Royal Cyber’s Architecture and Integration Maturity Assessment Model

Written by Ali Akthar

Technical Account Manager

Integration Challenges and Modern-Day Assessment

Companies must adopt digital transformation to stay relevant or risk ceding market share to competitors who can adapt faster. The reality is that today's digital economy requires a paradigm shift in how business and IT operate. The environment you're facing isn't just the next gradual step in developing online commerce. It's an entirely new world, moving and changing faster than ever. And with it, it's bringing a rising tide of consumer, partner, and employee expectations.

As the edge of the business moves out to new devices and experiences, that pressure will keep growing. Websites and online coupons won't cut it; in this world, you need tailored smartphone apps and personalized experiences that keep up with accelerating demands.

And that's just the start. With the emergence of the Internet of Things, those experiences will need to integrate with kiosks, connected cars, wearable electronics, and intelligent sensors and appliances.

It can all seem overwhelming. But here's the thing: this can all be good news for the companies that embrace this change. For IT, this change promises to make them the true partners the business needs. Instead of just bringing an added list of duties, the right digital platform can help them enable new business strategies while retaining control over the essential functions and costs they need to do their jobs well.

Some of the key integration challenges include:

  • Siloed systems

  • Lots of data available in multiple systems but no consolidations

  • Different technological formats are available

  • Different data formats are available

Architecture Challenges and Modern-day Assessment

The architecture assessment process is crucial when complex systems are in place and the data is consumed internally and externally. The consulting services typically start in an early stage of the development and use the architecture assessment to validate the decisions being taken regarding the system's architecture. The assessment kickoff discussion starts when the business and functional requirements are identified and documented clearly, and the client has at least a primary view of the architecture.

The non-functional requirements such as performance, infrastructure such as hardware-related discussions, load balancing also play a key role and are quality attributes of the architecture.

The architecture assessment process has the following objectives:

  • Infrastructure Assessment & Discussion
  • Volume of transactions
  • Transactions per second
  • Review of the existing architecture or the new architecture based on the functional and non-functional requirements
  • The rationale behind proposing a specific architecture
  • Identifying early risks and their mitigation
  • Finalization
  • Infrastructure Assessment & Discussion: The hardware assessment and discussions occur early on to identify the traffic, understand the product(s) capability, the services offered by-products, the proposed methodology available to implement these products, and how this can be effective with multiple technologies and underlying systems. Overall, this step is the key to evaluating the number of machines, CPU's, cores, memories, etc., required to be placed to meet the business as well as functional objectives.
  • The Volume of Transactions: One of the important aspects of finalizing the architecture is the volume of transactions landing on a specific system, involving single or multiple underlying applications/ products to respond.
  • Transaction per Second: During the architecture finalization, one of the careful considerations requires the estimated number of transactions taking place per second and understanding the scalability aspect to make it a future-proof architecture.
  • Review of Existing / New Architecture based on the Functional & Business Requirements: One of the crucial steps in reviewing the existing/new architecture is to understand the business needs & requirements against what is going to be delivered and how it will be delivered, frequency of the information flowing along with security parameters involved & implemented, Identity authentication, number, and nature of underlying systems, databased being used and the data flowing into multiple systems. All these things will be kept in mind for the review and evaluation, after which gaps are identified, and implementation begins.
  • Risk Identification: After a careful and thorough review of the architecture, risks are identified and put in place for the organizations to have a look and prepare a mitigation strategy.
  • Finalization: Once all the above steps are in place, the architecture will be finalized based on the business objectives, scalability of the applications/products, performance, and data governance.
  • API Led Connectivity Architecture: Large enterprises have complex; connectivity needs requiring multiple API-led approaches. To do that, putting in a framework for ordering and sequencing building blocks is crucial. Agility, flexibility & transformation can only come from a multi-tier architecture containing three distinct layers.

Benefits of API Led Connectivity

The benefits of thinking about connectivity in this way include:

  • Business Interoperability Benefits: IT as an enabler for the business: By exposing data assets as services to a broader audience, IT can become an enabler that allows lines of business to self-serve.
  • Increase developer productivity through reuse: API- Led Connectivity allows organizations to build small microservices components which can reuse across different applications. As a result, it can help prevent duplication of effort, enable developers to build apps quickly, and reduce time to market.
  • More predictable change: IT leaders can better estimate and ensure delivery against code changes by modularizing integration logic and ensuring a logical separation between modules. This architecture removes all the complexities of small field change-type scenarios that can significantly impact and avoid extensive duplication of work.

