How IT Will Solve Modern Integration Challenges in 2014

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    Three Big Problems Big Data Will Create in 2014

    In my previous post, I shared the three business drivers for re-evaluating Ye Old Integration Strategy: Integration costs too much, it’s too complex, and you’re too slow at it, which annoys the business.

    But how are you supposed to fix those problems? In its recent Integration 2014 Trends-to-Watch report, Ovum predicts four technology strategies that will play a key role in resolving these business problems. Let’s look at each and see which ones can help you with your integration challenges.

    IPaaS. Ovum predicts iPaaS solutions will evolve more in 2014. That’s a safe bet since we’re already seeing it: Silicon Angle reports that MuleSoft upgraded its iPaaS this month to offer more enterprise support.

    IPaaS provides a fast, flexible approach to integration with the scalability you’ll need for cloud integration, all at a lower TCO, according to Ovum.

    What it solves: The firm considers it a “good enough” approach for SaaS and less complex on-premise and B2B integration. It can also be used for basic social and mobile application integration, the report adds.

    API Management.  Ovum sees this emerging as a key enabler to digital transformation as more vertical industries add APIs. Already in 2013, we saw major SOA governance vendors move to acquire API management solutions, which supports this prediction.

    What it solves: API management tools can help you address security, governance and performance management, writes Ovum. Anytime you have a solution that addresses those three, you’ve also found a tool for ensuring compliance with various regulations.

    Hybrid Integration Middleware Paradigms. That’s a fancy way of thinking you’re going to have to look beyond traditional integration approaches if you want to solve today’s hybrid integration problems. “IT should understand that only a suitable combination of traditional and cloud-based integration platforms (for example, the “ESB/SOA plus iPaaS” combination) could fulfill hybrid integration needs,” the report states.

    What it solves. If your integration needs include a variety of situations including cloud, on-premise, B2B, mobile and social, then you will want to look at a hybrid approach to your middleware. This may mean blending on-premise tools with cloud solutions.

    Mobile Middleware. Mobile is too pervasive to be handled as an “add-on.” Instead, you’ll need a “holistic enterprise mobility strategy.”

    What it solves. Mobile middleware will be needed to integrate back-end applications with mobile devices, while still ensuring data governance policies are followed, Ovum writes. SOA should be a component of that middleware layer, so you can expose functions and data as re-usable mobile services for your employees, customers or even business partners.

    “Mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) can simplify setting up of mobile backends, a pain point for mobile application developers, and help deliver a near-native application user experience while providing secure access to scalable cloud-based storage,” the report states.

    One big area I see missing is Big Data. While integration can be straightforward with large data sets, that’s not always true. Check out this blog post on Big Data integration if that’s a consideration. Also, don’t forget to work on improving data quality and exploring ways to support self-serve integration.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.
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