Enterprise Application Integration, an approach to link and couple disparate applications across the organization, use the services and technologies that can serve as an enabler for any enterprise in automating its business operations to a great extent.
So, what is driving businesses to migrate to EAI? One of the main reason behind this migration can be the hitches enterprise owners face during information sharing among applications that could not be communicated well i.e. there may be interoperability problem, or applications running on different databases or may be using systems that are no longer in use. EAI tools remove this bottleneck by bridging the gap between them through interface solutions that allow information sharing among different departments (viz. SCM, CRM, BI, HR, eCommerce etc..) lot more effective.
Before delving more into its benefits let’s see the action areas where EAI tools focus on:
Orchestration of Processes – Helps your business in managing and tracking transactions that span across multiple systems in no time which can be time-consuming, otherwise.
Activity Monitoring – Gives real-time analytics on the performance of processes, which in a way help you to make quick business decisions.
Transformation of Data – Ensures that data can easily be transformed into formats which the destination application understands, as every application has its own specific format of data.
Storage, Routing & Filtering – Reliable delivery of data between systems through proper storing and routing of information. Using EAI tools, you can package your data as messages or independent units. So, when the data is moved from the source application it gets stored in the messaging system, and again when it gets delivered to the receiver application, it gets stored again. This “storing” of information at both ends makes the process reliable. Again, the message filtration capability allows the message content to be routed if matches the criteria, causing the unwanted messages to get discarded. For eg. Notification on promotions or price updates related to specific items to specific customers.
So, to realize the full potential of each of these components, enterprises are eager to fulfill their business goals through proper synchronization, that can be achieved through the implementation of EAI tools.
Some of the core benefits that EAI tools can offer:
- Automation – Improved and streamlined business processes with transparency in the data flow between application. Optimal performance can only be achieved if all the resources work in harmony. EAI brings that automation which allows applications to be tightly integrated and in-sync with each other. For eg. in an order fulfillment process, without EAI tool in place, one has to go through a level of human intervention and validation for moving the data. But now, an EAI process can be triggered that transfers your order to an ERP or manufacturing system, as per your business need
- Real-time Access to Information – In today’s market, rapid response is a common expectation. EAI brings this change, by providing updates with zero-latency to its consumers.
- Scalable & Agile – Application integration tools bring agility and speed to address the integration needs as they evolve and add enhancements by reusing same core business logic.
- Better Visibility – EAI tools helps in maintaining end-to-end visibility of business processes with proper control and accountability. With this transparency, organizations can stay well informed and make quick business decisions.
- Reduced Complexity & Cost – EAI tools can reduce complexity, but it requires enterprises to be dedicated to getting maximum value from it. In general, any change to the existing system can pose greater complexity, which in turn contributes to greater cost and increased failure risks. That’s why, enterprises are now focusing more on their architectural capacity, technology, skills so that EAI tools can be deployed to deliver business benefits and to reduce the operational costs required to manage the complexity of heterogeneous applications.
In a nutshell, EAI tools can prove beneficial to any organization, if chosen with careful planning and which suits the company’s business scenario. One can explore the synergies between applications and accrue its benefits that will help them in making informed decisions and have a competitive edge in the ever-changing market. So, companies must be proactive and have vision and strategy in place to achieve integration in a systematic way and get rewarded in long-term.