Technical Rational Benefits

Distributed and Tailored Approach

Today, organizations use a number of underlying systems; most of them are either siloed or connected partially. The best approach is to use an API-led connectivity approach to allow connectivity with all underline systems to address the need to expose all services via the API or microservices. This requires a careful design of Architecture, understanding all the underline systems in place and the mechanism through which the handshake is possible between underline systems and the API-led connectivity. This would require a tailored approach as no size fits all architectures.

Greater Agility Through Loosely Coupled Systems

There are different levels of appropriate governance models within an organization's IT architecture. The two-speed IT approach makes this dichotomy explicit: the need to carefully manage and perform code level changes to core systems of record such as ERP, Core Banking, or any system of records creates a lot of chaos as exposure directly from underline systems to different mobile, and web interfaces do not seem to be possible. Therefore, to retain the flexibility to expose quickly using the re-useable assets and iterate for user-facing edge systems such as web and mobile applications where continuous innovation and rapid time to market are critical, the services primarily rely on API-led Architecture. Different API tiers allow a different level of governance model to work, making it a loosely coupled architecture.

Deeper Operational Visibility

Approaching connectivity holistically allows greater operational insight beyond whether an API or a particular interface is working but provides end-to-end insight from receiving the initial API request call to fulfilling that request based on an underlying database query. At each step, fine-grained analysis is possible, which cannot be easily realized when considering connectivity in a piecemeal fashion.

Best of API Governance For API-Led Architecture

The entire framework of integration depends on API first approach. The modern design architecture relies on exposure centricity, which exposes services and scales and secures transactional data. It is one of the crucial elements and an integral part of Digital Transformation.

Best Practice for API governance ensures that APIs are Discoverable, Compliant with the regulations applicable for a specific geography, Re-useable, and Secure.

It often involves designing the APIs based on a common data model of reusable resources. Finally, governance can ensure that APIs are enriched with metadata to be easily consumed by different partners, developers, and employees.

Many API formats are available, such as SOAP, REST, GraphQL, File formats, etc. Each has its coding standards and design patterns. Still, the most important aspect of API governance is to standardize the format, which would make it easier for developers, partners, and internal employees to consume services, ensuring API uniqueness. These important metadata fields can be quickly discoverable and reusable, and most importantly, who can access them and when.

While it is important to have proper API governance in place, it is equally essential to have agility and flexibility in the APIs, which will allow organizations to configure different sets of rules for different business APIs. As a result, organizations would be able to centrally manage and maintain a single source of truth, ensure reportability, and manage exceptions.

API Governance will bring the complete version controlling mechanism, which will be part of the API-led architecture and would easily provide versions of the same API to multiple business stakeholders.

API Governance carries three fundamental interactions.

  • Interface: Presentation of data in a secure manner.

  • Orchestration: Application transformation and enrichment.

  • Connectivity: Access to data from external & internal services.

The entire architecture and integration assessment can be built upon the key pointers to drive innovation and move away from a traditional monolithic approach into an API-Led Architecture.

Event-Driven Architecture

Many organizations require software architecture and a model of application based on events. With an event-based system, communication, processing, and triggering of the event are the main structure of the solution. Such event-driven application designs are usually used for applications like customer engagement which utilizes the data in real-time. Moreover, the event-driven architecture enables minimal coupling, making it a good option for modern, distributed application architectures.

Apache Kafka is a distributed data streaming platform used for event processing. It can handle publishing, subscribing, storing, and processing event streams in real-time. Apache Kafka supports a wide range of use cases where a quick response time is required and requires a lot of scalability while minimizing the need for point-to-point integrations for data sharing in specific applications, which can certainly reduce latency to milliseconds.

How Royal Cyber Helped a Leading Bank

One of the international banks in the US was looking to automate the entire banking use cases and improvise user experience. Their core challenge was to partner with fintech players, the developer ecosystem and expose business services. However, their current architecture was not allowing them to expose services with governance, security, agility, and reuse assets. So, they partnered with Royal Cyber for this initiative, and Royal Cyber implemented MuleSoft to help overcome all these challenges and implemented API-Led Architecture. You might be interested to know the Key Steps to Cultivating an API Ecosystem with MuleSoft. Also discover how this retailer improved their ROI by Integrating Salesforce with MuleSoft AnyPoint Platform.

Royal Cyber as Your Integration Partner

Royal Cyber is a 20-year-old company in IT Consulting & Digital Transformation. We are a Global Implementation expert on MuleSoft Platform. To bring a defining cost-difference to our clients, we have fully equipped Global Development, delivery, and support centers concentrating on MuleSoft across the globe. We have a very well-diversified portfolio of MuleSoft services and capabilities. Our offerings include expert consulting, implementation, and support services with a flexible delivery model to ensure we deliver on time and within budget. For more information on how we can help you on MuleSoft services, you can email us at [email protected] or visit

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