When someone tells me that we are about to see “the greatest” or “the largest,” of anything, I tend to be skeptical.
However, I have to agree with Research Analyst Michael Caton of the Aberdeen Group when he says that we are about to see one of the most dramatic IT infrastructure shifts in the past twenty years.
In The Great Middleware Transition, the Aberdeen Group reveals that 76 percent of organizations will be replacing their integration middleware, and 70 percent of those organizations will adopt cloud-based integration solutions.
There are a number of factors driving this push to redo existing middleware platforms. As the reliance on data to support business decisions, inform research and guide development of clinical best practices has grown, the number and type of applications gathering data has grown. These applications have historically created boundaries around the data, making access to it difficult.
Unfortunately, much of this data has been limited to a specific division or group of people, leaving no easy way to integrate data to provide a holistic picture of a pharmaceutical marketing challenge or a clinical patient care issue. The challenge of siloed information within healthcare and life sciences organizations has grown as new applications are developed and adopted by different departments with no consideration of how they will work with existing data-gathering applications.
A growing demand for Big Data analytics and dashboards, mobile access to data and integration of applications across organizations are three reasons so many companies are planning to replace integration platforms, according to the Aberdeen report.
Managing multiple applications and integration platforms is costly and time-consuming. Aberdeen reports that 84 percent of survey respondents have 50 or more business applications to integrate with 35 percent reporting more than 200 applications in use. In addition to integrating a growing number of applications, organizations report different types of applications: 66 percent of the companies integrate data from cloud applications and 63 percent integrate on-premises applications.
In the healthcare industry, hospitals of 500 beds or more average 25 unique data sources with six electronic medical records systems in use.1 Life sciences companies are even more complicated: contract research organizations (CROs) with different electronic data capture (EDC) applications, marketing and sales groups with various customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) all relying on disparate systems that collect – but don’t always share – information.
Existing middleware solutions that are likely to be part of this transition might include Infor Cloverleaf® or Oracle eGate™ in hospitials, or TIBCO® and Software AG’s webMethods® used by many pharmaceutical companies to help in the movement of data between sources.
Liaison’s ALLOY™ Platform for Healthcare is also ready for the major transformation. ALLOY is built using a microservices architecture, which provides a platform of services that are easier to deploy, scale and maintain. More importantly for healthcare and life sciences organizations, Liaison’s cloud-based, managed services solution do not require capital investment, instead the costs are predictable expenses that are part of the operating budget.
Relying on Liaison’s expert staff to monitor, maintain and update integrations also means that in-house information technology staff can focus on mission-critical activities that address unique organizational needs. This is essential for organizations that find it difficult to recruit and retain information technology staff with the specialized knowledge required to address operational as well as regulatory and security requirements for all applications.
The number of business applications developed to support success in healthcare and life sciences industries will continue to grow. As these organizations move to replace their middleware integration solutions, it is vital to “future proof” the infrastructure to make room for changes. Selecting an integration partner who can make changes without significant investment or downtime for the organization is more important than ever.
What about your organization? Are you going to be part of the dramatic IT infrastructure shift? Read the report, The Great Middleware Transition to learn more.
Until next time,
1The Aberdeen Group, August 2017