In today’s competitive environment, it is vital to the success of an organization to be able to quickly integrate new business applications, link trading partners for electronic data interchange (EDI), transform data between specific formats to fulfill regulatory record keeping requirements, and manage increasingly complicated and distributed supply chains. As complicated as all these tasks are, it’s my opinion that we have only scratched the surface of complexity.
As we head into 2016, here is a roundup of trends that I believe will impact the integration and data management technology choices made by CIOs this year.
Trend #1: IoT and other technology disruptions
The Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, and 3Vs of big data (volume, variety, and velocity) are all interrelated and all impacting integration in a major way. CIOs need to figure out how to bring all these new devices, applications, and data sources together in a way that allows them to be seamlessly integrated, analyzed in real time, and mined for insights. And they need to do it quickly because the potential of these disruptive technologies is tied to revenue growth and there’s a need to achieve results in a narrow window of time.
Trend #2: The need for agility
As a result of the technology disruptions mentioned above, integration platforms will be challenged to react to fast-changing implementation needs. Agility will be required to support continuously evolving end points, new functionalities, and the ability to couple and decouple on demand. We’re already seeing widespread adoption of agile technologies such as microservices and REST in response to the need for agility, and integration platforms can’t afford to be the exceptions.
Trend #3: Hybrid EVERYTHING
The benefits of cloud delivery—speed of implementation, flexibility, scalability, and lower costs to name a few—are spurring on the breakneck adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS). But as some applications make the journey to the cloud while others remain on premises, more and more enterprises are finding themselves straddling hybrid environments. As a direct result, organizations are also increasingly finding themselves straddling hybrid integration environments as they explore cloud-based integration to solve for today’s complex use cases. But because organizations will likely remain deeply vested in their legacy ESB platforms for some time to come, CIOs will need to make sure that newly adopted cloud integration solutions are able to work hand in hand with their legacy counterparts.
Trend #4: Data-centric integration
There has never been a greater need than today for organizations to use data as a strategic business tool to drive their competitive advantages in the market—today and in the years to come. As data increasingly becomes a business’ most valuable asset, data needs to be freed from the constraints of applications, allowing it to play a much bigger role in your enterprise than that of merely application artifact. Already we’ve begun to see the barriers between integration and data management break down as integration platforms accommodate for data management (case in point our dPaaS model), and more and more data management platforms add capabilities around integration. On these unified platforms, ensuring that clean, quality data is available for on-demand analysis is a primary goal, not just the movement of data from one application to another. Organizations that continue to try to go for complex application integrations are slowing down the benefits of data insight and governance that could come from a centralized platform.
Trend #5: Scarcity of resources
A scarcity of resources is pushing IT organizations to point their precious resources to what would really move the needle for revenue and customer satisfaction. As a result, organizations will be looking to leverage cloud delivery of services wherever feasible, including outsourcing of integration, which, while a critical function, does not provide strategic value in and of itself. In addition to freeing resources, outsourcing integration needs will help ensure that business stakeholders have timely access to data for analytics and reporting—something that might not otherwise be possible with a thinly stretched IT department.
We are embracing these trends and their accompanying challenges through our unified cloud integration and data management platform. How about you? Are you ready to embrace them?