Why models are the only way to scale toolchain integration

“Despite the well-documented benefits and criticality of toolchain integration, enterprise-level integration continues to present big challenges for many organizations.”

If there was ever any doubt that enterprises relied heavily on cross-tool integration to thrive, Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft for $6.5 billion in 2018 settled it. Integration is no longer an afterthought or nice-to-have. It is, simply put, a prerequisite for success. And using a model-based approach is the only way to scale operations.

Today’s organizations need information to flow intelligently between their internal systems and to and from partners and suppliers. Integration enables automated workflows, keeps systems in sync, streamlines the flow of work, prevents data discrepancies and eliminates costly human error.

Integration also makes organizations leaner, by cutting out the manual, non-value-adding work (aka ‘waste’) people have to do to keep colleagues and tools in sync. Waste, like entering the same data twice in two systems, slows down throughput and hinders value creation.

In a software delivery organization, integration is particularly important, because no single tool or product suite can support the specialized work of all the varied teams that collaborate to develop and support a product feature of service.

PMOs, product owners, business analysts, architects, UX designers, developers, testers, operations, help desk, security officers — each and every one of them performs a unique job. They need to be supported by specialized tools that make their work possible.

Moreover, sometimes two people in the same company with the exact same job title actually work on entirely different products, supported by a completely different tool stack. That’s just the nature of the beast.

Thus, integration plays a critical role tying all these specialized tools together and making them work like a single well-oiled machine. Information flows automatically from tool to tool, specialist to specialist, “pushing work along” to the next step in the workflow.

In addition, integration enables organizations to aggregate data across lines of business or departments, creating visibility for the managers and executives who need to see the big picture.

The ongoing challenge of enterprise-level integration

Yet despite the well-documented benefits and criticality of integration, enterprise-level integration continues to present big challenges for many organizations.

The main reason being that the traditional approach to integration — i.e., point-to-point integration between two tools — cannot handle the size and complexity of the work that enterprises are undertaking.

The average enterprise and agency needs to flow rich product lifecycle data across a software delivery value stream that comprises*:

  • 100–1000s of projects
  • In 5–10 core tools
  • Housing 30–40 artifact types
  • With 30–100 fields each
  • And 100s of possible values and states

Model-based Integration is the only way to efficiently synchronize such large volumes of sophisticated data while maintaining its integrity and supporting cross-tool reporting.

But what exactly is model-based integration? And what makes it so superior to point-to-point mappings and templates? The below infographic covers the core basics:

Download our new e-book on model-based integration to gain a deeper understanding of the power of models. The document expands on the infographic to explain:

  • The importance and benefits of toolchain integration
  • Why point-to-point mapping struggles to scale
  • What model-based integration is
  • How model-based integration works
  • Why models are superior to point-to-point mapping and templates

Request a highly-customized demo to see how model-based integration can provide a reliable, scalable and easy to use infrastructure to help you grow and optimize your enterprise software delivery.

*Based on Tasktop calculations.


Written by: Naomi Lurie

Originally published at www.tasktop.com on July 30, 2018.