Could it be that by choosing a middleware solution for your integration needs, you're committing the rest of your architecture to a particular vendor?
Veteran tech editor and journalist Mike Vizard seems to think so. In a recent column for Channel Tech Network, Vizard writes:
B2B Integration Gets Strategic in the Cloud
A more strategic approach to cloud B2B integration is emerging.
If you play chess you know that ultimately whoever controls the middle of the board winds up winning the game. The same strategy also applies to exerting control over a customer's IT systems. Whichever solution provider exercises the most amount of control over the customer's middleware usually wins the day.
He's actually writing for Channel solution providers but it's an interesting question and if he's right, it goes a long way toward explaining why there's so much vendor focus on middleware.
He also points out another revealing trend: End-user organizations are starting to see middleware as a strategic decision. As proof, he cites an IBM survey on B2B integration, covered in another Vizard blog post here on IT Business Edge. He doesn't provide a link to the full survey; however, the slideshow above shows some of the results from the survey.
The results show that 58 percent out of 500 senior IT managers surveyed say they're taking a strategic look at the B2B integration in order to implement a more comprehensive solution that meets their business needs.
Of course, the definition of "middleware" can be a bit vague and doesn't just apply to B2B integration. But the next question is pretty revealing about how this applies to all middleware, as well as cloud solutions. IBM asked which technology drivers were making them rethink their B2B and integration strategy. The responses:
There's more, if you want to check out the slide for yourself.
At any rate, it seems IT departments, for many reasons, are revamping their middleware. The end result, however, may be easier integration. IBM's manager for B2B integration product marketing, David Carmichael, told Vizard these organizations will soon see the mean time to execution for each integration project fall appreciably.