We live in a competitive environment, which is why it is important that an organization is able to integrate new business applications quickly, transform data between different formats to realize regulatory record keeping requirements, link trading partners for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and manage complicated distributed supply chains that are becoming increasingly complicated by the day.
As complex as the tasks may appear, my belief is that we are yet to see its full complexity.Below we discuss some of the trends that will impact the choices that will be made by CIOs regarding the integration and data management technology.
1. Data-centric integration
Today more than ever, there is a greater need for organizations to use data as a tactical business tool to gain a competitive edge in the market. Today, data is becoming an organization’s single biggest asset, which is why IT managers should do everything they can to free it from constraints of applications and in so doing, allow it to play a bigger role in the company than that of just application artifact.
We have already begun to see barriers between data management and integration diminish as integration platforms allow for data management. Thus, more and more data management platforms have added more capabilities around integration. The primary goal on these centralized platforms should be ensuring that clean and quality data is made available for on-demand analysis and not merely moving it from one application to the next. Enterprises that continue to choose complicated application integrations are inadvertently slowing down the great benefits of data governance and insight that could be realized from a unified platform.
2. IoT and other Disruptive Technologies
The Internet of Things (abbreviated as IoT), 3Vs (variety, volume and velocity) are all interconnected and all are affecting integration in a significant way. It is important that CIOs figure out the best way to of bringing together all these applications, devices and data sources to enable them to integrated seamlessly, analyzed in real time and finally mined for insights. This needs to be done quickly since these disruptive technologies’ potential is inextricably linked to revenue growth and it’s important to achieve results in a very short span of time.
3. Need for agility
Due to the disruptive technologies mentioned above, it will be important that integration platforms react quickly to the ever-changing implementation needs. Agility or nimbleness will be needed to support these increasingly evolving endpoints, new functionalities as well as ability to couple and decouple as needed. Already, we are witnessing widespread adoption of agile technologies for example REST and microservicesas an answer to the requirement for agility. The same can be done by integration platforms.
4. Hybrid EVERYTHING
Software as a Service is being adopted at supersonic speeds and this is due to the many benefits derived from cloud delivery such as flexibility, speed of implementation, lower costs and scalability. But while some applications migrate to the cloud and others remain on business premises, more and more organizations are finding that they are straddling hybrid environments.
In direct response to this, organizations are continuously finding themselves bordering hybrid integration environments while they look to identify cloud-based integration in solving today’s complicated use cases. However, since most organizations will more likely remain loyal to their traditional ESB platforms in the near future, CIOs will have to ensure that newly adopted integrated systems can work seamlessly with their traditional counterparts.
5. Resource constraints
A shortage of resources is pushing IT companies to use their resources on what would significantly improve customer satisfaction revenue and customer satisfaction. The impact of this is that most organizations will be looking for the slightest opportunity to leverage cloud delivery of services. This may even include outsourcing of integration. While an important function, integration does not offer strategic worth in and of itself.
Other than simply freeing up resources, outsourcing integration needs can help enable business managers to have prompt access to data for reporting and analytics. This might not be possible where an organization has a thinly stretched IT department.
Data integration today involves way more than just the extract, transform and load processes. Rather, it involves a wide range of methodologies and tools supporting real-time integration and traditional batch-oriented approaches. As 2017 gets underway, the above are the predictions for the trends that wait in store for data integration.