Three Skills You Need for Integration Success

Organizations must ensure they have the required skills to combat multiple integration success challenges, including APIs, EDI, and coding skills.


The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that digital innovation is crucial to business success. However, many organizations weren’t prepared to meet the digital demand, unable to deliver new digital services fast enough. Integration success will be a focus for businesses going forward. 

Integration Success is a Business Challenge

In fact, only 37% of organizations have the technologies and skills required to keep pace with digital projects – leaving over 63% who aren’t sure they’ll be able to do so, according to a recent MuleSoft report, The State of Business and IT Innovation. And 37% of line of business (LoB) employees think integration is a top challenge when it comes to delivering new digital services.

Organizations need to make sure teams have the skills to combat the challenges that come with different kinds of integrations. These skills include:

1. API Skills

Application programming interfaces (APIs) enable applications, devices, and systems to transmit and receive data from one to another. With APIs, you can connect on-premises, legacy systems to the cloud, creating powerful hybrid cloud applications where users and customers can interact via mobile, web, and across channels. 

APIs also help to generate valuable business insights, enabling you to retrieve data from a variety of external platforms and then apply analytics and AI.

APIs have become the de-facto standard for most types of integrations, so you need a team who understands: 

  • The different kinds of APIs available and how and when to use them for complex integrations
  • Data structures like JSON and XML and the different approaches for passing data
  • API management and integration best practices, ensuring API reliability
  • How to use integration platforms like MuleSoft Anypoint to speed up integration projects.

You’ll likely need to work with multiple developers and integration engineers when it comes to API skills. Some integrations may require that you design and build new APIs. You’ll need a team that can design and build APIs using modern integration solutions and best practices.

2. EDI Skills

Despite its age, many enterprises still rely on electronic data interchange (EDI) for B2B communication and will continue to do so. After all, EDI is a robust and reliable method of exchanging business documents electronically in a standardized format. The demand for EDI integrations remains high for many industries, especially logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and finance. So, it helps to have a team with extensive EDI integration knowledge who can: 

  • Work with EDI standards like ANSI X12 and EDIFACT
  • Map EDI documents into other formats for use in new technical environments
  • Manage communications protocols, such as AS2, FTP, and SFTP
  • Troubleshoot EDI and B2B integration issues and errors

These skills represent only a fraction of what your team needs to complete EDI integrations successfully. Depending on the skills of your current team, you may need to leverage several EDI consultants or even B2B Managed Services to help manage integrations involving EDI.

3. Coding Skills

You can find plenty of Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and API management tools today that minimize the amount of coding you must do for integrations. However, you still need extensive coding skills, especially for complex integrations. And troubleshooting integration problems successfully requires that you understand the platforms you’re integrating along with the underlying code.

The languages you should know depend on the organization. Common languages used for software integrations include:

  • Python
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • C#

These are only a few of the hundreds of scripting and programming languages that exist today. Your organization may have to do integrations using languages that teams don’t know. You could contract an integration engineer, developer, or consultant familiar with the languages you need in those cases.

The Right Integration Skills for Your Needs

Finding people with integration experience and the specific skills required for your integration strategy can be quite a challenge. However, we can help you find the right people and technologies to ensure the success of every integration project.

Learn more about our Integration Consulting, EDI Consulting, and Software Development capabilities to explore highlights of how we can help. We are your integration success partners.