The core tenet of DevOps is that an organisation works better when it operates as a whole, rather than a handful of disparate departments. Systems Integration shares this goal of bringing organisations together, so why don’t we see them bundled together more often?
It’s safe to say that not all Digital Transformation “experts” are as knowledgeable as they believe. For every IT professional who truly understands how Systems Integration feeds into DevOps (much like DevOps feeds into Digital Transformation), you’ll find five more who think they’re either two sides of the same coin or completely unrelated.
DevOps and System Integration aren’t the same thing
DevOps, at its most basic, is a way of working. A methodology that encourages software developers and operations staff to communicate and collaborate at all stages of the development lifecycle.
Contrary to common misconceptions it’s not just a tech issue, and when done right you’ll be able to find DevOps’ influence spread across an entire organisation - from the executives to the engineers.
Systems Integration on the other hand is very much a tech issue. More specifically it’s a solution to the common problem of organisations relying on a technology ecosystem that’s increasingly fractured.
Although many people consider Systems Integration to simply be a facet of DevOps, but that thinking is extremely reductive. Better connecting disparate technologies to facilitate more productive organisations is a solution in its own right - not just a piece of something bigger.
System Integration doesn’t need DevOps, DevOps needs System Integration.
Systems Integration solves a very real problem that many modern organisations, especially those that sell software, are facing.
The sheer amount of 3rd party cloud, SaaS and mobile applications used by modern organisations means the technology ecosystem is increasingly splintered. Not only do these applications need to interact seamlessly with each other, they also need to interact with any on-premises systems and databases too.
That, in a nutshell, is Systems Integration. It enables disparate computer systems to communicate with each other. This can be as simple as connecting your sales and finance programmes so you don’t need to manually enter data, or as complicated as connecting numerous different CMSs.
Even without DevOps, Systems Integration is unquestionably beneficial to any organisation that doesn’t have a standardised computer system.
Technically, DevOps is possible without including a Systems Integration project. However, it’s safe to say that you wouldn’t be getting anything like the full benefits.
DevOps revolves around communication and collaboration, so if your development team and operations staff are using systems that aren’t capable of interacting, it’s unlikely to encourage the two teams to work together.
DevOps projects that do include a Systems Integration deliver a tech ecosystem that facilitates the smooth transfer of feedback, ideas and knowledge, which is the perfect environment for DevOps to thrive.
Systems Integration paves the way for successful DevOps
While collaboration and communication are at the heart of DevOps, it’s important to realise that speed is also a major element of what of what it can deliver.
We’ve previously discussed the business benefits of adopting a DevOps state-of-mind but what’s often missed is that many of these results are facilitated by the increased speed at which DevOps organisations can operate.
For example, better customer experience is achieved by a quicker response to bugs and cost-savings can be made because projects remain on-schedule.
It’s hard to imagine that any of these benefits would be possible if the development and operations team were using systems that were unable to communicate with each other.
People often overlook just how important Systems Intergration is for DevOps, but enabling disparate teams to communicate despite inconsistent and unconnected computer systems is often the bridge that facilitates the communication and collaboration associated with DevOps.
To find out more about DevOps you can download our guide to navigating DevOps.