Skip to content

Growing Pains: 3 Key Enterprise Integration Challenges You May Be Facing

Maturity comes with age and experience. This adage is as true for a business as it is for an individual. Anyone can look back to an instance where they were learning a new skill and wish they could have known what they know now. Hopefully most of us can similarly think of something we DIDN’T do because we learned from someone else’s experience.


This universal experience of growth as a process makes a Maturity Model a performance measure that is particularly quick and easy to comprehend and a powerful tool for gaining alignment for business stakeholders in both assessing the current state as well as calculating the best next steps.

A Data Integration Maturity Model

In this way, the Gartner Integration Maturity Model provides both an excellent self-assessment tool for any business currently considering, or already implementing, enterprise integration.

A Snapshot of the 5 Phases of EI Integration Maturity:

Getting Started

Approximately 30% of Gartner clients*

Stage 1: Ad Hoc

No overall strategy, any integration is on a case-by-case basis

Stage 2: Enlightened

Recognition that integration is an issue; tools begin to be selected, but there is no defined responsibility



Approximately 60% of Gartner clients*

Stage 3: Centralized

An ICC is formed to manage platforms, tools and specialists. It defines best practices to promote consistency.

Stage 4: Collaborative

A shift towards more distributed competency is achieved through the formation of an ISET and the implementation of a Hybrid Implementation Platform (HIP)



Business Utility

Approximately <5% of Gartner clients*

Stage 5: Self-Service

With Integration competency now imbedded in the organization, the ISET and HIP support a delivery model that is democratized

*Estimates based on Gartner’s 2019 Business Application Integration survey

Growing Pains? You are Not Alone

This distribution of businesses on the journey towards full integration shows similar trends to what Digibee State of Enterprise Integration Report uncovered with our own market analysis of 1000+ participants, with only 7% self-reporting a successful adoption of enterprise integration, and the majority (57%) either planning to adopt or working to supplement/replace current EI systems. 

If so many businesses plan to implement EI, why are there so few that succeed in reaching maturity? What enterprise integration challenges are standing in their way?

Technology leaders understand the value and urgency in integrating the enterprise, yet many are frustrated in their efforts to achieve this result.

– Peter Kreslins
CTO and Founder, Digibee

Three Key Enterprise Integration Challenges

If, upon rating your business against Gartner’s Data Integration Maturity Model, you find yourself somewhere in the beginning or middle stages, consider this a fantastic opportunity to gain speed and efficiency by learning from those who have gone before and where they have succeeded or struggled.

Three distinct challenges emerged for those who have already undertaken enterprise integration:

1. Investing in the Future Still Costs Money

Sure, “technology is the future”, but profitability has to be the future too, right? Since not all technology represents the same value to a specific business, the step that has to happen before the step of integration is getting the budget approved; a sometimes challenging feat. For this reason it is perhaps unsurprising that Gartner writes:

“Justifying investment in integration competencies is difficult, particularly compared with other priorities with a clearer return.”

This quote mirrors Digibee’s findings precisely, with budget being the top enterprise integration challenge:


2. Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain

Focusing on short-term goals of the existing application landscape can feel like quick progress, but is another key challenge outlined by Gartner. Immediate needs can often be addressed in multiple ways, but those choices may have unintended consequences that limit options down the road. 


A lack of strategy produces a series of stop-gap solutions that need to be continually rebuilt or replaced. Digibee’s Report found almost 98% of users opting to rebuild at least one integration within the last year, with 48% rebuilding 6 or more; a cycle that severely disrupts the daily operations of a business.

Number of integrations that had to be rebuilt:rebuilt-integrations-breakdown

3. Consistency vs. Agility

Gartner cites centralized integration teams' lack of agility to cope with the demands of a business-driven, product-centric delivery as their third key challenge. 

If the Gartner maturity assessment encourages teams just beginning their EI journey to move from Phase 2 (Enlightened) to Phase 3 (Centralized) to improve consistency, for those who have achieved Phase 3 maturity why it is important to shift to a more decentralized, then democratized, delivery to advance further?

Digibee’s Report found impeded innovation and ineffective practices were tied as the top negative impact experienced by business users of a poor integration; lack of agility also topping the list.

Poor integrations have a direct (and negative) impact on the business:


These data integration challenges can reflect a tipping point where EI business use cases have expanded and increased in complexity to a point where one centralized integration team can no longer cope, turning them into more of a bottleneck than an effective means of governance.

An EI Roadmap for Longevity, Profitability and Agility

To effectively mitigate the common challenges faced in Enterprise Integration, Gartner recommends a “a realistic, step-by-step plan and investment approach”. To synchronize each step you take with your end goals of a mature integration, we found taking the time to get two main pieces right will pay dividends for longevity, profitability, and agility in EI:

Align on Goals & Priorities

Make a list of business goals with all your stakeholders up front to get alignment on a clear ranking of priorities. Ensure you take the time to consider these end goals and that each step you are taking today aligns with them. 

Although it can be difficult to bring such a varied group of business leaders including the C-Suite, IT team, and product team, to a consensus, taking a piecemeal approach will  lead to amplified friction between stakeholders down the line and often results in a business getting stuck in one of the middle stages of maturity and a loop of costly rebuilds.

Map Out Key Players

Factor in budget and how quickly your platform needs to be operational to determine the best combination of internal and external resources.

During this exercise, be sure to craft your resourcing plan to reflect future stages, and anticipated changes in needs as your EI practice matures. 

The Right Tool: eiPaaS for Your Integration Journey

The final pivotal piece in a smooth journey to EI maturity is choosing the right tools

Where agility and speed are core benefits of enterprise integration, don’t lose those gains by being locked into a rigid approach. Opting for an Enterprise Integration Product-as-a-Service model such as Digibee will accommodate the evolving needs of your team whether you have an established ISET or only just getting started. Digibee’s low-code approach is infinitely scalable, and a lower upfront investment than building a custom integration solution.

Your data, fully integrated, in under three weeks. Experience firsthand the power of Digibee, enabling complex integrations across critical systems quickly and securely. Sign up for a proof of concept using data you provide. Or we can take you through our interactive demo.

Request a demo now
Tour the Digibee platform

Our powerful platform accelerates developers instead of replacing them. See what makes the Digibee Integration Platform so unique. Take a tour and experience our drag and drop canvas that saves time and effort for developers.

Take the tour
Recent Posts
Subscribe to Digibeat for the latest updates

Stay informed on industry trends, access insightful tips, and learn about critical solutions that can digitally transform your business.

Your data, fully integrated, in under three weeks. Experience firsthand the power of Digibee, enabling complex integrations across critical systems quickly and securely. Sign up for a proof of concept using data you provide. Or we can take you through our interactive demo.

Request a demo now