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How API-Led Connectivity Addresses Digital Transformation Challenges

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Digital transformation challenges go far beyond what to run, what to move to the cloud, and what processes to streamline.

Digital transformation is vast, encompassing everything from cloud, integration, AI, data analytics, IoT, customer experience, innovation, and more—and touches all areas of the business. Companies are investing in their digital transformation initiatives for a variety of reasons, including improving operations, increasing the value they deliver to their customers and stakeholders, and/or outpacing their competitors. 

It's a major shift involving integrating digital technology into all functions, levels, and processes—as well as cultural, operational and organizational change.  The potential benefits are significant, including increased efficiency, accelerated innovation, superior products and experiences, and greater profitability.

Integration is a major component of digital transformation success. Most organizations find that, the further they go into their transformation initiatives, the more that they need to connect and integrate.

Everything as a Service (XaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile require seamless integration for you to get the most out of your investment. However, the traditional point-to-point approach to integration won’t work for the rapidly increasing number of endpoints and the constantly changing IT landscape.

By putting a comprehensive integration strategy in place and adopting API-led connectivity, organizations can meet these challenges head-on and accelerate digital transformation success. Let’s explore what this looks like.
 

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5 Ways to Improve Your Integration Strategy

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Today, companies need to deliver services quickly to avoid disruption and keep up with the rapid pace of change. This is leading many of them to adopt cloud-based technologies. Typically, this leads to a multi-cloud or hybrid approach, and by 2021, Gartner anticipates over 75 percent of organizations steering onto this course. But to successfully use cloud-based technology, integration strategy needs to come to the forefront of all discussions.

For organizations overwhelmed by the array of integration options, from platform software to proprietary vendor tools and custom code, developing an integration strategy will help focus efforts and narrow down integration tool choices. Here are ways to make sure you're setting up your organization for success.

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Connecting Hybrid Environments Requires a Well-Planned Approach

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Connectivity between systems is as much a part of doing business today as installing telephone lines was decades ago. Data from legacy systems, Software as a Service (SaaS) products, mobile devices, and even Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices needs to be collected, analyzed, and leveraged to get the most value from it. 

However, this poses a challenge for most organizations. A mix of complex in-house cloud-based software, solutions, services, and infrastructure can be difficult to connect and integrate. Add in the need to connect partner systems to unlock new opportunities with data, and it may seem like an impossible task. 

Many legacy systems weren’t designed with a connected future in mind, and connecting to SaaS products requires a flexible, agile approach to maximize the investment in these existing solutions. 

This means embracing a hybrid environment, where some systems are in the cloud, some are on-premise, and all of them are successfully integrated.

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Navigating Change and Disruption with Enterprise Architecture

By Michael Cardillo | Thu, May 21, 2020

As I work from my home amid the COVID-19 crisis, I can’t help but think that the need for Enterprise Architecture is greater than ever. Now is a time when organizations need to be thinking about the changes they need to make in order to survive and eventually to prosper in this new world. 

Many business leaders may overlook the role of Enterprise Architecture in these changes, believing it to be mainly a technical concern.   

In reality, Enterprise Architecture is about alignmentaligning people, processes, and technologies to achieve business goals. It's also about aligning to navigate significant change and disruption successfully.

Unfortunately, as I shared in my "What is Enterprise Architecture?" post, this is broken in most organizations, and they'll struggle to leverage EA effectively—even during the times they need it most.

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Why Now is the Time to INVEST in Your Strategy

By Michael Cardillo | Thu, Apr 02, 2020

I just listened to a podcast about an automobile parts company that was facing significant challenges in the current COVID-19 crisis.  With auto plants all over the world shut down, they were facing an unprecedented crash of all orders and sales. 

To their credit, rather than laying people off and contracting, they looked for new opportunities.  It turns out that one component they manufacture is pistons for various automobile applications. It just so happens that ventilators use pistons—ventilators that are now in unprecedented demand.

This company was able to shift its production to producing ventilator-sized pistons quickly.  They already have partnerships with several manufacturers and a huge backlog of orders.  That’s a pivot of a business model that will enable the company to not only survive this crisis, but to actually grow their revenue in 2020.  

I’ve noticed that many organizations are taking the opposite approach.  They are canceling projects and investments to create a surplus of cash.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the question is, do you sit on that cash…or do you re-think your strategy—and thus your investments?

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What is Enterprise Architecture and What are its Benefits?

By Michael Cardillo | Mon, Mar 23, 2020

Understanding Enterprise Architecture (EA)

Welcome to the first post in our Enterprise Architecture blog and video series. In this series, we'll explore the importance of EA in achieving business goals, highlight best practices, discuss pitfalls to avoid, and examine how organizations are leveraging EA to maximize value from their technology investments.  Check out the video or read the transcript below. 


My name is Mike Cardillo, and I run the Enterprise Architecture practice for Lightwell. I've been in IT for about 30-35 years, and I've been doing Enterprise Architecture for about 20-25 years.

I've spent the last 10 years in consulting in Enterprise Architecture and have helped companies with creating and running EA programs, as well as building strategies such as digital strategies, transformation strategies—and how we use Enterprise Architecture to drive the business.

 

Enterprise Architecture is about how you align your business investments—your projects essentially—with your business goals and objectives, and that is broken in most organizations.

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Combatting Organizational Software Silos with IBM Transformation Extender for Integration Servers

By Connor Smith | Wed, Jul 17, 2019

In this blog post, I will explore the IBM Transformation Extender (ITX) extension for IBM App Connect Enterprise (ACE, formerly IBM Integration Bus, IIB), highlighting how taking advantage of these two products in harmony can achieve operational efficiency.

 

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Cloud Spotlight: IBM MQ High Availability (HA) in AWS

By Connor Smith | Wed, Oct 31, 2018

With the rise of the cloud, in particular, AWS, how does ‘traditional’ IBM MQ High Availability (HA) compare against its AWS alternatives—and is there any point in using them in the cloud?

I'll explore this in topic this post.

 

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Simplifying Container Management with Kubernetes: Exploring IBM and MuleSoft Solutions

By John Hawkins | Tue, Aug 14, 2018

Parallel problems

Although the offerings I'm about to discuss are different, they're interesting enough to explore more closely. Both IBM and MuleSoft are claiming that the reason for implementing their solutions is because they perceive a lack of skills in containers and Kubernetes.

This tallies with what I see in the world I work in too. It's one thing to say that you can run a few containers in the wild, but it's quite another to run them as a true cloud environment with hundreds— potentially thousandsof them.

Alongside this, containers are making some architectures change. High Availability (HA) solutions that once looked fine in the VM world now begin to look clunky and new ways of doing HA are springing up. Monitoring now becomes a headache if your failing system was brought down automatically and had been recreated before you even knew you had a problem. Never mind things like license management, where most vendors are struggling to cope with a more flexible model that true cloud requires.

I'll discuss here the two different offerings, and we can see how they are very differentbut trying to solve the same skills issue.

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Selecting the right managed file transfer solution in the cloud

By Lightwell | Fri, Oct 04, 2013

In a white paper drafted by Osterman Research, the features and functionality of managed file transfers in a cloud-based environment were analyzed to help users identify what is most important to consider when selecting a solution. Companies of all sizes and industries are benefiting from managed file transfer solutions in the modern marketplace, as the technology aids in governing and automating data exchange between two entities. There are many types of managed file exchange options to choose from, including person-to-person, system-to-system and system-to-person. Each of these types must be protected against external threats or data loss, and should work seamlessly with existing infrastructure to offer a high return on investment.

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