2013: The Year of More Integration?

    In some ways, every year is an integration year — and it pretty much has been since we started moving away from businesses running on one mainframe, I suppose. Still, there are indications that integration could become a bigger pain point in the coming year.

    For instance, some experts predict cloud integration will become a major strategic issue as enterprise apps move to the cloud. That’s because cloud simplifies a lot of things about switching applications: SaaS is contract-based, rather than an on-premise upgrade, making it easier to leave behind, plus you don’t have a hefty hardware investment to justify.

    But what doesn’t change is the need for integration. If anything, it becomes more important, because undoing and redoing integration becomes a major consideration when you look at switching cloud applications.

    So, possibly, application integration may literally tie you to a cloud-based app.

    Data integration will also become a major issue, again thanks to the use of cloud technology, according to data integration and SOA expert, David Linthicum.

    Writing on data integration vendor Pervasive’s blog, Linthicum shared what he sees as the three reasons data integration will be in greater demand in the coming year:

    1. The growth of databases residing in public clouds will trigger demand for data integration technology and skills.
    2. Big Data will make data integration more critical. “Along with a Big Data strategy, there needs to exist a data integration strategy, as well as the use of the right data integration technology,” Linthicum writes. “The data integration technology becomes the core mechanism to sync and clean the data as it moves between data stores.”
    3. The need to manage machine-generated data. GE calls it the “Industrial Internet,” Gartner calls it “The Internet of Things.” It’s the idea that we use sensors and other physical objects to collect data and send that data to the Internet.

    But that data isn’t going to integrate itself. We’re going to need to move, store and mediate that data, and data integration tools will be key to doing that, he writes.

    So, if integration is your bailiwick, smile. It looks like you’ve got job security for at least the year to come.

    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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