Two key elements to providing data and data integration services

July 13, 2011
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Word_ICC004 Establishing and operating an Integration Compe

Word_ICC004 Establishing and operating an Integration Competency Center (ICC)  is clearly an effective approach to breaking down the business, budgetary and political silos within many enterprises.

These silos have resulted in overspending in integration and underperforming in delivering the information your enterprise could use to its competitive advantage. As I wrote earlier, people, process and politics can be inhibitors to truly providing the information backbone to support performance management, reporting and business analytics.

Getting an ICC starts the journey, but you still need to adopt a holistic approach to providing the right information, to the right people and at the right time throughout the enterprise.  The key architectural concept is to enable a portfolio of data and data integration services that people, processes and applications can tap to satisfy their information requirements.

There are two elements to providing the data and data integration services:

First, establish a service-oriented architecture (SOA)  to enable access to these services throughout the enterprise and outside its firewalls with customers, suppliers and partners if desired. SOA has had a lot of fanfare and many of the industry innovators have already made substantial commitments to providing this architecture. There is plenty of industry literature and publicity hyping this trend and I’ll leave you to get the details on your own.

Second, to enable SOA data and data integration services you need to have the underlying data integration processes working. Those processes include ETL (extract, transform and load), ELT (extract, load and transform), EAI (enterprise application integration), EII (enterprise information integration), data cleansing, data profiling, data auditing, metadata management and other processes that we’ve discussed. SOA is a very useful enabling technology but it’s the tip of the iceberg while the real “guts” of the data integration service are the processes I mentioned above.

Are you establishing an ICC? Are you creating a data integration services portfolio for your company? What are your concerns and words of advice regarding implementing these services? Pass along your comments and thoughts.