5 Steps to Take Control of Your Data Integration Roadmap  

data integration

Product leaders face constant demand from enterprise customers to be more connected to their customer ecosystem. Shaping an effective roadmap to deliver integrations to these customers with emerging compliance requirements like ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) can be overwhelming. Limited bandwidth and lack of specialized skills within your teams pose a significant risk to roadmap execution. However, by taking structured steps, you can kickstart this process without sidelining the development of your core product. 

Step #1: Priorities with the Right Market Data  

The first step in mastering your integration roadmap is prioritizing based on solid market data. This involves several key actions: 

  • Identify Immediate Needs: List all the system integrations required within the next year to satisfy your most valuable clients, based on industry feedback and the highest-value product areas. 


  • Look Ahead Strategically: For your longer-term product strategy, identify the system integrations needed to satisfy the remaining client segments. 


  • Expand Your Market Presence: Consider the integrations necessary to win more deals, particularly if you are venturing into new markets or adjacencies. 


  • Cross-Reference for Accuracy: Compare these lists with analyst reports specific to your domain to finalize two targeted lists of connectors: one to maintain client satisfaction and another to capture new business opportunities. 


So far simple enough 😉 

Step #2: Estimate the Build and Maintenance 

Understanding the resource allocation for integration is crucial. This step involves: 

  • Evaluate Resource Costs: Estimate the lead time and costs involved in building and testing a standard integration, typically requiring 3-4 weeks per integration assuming access to the right API keys and environments.  


  • Map API Functionalities: Align the required integrations with the key API functionalities already available. 


  • Assess API Enhancements: Determine which aspects of your product’s API might need to be developed or enhanced to support new integrations, including the potential to leverage existing APIs for quick wins. 


  • Include Internal Updates: Factor in the time and resources needed for internal API updates into the overall cost and timeline estimations.  

Step #3: Evaluate the Build 

Assembling the right team and partnerships is essential for successful integrations: 

  • Secure the Right Talent: Ensure you have in-house talent and resources, ideally pairing an API engineer with an API product manager for each integration area. Automated testing of the integration at scale should also be factored in. 


  • Establish Partnerships: Formulate partnerships to access necessary APIs, documentation, and testing environments. Partner managers should be technically adept and familiar with your domain. 


  • Plan Integration into Roadmaps: Incorporate integration planning into regular sprint activities, ensuring there are adequate customer feedback and discovery processes. 

Step #4: Evaluate Maintenance and Upgrades 

Once integrations are operational, ongoing maintenance becomes crucial: 

  • Focus on Execution: Continuous attention to integration maintenance is necessary, ensuring they are addressed in each release cycle.


  • Assess Maintenance Costs: Evaluate the ongoing costs across support, engineering, and customer success teams. What role will IT and DevOps play in each ticket/update? 


  • Incident Management: For critical integrations, align incident management processes with those for high-priority incidents within your organization. 


  • Enable Teams: Ensure all relevant teams (sales, product, IT, engineers, and sometimes C-level sponsors) can handle potential client downtimes effectively, including training and support.  

Step #5: Build or Buy? 

Periodically revisiting the decision between building in-house or purchasing solutions is vital: 

  • Evaluate Time to Value: Assess the urgency of integration needs based on business demands and the flexibility of sales and customer success teams. Is Time to Value impacting sales or slowing deals? 


  • Consider In-House Solutions: Determine if building integrations in-house is the most effective approach, particularly for ESG/EHS software providers. 


  • Leverage YuzeData: Explore YuzeData’s embedded data and intelligence platforms, which offer pre-built connectors in ESG and EHS and on-demand services for complex, tailored integrations. YuzeData experts can also advise on internal API strategy and how to modernize it. 

Don’t let the complexity of integrations stress you out. There are efficient paths to enhancing customer outcomes with integrations, and YuzeData can help accelerate your journey. Find out more here


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