In the ’90s there was this crazy person on the TV. No Really. Some buzz cut, buff woman named Susan Powter (if that’s her real name). And she had these totally insane infomercials that forever changed the phrase “Stop the Insanity!!” Far be it for me to comment on stopping the insanity through more insanity, but I was thinking about that infomercial when thinking about integration problems.
Albert Einstein, reputed to be a very smart guy, said that insanity is, “doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. ” And that my friends is what we have been doing with systems integration. We throw out custom code to connect systems again and again and then wonder why we spend so much time mopping up the mess.
Around 2000 some pretty cool integration tools (read TIBCO et al) hit the market. We thought these were a Godsend. But they turned out to be these behemoth proprietary messes that took three times as long to integrate and failed miserably. Companies spend $300 Billion annually on systems integration. Of this only about $25 Billion is spent on integration tools. Why are 92% of integrations custom code? Simple, these tools take way too long to implement and cost too much. The business is not going to wait, and an IT manager is not going to bet his or her career on a project with a 70% failure rate. So we task a developer to bang out a custom interface. It gets done fast and cheaply to start.
But it also comes with the custom code problem. A friend of mine who also happens to be a CIO calls this the “bag of snakes” problem. When you do something like bang out
custom code (conveniently without standards, documentation, management tools etc…) it is like the developer handing over a bag of snakes to the CIO with a wink and a smile saying, “enjoy!” If you want to make this integration work you are going to have to open this bag of snakes. And that’s the insanity we have to stop.
Ok, I’m going to get off my soapbox, but suffice to say that is exactly what we are trying to do with K3. There are seven components to every integration. We have all seven of them completely off the shelf in K3. And with that I will end…except that thanks to this post our marketing person is now going to be asking me for a white paper…