Process of bringing together the component subsystems into one system and ensuring that the subsystems function together as a system



Competency Level


Knowledge (Theories, Ideas & Concepts)

Through Professional/Personal Study Gained Through Experience
  • Brings together Computer Networking, Software, Systems & Enterprise Architecture/Application Integration, Software & Hardware Engineering, Interoperability/Gateways, Business Process Management, Training and Support.
  • General Problem Solving Skills and looking at adding value to a system by integrating existing often disparate systems.
  • ITIL Managed Service Design Packages and Service Design Package (SDP) Interface Control Documents (ICDs).



Together with Responsibilities/Accountabilities
  • Supported the XYZ technology as a method of allowing robotic vehicles to ‘see through’ grass, which at the time their optical sensors determined as a solid object, whilst acting as a liaison officer between a joint UK/US collaboration programme.
  • Integrating the XYZ element of the BOWMAN communication system onto a XYZ architecture with connectivity to mission critical XYZ systems.

What does System Integration Involve?

Selected Challenges & Approaches

Together With lessons Learnt
  • Systems have traditionally been procured as monolithic systems so connecting to them and changing them has been very costly and can take a long time. The problem is compounded by different business users seeing data differently and can be solved using a minimal canonical data model rather than a point to point approach. As systems get more and more complex, they need to become more intuitive, accessed via single sign-ons and provide a common user experience, irrespective of the vendor or solution.
  • Choosing the right integration tools and solutions in a mix hybrid enterprise can be a real challenge, especially when suppliers provide stacked or combined solutions. The key here is ensuring that your organisation is not tied into proprietary systems, protocols and approaches, and secondly that your organisation owns the data irrespective of where it is located or shared, how it is manipulated or created by the applications or when it is reported or displayed. Having data ownership, data owners/custodians, data stewards, data quality/audit/governance structures, a Chief Data Officer and a process of improving the quality of data through streamlining, improving consistence in an efficient manner is vital.
  • Proper architectural planning is rarely wasted (“I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable” Dwight D. Eisenhower). Projects are often managed by non-technical business centric managers, however the system integrator must find a solution that achieves the balance between the functional requirements of today and the future non-functional requirements
    (performance, scalability, usability, maintainability, supportability and upgradability). Modularity is the key here with clear boundaries between the major architectural building blocks using techniques such as Interface Control Documents (ICDs), Common Libraries, Web Service Layers or REST-based APIs.
    This allows modular to be swapped in and out to create an evergreen system aligned with a clear roadmap showing the idealised direction of travel.

Selected Achievements & Successes

Together with Any ‘So What’ Statements of Insights
  • The digitisation of the old military communications systems and integration with the latest technologies installed on legacy military platforms. Profiling existing data and using data analysis techniques to uncover patterns of root cause to help improve integration activities, prioritisation of activities and to help justify business value opportunities that improve outcome delivery. The use of rationalisation techniques can improve integration activities when systems are divided into major architectural building blocks with baselined interoperability modules (a good beginning help makes for a good ending).
  • System Integrators are utilising more and more Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) systems, reducing the level of customisation (GUI, scripting, database management) and modification (MOTS products) and selecting products, the selection of the best products and solutions will come down more and more to identifying those that ‘play nicely’ within the enterprise environment rather than those that perform best in a standalone manner.
  • The management of risk throughout the design and integration lifecycle is paramount. Design debts accumulates through projects and it often falls to the system integrator to bring the systems together at the end. Every technology has their own advantages, disadvantages, vulnerabilities and nuances, so understanding the zones, transfer points, physical and logical entry and exit points are an essential aspect of the overall design. Identify the gaps and deficiencies then dealing with them in the appropriate manner will be the deciding factor between success and failure.

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