As companies increasingly embrace data as their most valuable business asset, they pursue a digital transformation strategy so they can effectively capture and use the ever-increasing flow of information. It’s not an easy road; if you’re a business leader, you’ve likely hit speed bumps along the way, such as high volumes and varieties of data — and growing expectations on your ability to use your data to drive innovation and business success.
But that’s not all — organizations also have to contend with their reliance on on-premises legacy middleware technologies like the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which was designed more than two decades ago when ERP systems were king. ESB remains one of the most widely used middleware solutions. But with the rise of cloud computing and influx of data in a variety of formats, the ESB model is no longer up to the challenge of integrating application data. That poses a dilemma for companies that have made huge investments in their ESB middleware platforms.
But there is a solution: Rather than a “rip and replace” strategy, in which companies abandon their ESB middleware integration solution in favor of a completely new system, business leaders can choose “embrace and extend” instead. Embrace and extend is a more realistic way of looking at middleware management. It recognizes that while businesses must start modernizing their legacy ESB systems today, they need to maximize the value of their ESB investment. It’s a process, not an event.
Liaison’s Embrace and Extend program is a dual-faceted strategy to begin untangling integration operations that are intricately embedded in on-premises middleware environments. It balances the need for continuity and cost savings with the objective of implementing a future-proof solution that delivers flexibility, extensibility and scalability.
The first step is to embrace existing on-premises middleware operations, alleviating the major overhead costs of the legacy integration solution while at the same time extending the value of the investment. Liaison does this by migrating support of the legacy solution to its managed services umbrella. In concert with its partners who are experts in middleware technologies like TIBCO, webMethods and IBM MQ, Liaison takes on the existing complexities and provides integration assurance, data governance and data management services across all integration points and silos.
The second step is to extend integration operations to the Liaison ALLOY™ Platform, enabling Liaison and the customer to collaborate to identify the integration operations most urgently in need of an upgrade and operations that would be simple to fold into the new structure. By working together to accomplish this and taking on new use cases as they come up, Liaison’s professional services team and the customer can gradually extend operations to the ALLOY cloud platform, with the ultimate objective of migrating all data operations to ALLOY and freeing the customer from the limitations of ESB middleware.
Digital transformation is a necessity in today’s data-driven environment, but before companies can take full advantage of its possibilities, they’ll have to find a way to escape the middleware trap while preserving the value of their investments in legacy on-premises solutions. Companies that take steps now to transition from legacy ESB middleware integration systems and toward a more modern, data-centric and cloud-based solution like ALLOY will be well on their way to a data-inspired future.