As outlined in a previous Groundswell blog post, we identified how organizations continue to adopt technology to accomplish their daily processes; while enabling employees to perform tasks successfully, and effortlessly. We also identified how modern integration technologies allow the seamless addition or decommission
As outlined in a previous Groundswell blog post, we identified how organizations continue to adopt technology to accomplish their daily processes; while enabling employees to perform tasks successfully, and effortlessly. We also identified how modern integration technologies allow the seamless addition or decommission of applications, and how an Integration Strategy will provide the necessary initial steps to implement Governance, usually in the form of a Competency Center; along with the acquisition and regimented implementation of those integration technologies.
Before we begin with the Competency Center aspects derived from an Integration Strategy, let us make a few clarifications to our previous blog, since we received quite a bit of feedback on it.
So, let us begin with a Competency Center definition:
“A governance body that provides guidance and expertise within an organization, in order to coordinate, support, and act as the repository of knowledge, for a specific discipline; in order to gain efficiencies and effectiveness for a competitive advantage.”
Essentially, Competency Centers originated from the need to have proper Governance and guidance within an organization, in order to avoid proliferation of competing technologies, architectures and design patterns; and with the intention to regulate growth of a certain discipline. In this case, let’s consider this discipline is Integration, since Competency Centers can be redesigned to include Governance for Business Intelligence, Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management, and so on.
It is important to note Competency Centers are commonly established before, or at the same time when a new integration technology is acquired; in order to early assess, document, define and guide the existing and future integration components that support the business processes which bring revenue to the organization.
That said, let’s go back to the organization we depicted in our previous blog: an Integration Strategy is in place, and the decision to acquire a new integration technology has been made.
However, the acquisition of such integration technology is not just about the purchase, proper Governance in the form of a Competency Center must be in place ahead of time in order to avoid common pitfalls in the future, such as: competing technologies, disjointed processes, unknown data quality, unsustainable point to point interfaces, and complex systems architecture. In our experience, organizations that do not implement a Competency Centre usually have the following symptoms:
The establishment of a Competency Centre within an organization helps solve and alleviate most of the issues and risks outlined before. However, like anything else, a Competency Centre will not be a ‘silver bullet’ that will immediately resolve those issues and mitigate the derived risks. A Competency Centre is designed to establish processes through technology, enabling people to leverage integration in the proper manner. As the organization matures their approach to integration, by following and enforcing Governance, and once the different foundational components of the Competency Center are clearly delineated and valued, risks will be addressed and mitigated, and issues will eventually be resolved.
In Groundswell’s experience, the minimal foundational components of a Competency Centre are as follows:
It is important to note that additional components can be added to the Competency Centre in subsequent phases, as required.
This is the first of a three-post blog series. Stay tuned for our next post which will cover key components of Competency Centres, including Governance Committee, Integration Inventory, Governance Process, Reference Architecture, Design Patterns, Development Guidelines and Methodology.