The secret to integration architecture — think like a caterpillar

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Caterpillar

Nature has an uncanny way of making sense of things.

With that in mind, here’s a sentence you probably never thought you’d read: A caterpillar and a marsupial can help explain the need for integration architecture. 

Consider it this way (from a metaphorical perspective of course) — a caterpillar’s primary purpose is to eat so it can grow and eventually become a butterfly. It eats because it can’t grow without nutrients. It grows because it needs the strength to build a chrysalis to metamorphosise. And it becomes a butterfly because that’s the only way it can reproduce. Innate to the caterpillar’s existence is a sense that change is inevitable. 

But it doesn’t just settle with any old change — nope, in order to survive, it becomes an entirely new species altogether.

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s the antechinus. In the forests of eastern Australia, this plucky, rat-sized marsupial is a skillful hunter of cockroaches and beetles in the thick undergrowth. Its high-protein diet provides the energy it needs to grow strong and find a mate. Yet, as evolved as the antechinus is, it has one fatal flaw in its DNA — it dies immediately after it mates. Its physiological systems just can’t keep up with the change it experiences.

Obviously, the two creatures in this analogy are just doing what they’ve been programmed to do by nature, but despite change being inevitable for both, it’s only the caterpillar that truly embraces growth to meet life’s challenges head on.

 

Change is inevitable, growth is optional.

When it comes to change and growth within business ecosystems, the organisations that recognize, and are prepared to facilitate change and transformation, are often the ones that have identified the need for integration architecture at the right time in their growth trajectory.

From our experience, this lines up with the objectives for most integration architecture projects we’ve been involved with in adapting to growth and scaling.

Bhavyesh Kanal, Integration Architect at Cloudwerx, knows all about meeting the demands of growth across multiple systems.

The goal with integration architecture is to unlock ways for organisations to integrate faster and scale when things change,” he says.

It’s about looking at the landscape as a whole, and working out the best way to make everything come together as a single unit.

 

Setting up data for success

Bhav’s way of thinking lines up perfectly with the practice of integration architecture. From a young age, his budding interest in maths and data coupled with an analytical mindset provided the perfect foundation for where he finds himself today.

“I always thought I’d end up in the world of finance or commerce, but my instincts led me to the data and the IT space,” Bhav recalls.

After completing a finance and software engineering degree,  Bhav found himself cutting his teeth on integration architecture while working at a big four bank as well as one of the biggest health insurance providers in the country.

Within the health insurance sector, integration is essential. The moving pieces of member, health provider and internal data all need to sing from the same song sheet for the benefit of customers as well as the organisation. 

“It doesn’t matter what product or service is being provided, the common thread is connecting the upstream with the downstream.  From my experience, I can see that Cloudwerx is doing it right.”

 

The lifecycle of integration 

Plan. Design. Implement. Sustain.

In a nutshell, this is the roadmap to achieving integration, but Bhav remains staunchly agnostic in how the journey will unfold. 

No two projects are the same — we work with different legacy systems, objectives, and budgets, so we respond to what’s in front of us, not what we assume the output will be.”

That being said, with its ‘integrate anything, automate everything’ mantra, Mulesoft has proven its worth for Bhav as a supremely agile and capable platform to help achieve integration.  

“Once we understand where the pain points lie with an integration project, we know what strategy we’ll need to implement to address these challenges,” Bhav says.

With a focus on collaboration, the team then carries out workshops with clients to create a framework for the journey.

“It’s then a matter of designing the architecture around the framework, before bringing the dev teams into the fold to implement.”

“Once we’ve done our part of the job, we hand it over to the managed services to weave their magic.”

 

Change, grow, adapt, fly 

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and in the complex world of business systems and CRMs — those that successfully adapt to growth are the ones that can really spread their wings when the time is right. 

That’s why, along with our innovation and automation pillars, we’re leaders in the personalised delivery of integration architecture. And with experienced heads like Bhav overseeing the process, we’ll continue to help our customers adapt as they change and grow into whatever form they dream of being.

If you are interested in working with Cloudwerx, please reach out to hello@cloudwerx.com. We offer free consultations, and would love to hear about your business.