Adopting evolutionary approaches for flexible integration

Building integration as a one-stop solution will necessarily be inadequate, as this is an evolving problem, where new problems and solutions will continuously come into play. Braa and Sahay (2012) have argued that instead of treating architectures as a finished product and as a noun, it may be more effectively treated as a verb—‘architecting’. It is an architecture which is always evolving, and at any point will be shaped by incomplete knowledge, as we never know for sure what the future holds. Similarly, integration may be better understood as ‘integrating’, accepting that it is always a work in process, and can serve as a roadmap for good design. This perspective will help enable design choices that are geared towards flexibility, user control, and avoiding choices which could preclude future opportunities which we currently do not know about. The use of open source platforms and standards becomes key to this approach, as it does not harbour restrictions and licence encumbrances.

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