The idea of system and data integration has reached an inflection point. Most companies have acknowledged the critical role embracing a modern integrated architecture plays in their plans for digital transformation. But relatively few have successfully acted on that understanding.
Data in the 2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report suggests that 71% of enterprises are actively planning to adopt, supplement, or replace their integration technology in 2023 . The Gartner Integration Maturity Model notes that many IT departments are still only in the very early stages of developing integration competency – if they’ve started at all. Adopting the right iPaaS early could give enterprises a technological edge over their competitors. So how do organizations accelerate integration to align their progress with its importance?
Why the Need for Accelerated Integration?
The Gartner maturity assessment suggests that approximately 30% of organizations are only getting started with integration, with a significant percentage of those at a point where they have not recognized the value of a comprehensive integration strategy.
Why bother with integration? Does it really matter?
The short answer: Yes, it really does.
Poor integrations – or a lack of integration altogether – has a range of measurable, negative impacts on business. We gathered data from more than 1,000 CIOs and system architects, and the most commonly cited effects of a lack of integration included:
- Inability to adopt new practices and technologies that support growth (48%)
- Inefficiencies that directly affect business success (48%)
- Lack of ability to respond to market changes in a timely manner (40%)
- Wasted resources as IT departments focus on maintenance and low-value tasks (37%)
All these responses support the understanding that data integration issues are business issues that will affect growth, profitability, and long-term success.
The Phases of Integration Maturity
The Gartner Integration Maturity Model breaks down companies’ progress toward implementing comprehensive integration strategies into five stages – and puts those five stages into three overarching phases.
The “getting started” phase in Gartner’s maturity assessment includes two of its five stages:
- Ad Hoc
- No formal integration strategy
- Little or no acknowledgment of integration as an interdependent issue or discipline
- Integration tools are not used or only infrequently used for specific projects
- Any integration solution relies heavily on custom coding or scripting
- Integration is recognized as an issue
- No formal responsibility for integration
- IT resources are used for integration solution procurement and support
2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report: 71% of enterprises are embracing integration in 2023. 
Gartner estimates around 60% of businesses are in the phase, which includes two more stages:
- Integration is a recognized competency, overseen by a formally defined integration competency center
- The ICC employs various specialists, selects platforms and tools, and defines best practices
- The minimum level of Gartner’s integration maturity model needed to effectively meet the growing need for integration
2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report: 74% of IT professionals in manufacturing report needing integration to address as much as 60% of their IT backlog in 2023. 
- Systems in place to support company-wide integration needs
- ICC evolves into an integration strategy empowerment team
- ISET selects and delivers integration tools in a centrally governed service
At this final stage, integration is embedded in the organization’s digital culture, and there is an understanding that integration must be a pervasive competency that includes both internal and external partners. The ISET facilitates self-service integration – supporting business users who may occasionally need to perform integration tasks in the completion of their duties.
2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report: 79% of enterprise IT professionals say they have impactful and significantly more down time than expected in 2023. 
How to Achieve an Efficient Integration
The findings in Gartner’s maturity assessment and the data in the State of Enterprise Integration report are aligned on the importance of an organization-wide integration strategy – and the fact that many businesses are far from implementation. So how can organizations accelerate integration to reach the levels needed to respond to rising demand?
- Be realistic about what your organization needs and can implement
- Stop thinking of integration as a tool to minimize costs and start treating it as a force multiplier that increases value
- Educate yourself and your team about integration patterns and technology
- Identify use cases for integration in your organization and develop strategy with those in mind
- Determine key functionalities you will use to evaluate integration solutions
- Align stakeholders on the integration requirements that will come with business transformation
- Plan and develop a hybrid integration platform and self-service integration model
- Apply your new capabilities strategically to business opportunities
- Promote self-service integration across your organization and experiment with business user-led initiatives to test and improve your strategy
Remember, a lack of effective integration strategy can cost your business in a variety of tangible ways. Although the road to implementing a strategy can seem challenging, accelerated integration can be achieved if you approach it carefully and methodically.
Digibee Can Help Accelerate Enterprise Integrations
Digibee’s unique enterprise iPaaS can help your organization accelerate digital transformations and increase your organization’s IT maturity – and we can make it happen faster than any other integration solution.
To learn more about accelerating integration and how to determine what stage your business is at, request a demo today.
 This blog post, originally published in October 2022, was updated to reflect data from the 2023 State of Enterprise Integration Report published in April, 2023.