#3 – Integration Architecture: Link between Integration and EA


Costantinos is an experienced Enterprise Architect with extensive track record working within integration architecture.

With over two decades worth of experience working on integration projects, he has built up an excellent reputation in the technology industry helping organisations develop, deliver and evolve capabilities that enable exceptional delivery of technology and architecture and strategy.

We sat down with Costantinos to discuss integration architecture, the link to EA and the challenges he faces.

Can you provide a more detailed introduction to the good work that you do?

Sure. I work mainly in the enterprise integration architecture space, creating setup and capabilities to define and deliver strategic integration points, and to enable projects and programs to deliver integration work painlessly. I tend to be technology and capability focused rather than industry focused, but have had good success in the Travel & Tourism and Insurance sectors.

All these initiatives were for large highly complex global organisations and involved defining and setting up the right shape of capability (sometimes multiple shapes of capability) for the organisation, to remove integration as a pain point and set them on an appropriate journey to building the solid digital foundations that a good integration approach can bring.

What are the most common integrations needs you are involved with?

These days there are an increasing number of technology themes that draw in “integration” demand, however most integration demand is still sits behind the scenes as a subcomponent of major initiatives, programs and projects rather than something in its own right. These areas include new architectures like Microservices or Event Driven architectures, Data Science & Analytics and the standard major application estate change programs and projects.

One major example where integration is front and centre of peoples minds is around APIs, particularly setting up API channels for transacting business. These often have interest (and therefore investment) from business stakeholders due to the opportunity they offer for opening up new previously inaccessible business frontiers.

Discuss the link between integration and Enterprise Architecture?

In order to do understand integration strategically, you need a good understanding of the organisation you are working with. This typically comes from a decent business architecture. Some basic top down models like Value Stream/Chains, Organisation Structure, Capability Models, Main Processes all help to understand where to spend your energy when delivering integration and interfaces. Without this lens over the top of project work, the opportunity to deliver “better” more strategic interfaces is often missed. Because of this link, this has often led to me producing\helping to produce these artefacts to give aid steering integration work toward a better result.

What common problems and challenges do you face with organisations around Integration Architecture?

As with all things in the tech space at the moment, integration is competing for attention and budget with many other initiatives.

Technology companies like Amazon, Facebook, PayPal or EBay by their nature have a much more thorough engineering approach and understand and invest in their integration ecosystems, however most non-technology companies are struggling to keep up with the changes demanded of them from the recent digital shifts and are often swayed towards the more visible digital channels (apps and websites) rather than on building information and functional foundations that will support this.

Because of its lack of tangibility, (with the exception of the API channel discussed earlier) , integration is hard to evangelise and build excitement with business stakeholders or budget holders, and often needs to happen in the shadow of a larger initiative or program.

Finally, what blogs, articles, podcasts, industry leaders do you follow?

For Business and Leadership I like
• Satya nadella – Working with MS over the past 2 decades, he really has revolutionised the companies culture and approach to tech, given the size, this can’t be easy
• Elon Musk – the man seems to be able to do anything
• Harvard Business Review – This magazine is great for looking at what other organisations and leaders are up to

For Technology
• Nordic APIs – a good vendor nuertal(ish) take on APIs
• Mulesoft – Great evangelists for APIs and integrations (you just need to get through the vendor stuff)
• Tibco – Very progressive visions for integration and data
• Pluralsight – Best training videos at all levels and covering all technology, worth the yearly subscription

• New Scientist – interesting news articles about science around the world
• Economist – interesting news articles about economy and politics around the world

Thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Our architecture community will gain great insight into integration architecture.

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