At our inaugural European Enterprise Integration Summit 2020, we heard from our customers, partners, and industry thought leaders on how the right technology platforms and tools are allowing them to meet rapidly changing business demands. A few themes were evident in these sessions, but one of the most discussed was the power of a citizen integrator approach.
For Thomas Hecht, IT Project Lead at Siemens Digital Industries, the approach has been central to the company’s IT strategy. “Since we started working with SnapLogic, taking a citizen integrator approach has proven to be incredibly useful. It’s meant we have a significant and critical mass of experts, both business and IT experts, available to take on that integration role. This has resulted in quite surprising and astonishingly short implementation times for data integrations and pipelines. In fact we’re not talking about integrations any more, we talk of configurations because it doesn’t really take implementation effort to configure pipelines for connecting producers and consumers.”
Similarly, at Schneider Electric, a previous mix of centralized and decentralized IT, mature and immature systems, had created some challenges which drove them to consider a citizen integrator approach. The team embedded this approach into their IT strategy, making it a central part of the work undertaken by the enterprise integration and middleware team.
According to Jamie Locks, VP Integration & Middleware at Schneider Electric, this shift to a citizen integrator focus has also had a big impact on reducing shadow IT within the company: “We’ve found that the more we as the integration team can expand the remit and bring people in with this approach, empowering them with these skills, the less shadow IT and the less data silos there are, which ultimately makes the IT ecosystem within the business easier to manage.”
As a result of this approach, in 2020 Schneider Electric went live with 22 integrations developed by citizen integrators, a figure which has already been exceeded in Q1 of 2021 alone, with Jamie noting: “We’re really seeing an acceleration within the company of people using this approach.”
Citizen Integrators were also a point of discussion during our Siemens panel. Across Siemens Digital Industries, Siemens Healthineers, and Siemens Mobility, using low-code technology to support citizen integrators is done to different extents.
Michael Suckert, Digital Transformation Expert at Siemens Mobility, shared his view on this approach from the business side rather than from within IT: “The citizen integrator approach is something that is very, very important for us. Previously IT was the grail, but with constant change and new technologies, the business had to acquire a lot of IT-related skills outside the IT department. As a result, we’re now in a phase where business users know what’s best needed to be successful, and low-code with SnapLogic is something that closes the gap for us. Now, IT and business teams work together much more effectively, quickly, and at lower cost.”