Middleware Finally Gets Strategic

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B2B Integration Gets Strategic in the Cloud

A more strategic approach to cloud B2B integration is emerging.

For more years than anyone cares to admit, there's been a push to take a strategic approach to middleware within the enterprise. Unfortunately, more often than not, middleware winds up being treated as a tactical IT decision that depends on who is running any given integration project at the time.

But a new study from IBM seems to indicate that strategic approaches to middleware are starting to prevail as companies rely more on business-to-business electronic commerce. This strategic approach to middleware may only be the natural outgrowth of there being an explosion of integration projects tied to e-commerce, which is forcing companies to look for repeatable approaches to middleware. But whatever the reason, standardizing on a middleware stack that can then be extended to any number of projects is an IT strategy that's long overdue.

Beyond reducing the amount of time it takes to integrate business processes across multiple organizations, David Carmichael, IBM manager for B2B integration product marketing, also notes that these hubs also provide an ideal place to run analytics given their proximity to the e-commerce transactions.

Of course, the study finds that the number one technical reason that IT organizations are taking a strategic approach to middleware is because they want to consolidate all the middleware that has been previously deployed. But once that's done, Carmichael says the business benefits will rapidly manifest themselves as the mean time to execution for each integration project starts to appreciably fall.