There seems to be no end to the growth of integration. Integration is hard and it really does not end with production deploy of the projects. Operations and maintenance of the integration environment is a significant part of the costs – and for many the largest cost component of all.
An organization’s speed and agility in delivering on integration projects can be a significant competitive advantage and can help an organization through mergers, realizing cost improvements, delivering digitization projects and building new revenues and better value chains. Understanding the business critical role of integration middleware such as BizTalk is key for an organization to succeed.
Failure to make the necessary investments into operations and maintenance often results in sub-optimal results in terms of ROI on the integration investments and severe troubleshooting costs.<
If you think of a BizTalk integration project as a one-time project without the necessary investment into operational support and maintenance, you will likely end up experiencing that BizTalk becomes the scapegoat for problems experienced by stakeholders internal and external to your organization.
Why? Because deploy-and-run BizTalk projects presents the following problems:
- Missing or incomplete documentation of what and how integrations and logic is implemented
- Missing institutional knowledge with no access to developers or business analysts that originally delivered the project
- No control of performance that impact the business
- No tools or solutions that can provide the insight
And BizTalk does not ship with a set of toolsthat ease the challenges described above. When trouble arise – panic arrives - and consequences through lost revenue and costs go through the roof. And without the ability to efficiently troubleshoot, BizTalk very often becomes the scapegoat for problems that originate beyond the boundaries of the BizTalk application.
You need to plan for operations and maintenance of BizTalk and make sure you have a proper process in place for BizTalk lifecycle management, the needed resources available and the right tools. With BizTalk and other middleware technologies the answer is to leverage technology to efficiently identify problems. Identifying problems in BizTalk is a big data task where machine learning is key to anomaly detection that points you quickly and easily to the BizTalk internal problems and potential (and likely) external triggers such as failure or performance problem residing at a connected application.
So, if you are responsible for a current BizTalk project or has received a potential burning-stick including BizTalk ownership you need to make sure you are prepared to face the BizTalk finger-pointing or you have to accept that BizTalk is the scapegoat.
Check out how to easily gain insight into BizTalk