Regardless of the hype about the rise of the digital economy, increased awareness of the strategic role IT plays in business is driving up the number of integration projects requiring external IT services expertise.
In fact, a new survey of 1,045 global organizations conducted by Telstra, a carrier based in Australia, finds that six in ten of them expect digital partnerships to account for at least one-tenth of their revenue in the next 12 months. In the U.S, that number soars to nearly a third (29%) that expect digital partnerships to drive 10 to 25 percent of their revenue in the next 12 months.
For IT services providers that awareness of the need to integrate applications and services to provide enhanced business value should drive increased demand for all types of integration expertise.
A variety of integration opportunities
A digital service may consist of little more than exposing a data source via a REST application programming interface (API) that make it easier for another application to consume that data. At the other end of the spectrum, organizations are using APIs to enable control of entire physical processes. For example, GE is creating a digital twin of every landing gear used on its planes in order to track maintenance updates and determine when specific parts should optimally be replaced.
In some instances, end users simply need access to a higher level tool that lets them dynamically integrate data on their own. But for the most part, integrating business processes still requires a fair amount of programming muscle that most organizations don’t have on staff. In fact, not only is it hard to come by that programming talent these days, it often doesn’t make financial sense for organizations to hire a developer as a full-time employee when they can simply contract for their services as needed.
Of course, that still means IT services providers have to compete among themselves for the best programming talent. But as demand for the services of those developers continues to increase, the return on those hiring investments is considerable. In fact, a developer that knows how to code well and understands the business processes that need to be interconnected is often worth their weight in digital gold.
Responding to increased demand
The fundamental role IT professionals play in enabling these digital transformations has not changed, but the demand side of the equation is now very different because senior business leaders truly understand the impact digital disruption can have on their business. Fueled by a healthy dose of digital paranoia that's driving digital innovation to occur rapidly at almost any cost, integration projects tied to the delivery of digital services are now rising to the top of the IT priority list. After all, the valuation of the company itself is now more often than not riding on the perceived success of those digital transformation efforts.
The important thing to remember is that those digital integration projects are a means to a much larger digital end. As such, IT services providers should remember to charge accordingly for those projects at a time when the supply versus demand equation for those services is now decidedly in their favor.