Consider the following dimensions in your implementing your plan:

  • Data virtualization strategy and adoption maturity
  • Centralized vs. decentralized resources
  • Build and run requirements
  • IT environment
  • Staff skills
  • Alignment with other competency centers

Start small by limiting the scope of functions, projects, or some other way that supports a successful growth strategy.  Communicate your successes as well.  This will help the data virtualization ICC team gain momentum and accelerate success.

Investment Bank Integration Competency Center
To improve time to solution for new applications as well as reduce costs, this bank leveraged an integrated ICC approach.  Their ICC optimizes all the people, process and technology activities associated with integration across their key integration middleware standards (Composite Software for data virtualization, Tibco for business process management and ESB, and Informatica for ETL).  The central ICC team provides design and development support to application project teams on a project by project basis.  In addition, they centrally manage their best practice methods, reusable development objects, and the development, testing, staging, production and failover environments.

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Robert Eve is the EVP of Marketing at Composite Software, the data virtualization gold standard and co-author of Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility. Bob's experience includes executive level roles at leading enterprise software companies such as Mercury Interactive, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. Bob holds a Masters of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley.