Solving the Top Challenges of Enterprise Data Integration

May 22, 2020 Charles Waltner

The main dilemma posed by enterprise data integration is made explicit by the phrase itself.

Enterprise organizations, by nature, are awash with data — often fragmented, distributed, and living in different formats or environments. Integrating this data to make it more accessible and useful is emerging as a key priority across the business spectrum.

Not so long ago, this undertaking was a massive headache, promising to consume all sorts of time and resources. But luckily, the emergence of modern technology like integration platform as a service (iPaaS) has greatly reduced the strain and stress inherent to such initiatives.

Here’s how today’s organizations are solving the challenges of enterprise data integration.

Challenges and Solutions in Enterprise Data Integration

Circumstances vary across different industries and businesses, of course, but these are some of the most common hurdles faced with large-scale data integration initiatives, and how modern enterprises are overcoming them.

Challenge: High volume of disconnected, distributed, diverse data sources and types

This is the most plain and self-evident pain point. Data can exist in all sorts of formats, locations, and sources — not to mention across different environments. Common scenarios include a business that’s trying to unify multiple procurement systems, or efforts to merge a variety of different customer databases. There are smaller challenges laddering up to this one, including the cleansing and deduplication of data to ensure quality during the process.

Solution: Modern iPaaS tools like the Boomi Platform are built for precisely these types of situations, supporting all key integration and communication patterns. Streaming, batch, and ETL integrations all help with accomplishing the task at scale, as do automation and templating capabilities. While every business is unique, many integration scenarios are not, so the ever-growing intelligence of Boomi’s platform continually helps to streamline the work.

Challenge: Large-scale integration can be a major strain on the IT department

Resources are already stretched thin in many enterprises, especially when it comes to technical experts. Not only does there tend to be a scarcity of available personnel who can reliably handle the needs of a data integration project, but the work itself is often tedious and repetitive.

Solution: The beauty of cutting-edge iPaaS tools is that they’re accessible for non-technical experts, offering intuitive user interfaces with drag-and-drop functionality. Features like pre-built integration processes and reusable components reduce or even eliminate the need for manual coding. “Typically, integration's been a very specialist capability in IT and you've only had one or two people who've had the skills set to do it," said Chris Moon, CTO for EPA Victoria in a Boomi Customer Spotlight. "Boomi is much more drag-and-drop, and allows people to connect things up very simply."

Challenge: Integration at this scale can be a lengthy, drawn-out process

As customer expectations shift in the digital age, speed is becoming all the more essential for businesses of all kinds. The prospect of an integration project spanning several months, in addition to the aforementioned resource consumption, can generate a lot of stress in a competitive landscape.

Solution: With its multitude of efficiencies and shortcuts, iPaaS can exponentially increase time-to-value over traditional solutions. “We develop integrations with Boomi in a quarter of the time it took us before, and those integrations run three or four times faster than they did on our previous platform,” said John Parker, lead software engineer and integrations architect for Cornell University, in sharing the organization’s journey to building a connected campus.

Challenge: Security and compliance could become harder to manage

Enterprise organizations tend to face a number of inherent compliance challenges, in part because of the sheer scale of their operations, and in part because their businesses often span different geographies and jurisdictions. Meeting regulatory needs is a frequent driver for data integration in the first place, but it’s reasonable to be concerned about how reorganization or restructuring of your data might affect the compliance measures that are already in place.

Solution: Almost any iPaaS will place data security and compliance as a high priority, because the ever-growing urgency of this focus is not lost on anyone. The transparency, record-keeping, and accountability established through enterprise data integration with iPaaS will ultimately put organizations in a better position to understand and align with data governance rules and regulations as they continue to evolve globally. For example, you can read about how Boomi helps organizations meet the demands of GDPR compliance.

Conquering Enterprise Data Integration Challenges With iPaaS

Our changing world is increasingly necessitating data integration. The challenges only mount when this initiative is delayed, so recognizing your organization’s hurdles and putting a solution in place to overcome them is in many cases something that shouldn’t wait.

If you’re ready to tackle enterprise data integration head-on, we invite you to learn about integration with Boomi, and maybe even start a free trial to see first-hand how our platform might help solve your enterprise’s biggest challenges.

For more information on how Boomi can help your enterprise integrate everything, please contact our team of integration experts.

About the Author

Charles Waltner is the head of content marketing for Boomi.

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