Technology innovation has been reshaping business landscape for the longest time. The ongoing digital transformation of business practices has led to a massive shift in the information technology world, paving the way for the need for an integrated architecture which utilizes the best of both cloud-based and on-premises applications.
While moving to the cloud seems like the obvious choice for many businesses these days, many enterprises still have concerns about cloud adoption. According to recent studies1 , although 77 percent of companies are using cloud or planning to use cloud, 90 percent of organisations believe security is the main concern. Therefore, it is no doubt that some companies still trust on premises data center for their business operation while slowly adopting cloud at the same time.
Often, the move to the cloud is not as closely aligned to a company’s business objectives like it should be. Such concerns have given rise to the hybrid integration solutions, which combines the best of both worlds – giving the businesses the opportunity to move towards the cloud at their own pace while using the on-premise functionality they are so familiar with. Increasingly complex architectures with numerous applications and services have also resulted in the explosion of endpoints, making a multi dimensional hybrid approach more relevant than ever before.
Key challenges: are we secure enough?
The Integration of multiple platforms is a difficult task perhaps even daunting to many. When a large number of complex applications are involved, it seems even more challenging since the success of the project is dependent on how successfully all the apps integrate within the enterprise architecture.
While moving to a hybrid integration platform, the professionals also need to take various consideration into account such as the understanding of the SaaS data policies, identity and licensing challenges, API limitations and security risks associated with the cloud; to name a few.
Security still remains the biggest threat with the new movement since with cloud lies the risk of sensitive business data exposure and with the cloud integration, pushing the data outside the firewall is the only way to share the data.
Hybrid integration puts an end to all these worries equipping enterprises with the power to choose which data to keep where. They can keep the sensitive data on premise while sharing the non-significant data on the cloud, safeguarding the data movement and applications at the same time.
The ABCs of integration – what it’s all about
As the whole IT industry is slowly moving towards cloud, hybrid platforms can act as the bridge between on-premise and cloud applications. The goal is to provide users with the ultimate cloud experience while keeping the original functionality in the back end the same.
While the complete conversion to an all cloud integration application system isn’t necessarily the best approach to adopt for all the enterprises, continuing with the outdated legacy systems is also not the way forward. The hybrid integration platform comes to the rescue in such scenarios, providing a perfect middle ground by ensuring smooth data mapping between the cloud and data center while combining the ongoing increase of business information across the company.
The hybrid Integration platform can be vastly divided into three areas:
- Application integration,
- B2B integration and,
- Cloud integration.
While the functionality between all three is largely the same, they all have different roles to play in the hybrid architecture.
The basic requirement for any kind of integration typically involves the ability to connect and transform data as well as route and validate data leading to a smooth, hassle-free data mapping across multiple platforms along with synchronizing existing services or processes with the applications throughout the architecture.
An efficient hybrid integration platform combines the ease of deployment with powerful development power. Such systems have multiple benefits such as increased shared resources across multiple projects, lowered infrastructure costs and an advanced data reporting functionality.
Incremental adoption is also a very important feature of the hybrid integration platforms. In the large enterprises where there are many entities involves across multiple projects, hybrid platforms empowers the ability to choose the services on the real time rather than at the start of the project hence saving up on large infrastructure costs and license hassles.
The road ahead
Hybrid integration platforms undoubtedly hold tremendous potential along with enormous advantages, making it the ideal choice for the enterprises to move forward. Innovation combined with technology is where the future lies and hybrid integration is the key to that successful future ahead.
Stanimira Koleva is the Asia Pacific & Japan Chief Operating Officer and member of the Group Executive Board at Software AG.
Stanimira has several years experience in the Software and ICT industry having taken management roles in the large multi-national vendors – 3com, Cisco, Microsoft. In her last position at Microsoft APAC, she was General Manager for their Small and Medium size customer business segment and Partners.