Survey after survey shows that integration is one of the top concerns CIOs list when asked about cloud adoption.
While there are point-to-point solutions that can solve your immediate issues, the problem is not going to be restricted to individual SaaS solutions for long. Cloud adoption, Big Data, mobile, open data and the Internet of Things are all trends that will require integration work. At some point in the near future, smart CIOs will address this from a broad, enterprise view.
As usual, though, it’s hard to get a straight answer about capabilities. Right now, everybody is claiming that they can solve cloud integration, which can make it hard to pin down whether a solution really addresses your requirements.
My suggestion: Check out the latest Forrester Wave on Hybrid2 integration while it’s available as a free download.
First, let’s talk about that 2 on Hybrid, because that drove me nuts when I first saw it. Forrester added the two to “hybrid integration” because it wanted to convey the dual nature of integration these days: cloud-related integration and on-premise tools. The research firm sees these as related, rather than separate, integration problems.
Overall, Forrester insists that making this report was “a tough path for most vendors,” because Forrester was pretty strict about which solutions could really meet this challenge.
For instance, vendors had to offer at least four out of seven integration capabilities “directly to enterprises in a traditional sales model or via a self-service cloud subscription.”
You can read the full list in the report, but basically it is looking for things like API management, integration with physical computing or the Internet of Things, BPM or business rules management, an ESB or low-latency messaging — things like that.
Forrester also looked closely at two key capabilities: metadata lifecycle management, which its research found ranked high with CIOs and enterprise architects due to the investment required, and runtime interoperability, because IT has to manage a variety of changing integrations solutions (think: APIs), rather than one middleware platform.
Actually, this is also a fundamental thesis in Forrester’s report: You may want one integration solution to solve all problems, but you’re still going to be handling multiple integration tools. API management alone will keep you busy managing changes to the integration. So, sing a dirge, write an ode, mourn if you must — but gone are the days when you could consolidate on one middleware vendor or one major ERP vendor.
So who made the cut? In the end, 14 vendors are evaluated in the wave, including some that may surprise you: Bosch Software Innovations, Dell Boomi, IBM, Informatica, Liaison, Microsoft, MuleSoft, Red Hat, Seeburger, Software AG, Talend, Tibco Software and WSO2.
The good news: Most of the solutions ranked well in at least one of the four waves included in the report. Informatica, IBM and Mulesoft all crowded the leader field, with most of the other 14 ranking as strong performers.