Defining and carrying out an integration strategy in a global corporation where each country or territory has certain technological independence is a challenge. We have to be sure that we capitalize on each country’s best practices, apply common policies, and offer a homogeneous service to clients regardless of the country – all while leaving autonomy to local entities to make their own decisions about integration.
Key components of a global integration strategy
The objective of any integration strategy is to improve the response to the business and provide it with the tools to create experiences and improve service to customers. With this approach, any strategy that involves jeopardizing the current level of service is not a great strategy.
Normally a global financial entity or a large retailer can be different local entities, which provide service to clients, but with varying integration strategies in terms of integration execution solutions (integration frameworks, SDKs) and management (API Managers, API Gateways).
For example, say we’re a local financial institution. We can deploy different management solutions from our peers in other countries or even develop with other frameworks. This starting situation does not support a strategy of make-believe.
On the other hand, both the local entities and the central services of the company require a series of requirements to be successful in their business, which is reflected in the need to be solved by the integration strategy.
5 conditions that our integration platform must meet for success
Any integration platform we implement at the corporate level must work collaboratively with existing management solutions or execution frameworks. Subsequently, the platform must expand the value of existing investments and capitalize on intellectual property. What’s more, it must extend the capabilities of existing solutions. By not having a global solution, it’s very likely that we will have gaps in the following areas: security, monitoring, automation, existing investments, and global management.
We will need a system that implements security at the platform level globally, regardless of where or with what solution the integration was created. Unlike the security implemented at the code level, or following the different software of each country that does not guarantee a correct or homogeneous implementation always.
Our solution at the central level must offer us a local and global monitoring system that allows us to make management decisions at all times. This feature will shed light on the performance of solutions that are not exclusive to a territory and will let us be more competitive in creating a global offering for our clients.
This will lead to a series of savings in global integration costs and ensure a correct balance between investments in integration and innovation. This automation will allow us to streamline the complete development cycle and improve the time to market to the business.
4. Existing investments
The corporate platform must have the ability to coexist with different local management solutions like API Gateways, Proxies, and Managers, and execution with different development frameworks. But also it should extend the capabilities of these due to the unified vision and orchestration capabilities. This is the only way to have a global system with local decision-making capacity in the terms that the global companies require.
5. Global management
Global management is the conjunction of two key elements. The first is the ability to manage third-party assets with a complete integration cycle perspective, whether another entity developed them or by the integration platform solution or third-party software. This type of solution must have the means to expose and share integration assets at the holding company and local entity levels.
The second element is the ability to collaborate by exposing assets. But with an important addition, which goes beyond a simple API exposure portal. The ability to define approval flows that facilitate the capitalization of the best assets, whether coming from a local entity or the central services of the holding company. This will allow us both to federate locally to the canonical asset that suits us and propose local assets to be considered canonical at the holding level.
The last hidden advantage
The best in the class know that always doing things the same way is often the best path to failure. But at the same time, giving up the inheritance and the knowledge acquired for the sake of change only accelerates the disaster.
In this type of holding company, our inheritance is usually some vast system, a kind of core banking, a huge retail transactional system that we have been growing and learning around. What hidden advantage does the proposed strategy have in this situation?
The advantage is that unlike solving the need for integration with different unrelated elements, an integration platform will give us independence from our own initial back office. This should allow us to disembark in a country where we do not have a presence as a company without the burden of having to implement a heavy back office but offering the entire offer to our clients. Thus, the same system that APIfy and involved to be agile in our origin becomes the catalyst for change, leaving it to be present. There is no better way to learn and capitalize on experience than this.
If you are interested in this type of strategy and in knowing more about the platform that can offer you to be successful in your holding company, learn more about bringing the power of integration to everyone.