Home > Articles > Business & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

The Case for Lean Integration

The edge of chaos discussion makes the case for Lean Integration from a practitioner's perspective, that is, that technology alone cannot solve the problem of complexity and that other disciplines are required. But that is more of an intellectual response to the challenge and still leaves the five questions we posed in the Introduction unanswered. Let's address them now.

"Why Lean?" and "So What?"

In financial terms, the value of Lean comes from two sources: economies of scale and reduction in variation. Development of data and process integration points is a manufacturing process. We know from years of research in manufacturing that every time you double volume, costs drop by 15 to 25 percent.3 There is a point of diminishing returns since it becomes harder and harder to double volume, but it doesn't take too many doublings to realize an order-of-magnitude reduction in cost. Second, we also know that manufacturing production costs increase from 25 to 35 percent each time variation doubles. The degree of integration variation today in many organizations is staggering in terms of both the variety of tools that are used and the variety of standards that are applied to their implementation. That is why most organizations have a hairball—thousands of integrations that are "works of art."

Some studies by various analyst firms have pegged the cost of integration at 50 to 70 percent of the IT budget. This is huge! Lean Integration achieves both economies of scale and reduction in variation to reduce integration costs by 25 percent or more. This book explores some specific case studies that we hope will convince you that not only are these cost savings real, but you can realize them in your organization as well.

"As a Business Executive, What Problems Will It Help Me Solve?"

The answer is different for various stakeholders. For IT professionals, the biggest reason is to do more with less. Budgets are constantly being cut while expectations of what IT can deliver are rising; Lean is a great way to respond because it embodies continuous improvement principles so that you can keep cutting your costs every year. By doing so, you get to keep your job and not be outsourced or displaced by a third party.

For a line-of-business owner, the big problems Lean addresses are time to market and top-line revenue growth by acquiring and keeping customers. A Lean organization can deliver solutions faster (just in time) because of automated processes and mass customization methods that are supported by the technology of an Integration Factory. And an integrated environment drives revenue growth through more effective use of holistic information, better management decisions, and improved customer experiences.

For an enterprise owner, the biggest reasons for a Lean Integration strategy include alignment, governance, regulatory compliance, and risk reduction. All of these are powerful incentives, but alignment across functions and business units may be the strongest contributor to sustained competitive advantage. By simply stopping the disagreement across teams, organizations can solve problems faster than the competition.

In summary, Lean Integration helps to reduce costs, shorten time to market, increase revenue, strengthen governance, and provide a sustainable competitive advantage. If this sounds too good to be true, we ask you to reserve judgment until you finish reading all the case studies and detailed "how-to" practices. One word of caution about the case studies: They convey how example organizations solved their problems in their context. The same practices may not apply to your organization in exactly the same way, but the thinking that went into them and the patterns may well do so.

"As an IT Leader or Line-of-Business Owner, Why Am I Going to Make a Considerable Investment in Lean Integration?"

Get results faster—and be able to sustain them in operation. Lean is about lead-time reduction, quality improvements, and cost reduction. Lean delivers results faster because it focuses heavily on techniques that deliver only what the customer needs (no "gold-plating"): process automation and mass customization. In terms of ongoing operations, Lean is a data-driven, fact-based methodology that relies heavily on metrics to ensure that quality and performance remain at a high level.

"How Is This Different from Other Methods, Approaches, and Frameworks?"

Two words: sustainable and holistic. Other integration approaches either tackle only a part of the problem or tackle the problem only for the short term at a point in time. The predominant integration strategy, even today, is customized hand-coded solutions on a project-by-project basis without a master plan. The result is many "works of art" in production that are expensive to maintain, require a long time to change, and are brittle in operation.

Note that Chapter 12, Integration Methodology, includes a section that explicitly compares agile and Lean methodologies.

"Why Am I as an IT Professional Going to Embrace and Sell Lean Integration Internally?"

Because it will advance your career. Time and time again we have seen successful integration teams grow from a handful of staff to 100 or more, not because of a power grab, but because of scope increases at the direction of senior management. Successful team members become managers, and managers become directors or move into other functions in the enterprise in order to address other cross-functional business needs. In short, Lean Integration is about effective execution, which is a highly valued business skill.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020