Avoid Making These 5 Mistakes When Choosing iPaaS Standardization or Hybrid
Minimizing mistakes can be a critical success factor when your organization is making the decision to go all-in on an iPaaS solution, like MuleSoft, or intentionally choose to go the hybrid route. I think you’ll agree; many mistakes can be made during this decision process.
The iPaaS/Hybrid analysis is complicated because making the right decision is important. It will influence your integration direction, impact your ability to meet business objectives, and even affect your career.
Knowledge is power when it comes to making this decision. Knowing where the pitfalls lie can help you avoid them. Understanding the potential impact can help you anticipate the changes. And adopting best practices can lay the foundation for success with your integration solution choice.
iPaaS Standardization or Hybrid Solution? The Common Mistakes
There are a lot of decision points when it comes to choosing the correct integration solution path. Knowing the most common mistakes will help you pay special attention to those areas of the process.
Not Defining Decision Making Authority
The mistakes can start with who is involved in making the decision. There is a fine line to walk between handing down a verdict and giving everyone a vote.
Ideally, you’ll want a diverse group involved in the decision-making process. This group should include the IT organization, who will be responsible for the solution, operations, who will be supporting it, security, who will need to understand access to and from the cloud, and the business, who will ultimately benefit from the solution.
They each have a voice and a place in the decision-making process. Ultimately, however, you’ll need to recognize that it’s unlikely you’ll get a consensus. Weigh the preferences and concerns against the other decision points, but understand that the final decision should sit with only a limited few.
Ignoring Cost – Upfront and TCO
To be clear, cost IS a factor in the decision. But it cannot be the only factor.
For instance, a vendor may offer to throw in licenses for their iPaaS as part of another large purchase. Free sounds great - until you find out that the capabilities included in the platform don’t help you achieve the business objectives.
Worse, that platform may be free up to a point, but once you go all-in could be more costly than a well-chosen solution. Once you’ve committed and started down the path with that platform, it can be hard to pivot your strategy. That’s not the time to find out that the cost of the functionality you need will far outstrip the other solutions you were considering.
Take the time to ask questions and understand what you are getting for the current cost, how the platform scales to meet future needs, and the potential future cost of the platform. Also, take the time to dive into a vendor’s business case (e.g., ROI calculation) they created for your situation. The information they share usually will benefit their platform. Be sure to ask:
- Where are their numbers coming from?
- What criteria did they use?
- What were their assumptions?
Trust, but verify.
Missing Roadmaps and Success Plans
It’s common for an organization to start choosing an integration solution without understanding where they are headed. You surely don’t plan on a family vacation without a destination in mind, so why would you choose an integration solution without a business destination in mind?
Before deciding, define where you are going.
- What are your success criteria?
- What will your first few projects be?
- How does the business define success? (That definition is likely different from IT’s.)
Whatever your success criteria are - cost savings, greater agility, increased productivity, enhanced ability to meet business needs, etc. - accept that you won’t achieve those with your first few projects and socialize that fact. There will be a learning curve, and you will make mistakes. But if you know where you’re headed, you can make course corrections to achieve your integration goals faster.
Ignoring Technical Debt
Your existing technical debt won’t disappear with a new platform. As part of adopting a solution, you must create a plan to manage and ultimately eliminate the current technical debt from your existing solutions. Otherwise, you’ll be increasing costs while lowering your productivity.
A decision towards an iPaaS (MuleSoft) or a hybrid environment does not erase your technical debt. Knowing which alternative helps you retire that debt is essential, and ignoring your current situation only delays improving it.
Downplaying Impacts to You and Your Organization
Whatever decision you make regarding your integration solution path will have an impact on the organization, and potentially, your career.
For you, the choice can be a career boost or career-ending and can define your legacy. Will your decision support top-line revenue growth? Or will it slow down the business’s ability to hit its goals?
While the decision will reflect - one way or another - on you, it will also impact the reputation of IT in the business’s eyes. Will the choice positively reflect on IT’s ability to innovate, scale, manage costs, and increase responsiveness? Or will they be seen as the same old IT with a new set of tools?
The iPaaS or Hybrid decision should not be taken lightly. The direction, strategy, and success of your integration projects and initiatives depend on the right choices. Big Compass has helped many customers rationalize and determine their right path. Our MuleSoft Value Accelerator engagement can help you confidently identify a path forward and what elements of your current environment are most important to address in the immediate future.