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It’s not correct to say that businesses operate “in the cloud.” Rather, they can operate in as many as half a dozen clouds because of the proliferation of applications and SaaS providers. It presents quite a challenge to unify these very disparate systems and get them to work in a unified fashion, but in order to achieve digital transformation, developers have to ensure that all systems within an enterprise are integrated.

“The most critical issues in integrating are correctly mapping the business data objects between solutions and ensuring the integrations are implemented in a way that guarantees reliability, availability and consistency across systems,” says Ken Yagen, our vice president of products. “Every system has its own governance about how you can access data (such as availability SLAs, throttling limits, record limits, et cetera) and their own schedule on when APIs or data objects change.”

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But integrating disparate systems isn’t the only thing developers need to consider when helping their businesses on the path of digital transformation. “Developers also need to keep in mind that people within and outside an enterprise will be able to access parts of the network using consumption models that are familiar to their way of working. By decentralizing IT, developers allow the integrated SaaS solutions to be adopted across the enterprise, not just through a central IT function,” Ken notes.

So what do developers need to make these enterprise integrations happen in a way that makes sense across the enterprise? “A developer needs an integration platform that abstracts and manages many of these concerns,” Ken advises. In addition, he recommends “taking an API-led approach to connectivity, where you build purposeful APIs that represent various systems, processes and experiences. The componentized APIs are reusable and can be modified quickly without disrupting business processes.”

Ken points out that a good connectivity platform can assist developers in abstracting away the need to custom code integrations, and can provide templates and out-of-the-box connectors that can make integrations easy and fast. From a business perspective, Ken also notes it’s important to “understand how to shift to composability with API-led connectivity [in order to] build a relationship between developers and the rest of the business to retain a company’s competitive status in the market.”

For more information about what developer skills are needed to manage integrations across multiple SaaS providers, applications, and legacy systems, check out the webinar hosted by MuleSoft senior enterprise architect Eugene Berman.