Mission critical core is your differentiator that wins customers against others. Mission critical context, the table stakes, are not differentiating. However, this is typically a large part of the solution, and are the capabilities that any solution is expected to provide.
The backend capabilities provided by an integration solution are unlikely to be core. It’s more likely that a customer-facing or supply chain component of your solution will be mission critical core. The recommendation is that you outsource your context to free time up for core; and make sure you don’t waste time on too much context.
One of our customers had the decision of build vs. buy for integrating their online customer portal with their ERP system. When it came to delivering an integration solution, using the Flowgear integration platform they were able to go from initial concept to production in four months, which included testing out different integration patterns along the way.
What developers should consider
Developers need to identify how they can provide real value to the digital business initiatives that their organizations are conducting. This may mean that developers need to challenge their self-perceptions of how capable they are, and how long and complex developing their own integration solution will be.
By buying an integration solution rather than building, you as the developer enable greater interoperability between legacy systems and new digital technologies, and enable the organization to implement component-oriented solutions rather than monolithic ones. The business IT landscape is changing and becoming more distributed, so you need to have an integration solution that is adaptable; hand coded systems usually are written for a limited scope of work and don’t lend themselves to quick reliable changes. By investing in an integration solution you are driving business value by providing opportunities for the business to change more quickly.
For one company, the core-context model reveals an interesting situation. At the Domino’s Pizza chain, making pizza is actually a context activity. What differentiates them, and is core to the business, is their ability to deliver a hot pizza within 30 minutes.
In the case of our customer, it is the power and flexibility of their online portal that enables a better customer service, and is therefore core. The integration of the systems enables the process to work faster without errors, which is essentially table stakes these days.
By using the Flowgear integration platform, businesses can focus on the systems that are critical for customer success, and leave all the standard integration issues to Flowgear.