In today’s digitally connected world, leading organizations need to proactively build, integrate, manage, and scale application ecosystem within and beyond their enterprise. For many large enterprises, it’s foundational for digital transformation.
IT decision-makers, such as CIOs, CTOs, and enterprise/integration architects, face pressure to revamp their integration strategy so they can address the challenges that stem from digitally transforming their enterprise and their partner ecosystem.
With the proliferation of scattered applications and data sources – often across multiple cloud providers and structures (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS ) and emerging use cases such as IoT’s, AI, BOTs Streaming and the API lead economy, organizations have to re-evaluate their existing hybrid integration platforms, or HIPs, to operate in this digital age. Gartner defines HIPs as the frameworks that encompass “all functionalities that ensure the smooth integration of multiple digital transformation initiatives in an organization.” They house the different on-premise and cloud-based elements of modern integration architecture.
Enterprises should ensure that the hybrid integration strategies they implement address:
1. Seamless Integration with Multi-Cloud Vendors
The competition among premier cloud vendors such as AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, and Alibaba is increasing as the sector continues to grow. As enterprises navigate their cloud adoption journey, the majority of organizations favor a multi-cloud approach for the development and deployment of the applications that will aid in digital transformation. Multi-cloud adoption is also necessary to:
- Avoid vendor lock-in
- Ensure regulatory compliance
- Take advantage of “best-in-class” services on each cloud platform
- Promote competitive prices
2. Data Silos Deconstruction (Realizing the Business Value of Data)
Data and its manipulation have driven digital transformation and are integral to gaining business insights, driving customer satisfaction, and being competitive. However, data silos plague organizations by creating barriers that hinder access to data and complicate the overall efficiency of an organization. Developing a hybrid IT architecture promotes sharing information through integrating new applications into existing ones, allowing decision-makers to obtain an accurate and comprehensive view of their organization.
3. ERP in Cloud
Many organizations are developing their ERP systems (SAP, Oracle financials) in the cloud to yield benefits such as access to business-critical applications from any site and at any time. An API-driven model can modernize their integration and leverage data in real-time while ensuring data security and data governance concerns are addressed.
4. Internet of Things (IoT) Use Cases
IoT is a prime enabler of digital business, and it brings additional complexity to integration scenarios with its use cases and expanding the number of data source devices. Complexity increases with the diversity of apps like mobile, chatbots, cars, control automation, etc. To become IoT ready and address the challenges for how IoT sensors and other devices are integrated and managed, organizations have to meet the challenge of a hybrid integration strategy.
Enterprises considering enabling IoT capabilities using HIPs rooted in a centralized ESB/iPaaS may not handle these challenges efficiently, as the IoT devices are interacting in real-time, have their own proprietary formats of data, communicate on various protocols, and can be challenging to manage. The rising number of IoT devices also increases compliance and data security risks.
5. Enabling CI/CD
Embracing the architectural shift to HIPs also allows enterprises to adopt Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD). The adoption of the CI/CD philosophy changes how developers and testers can deploy software by helping them to implement an agile methodology intended to quicken production and limit failures during integration and deployment. These are not capabilities that can be found in the majority of the existing, aging integration platforms and middleware tools.
A hybrid integration approach can further complicate integration architecture challenges, even as it enhances and improves digital value. Organizations with the ability to integrate anything, at any moment, and from any location, have a powerful business advantage that can generate innovation and a competitive edge.