The connective fabric of a digital world
As CIOs and CTOs are thrust into the innovation driver’s seat, the systems they work with must reflect the pace and constant changing demands of the digital reality.
Digital business transformation demands integration more complex than anything we have seen historically. In the future, companies will better serve customers because they are stitched into the fabric of their customers' lives—from ideation to supply chain to delivery, more targeted outcomes will be possible.
The rise of platform-based ecosystems means any organization now needs a digital underpinning that goes beyond its virtual walls to include partners of all types—partners who change more frequently than ever. Over the next several years, many in IT leadership will turn to an intelligent integration layer to address the issue.
Hard wiring is going the way of the dinosaur. Infrastructures are now less tangible, instead being built on an agile software model, from APIs and cloud to microservices and bimodal IT. Citizen integrators are on the rise in most organizations. They are the heralds of change in a new digitally connected world.
Data has become the fuel for innovation in a digital economy that demands the new, the unanticipated, the customized. The barrage of data available, housed within the seeming limitless stores of cloud computing, has in turn fueled advances in analytics platforms. These platforms have already changed the face of many industries drastically, with large revenue spikes in data-heavy industries such as insurance, healthcare and retail. Advanced analytics has become a competitive tool embedded into the business of business.
Organizations need agile, scalable integration approaches that can be choreographed in real time, multiple times in a day, an hour, sometimes even a minute. The concept of “composable” infrastructure leverages best of breed platforms and technologies to form an optimized solution. The ability to compose infrastructure on the fly is the ultimate agility in a digital world.
Enter the digital integration platform. This intelligent network provides a unifying connectivity among people, applications and devices in different locations or business units—this connectivity is the intelligent integration layer. It creates the borderless enterprise, which includes your company, your partners, your customers, and the physical world. It is adaptive—a living, breathing organism versus the staid, fixed behemoths of old.
IoT and mobility tax traditional systems while citizen integration saves the day
The rise of smart “things” in the physical world, along with the rise of business platforms into ecosystems, creates vast volumes of data entering the org, being exchanged and transformed into fuel for business results. To realize the full benefits of this scenario, the organization’s intelligent integration layer must support this scenario. Many organizations are turning to cloud-based computing at the edge as a basic tool just to keep pace.
Customers, employees, and partners expect access to information anywhere on any device. Increasingly, business groups have larger budgets for technical initiatives and lead the way in technical solutions, relegating tradition centralized IT to a secondary role or none at all. Basic integration platforms now exist across disparate business or partner systems, creating a break from the monolithic integration approach of the past.
As the citizen integrator concept grows—out of sheer business necessity—and as digitization progresses, integration will become less expensive over time.
In the near future, we see some IT departments mastering the new approach to agile business, providing the tools, oversight and flexible processes to enable the business to achieve its goals without the central integration insisted upon in the past. The digital integration platform of the future requires centralized oversight versus centralized control. Adobe has done just this by gradually implementing a DIY integration strategy. Within the first 10 months, roughly 400 ad hoc and citizen integrators were enabled to use the company’s Hybrid Integration Platform. The result? More than 600 integration interfaces and 200+ APIs, which would have taken a centralized integration competency center years to complete.
Citizen integration could save the day, if central IT can get governance frameworks right. Gartner assumes that by 2018, at least 50 percent of new integration flows will be implemented by citizen integrators. With the maelstrom of integrations that go on each day in large corporations, governance becomes an immediate priority. Employees, or “citizen integrators” are empowered to “code” various pieces of infrastructure, as it relates to their goals for the customer or business. DIY integration, backed by a strong central framework, is the path forward. And that change will bring interoperability to the fore.
(Source:"Gartner CIO Call to Action- Shake Up Your Integration Strategy to Enable Digital Transformation", Gartner, November 26, 2015)
By 2022, IoT will save consumers and businesses $1 trillion a year in maintenance, services and consumables.
(Gartner, Top Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond: Surviving the Storm Winds of Digital Disruption, October 14, 2016)
Designing for outcomes requires a flexible digital integration
Designing successful experiences, whether for employees, customers or platform partners, starts with design thinking. Design thinking, at its base, is an iterative approach to problem solving that involves rapid experimentation and prototyping. As users test the product or service, changes are made in almost real time.
To get design thinking right in a digital enterprise, an agile technology foundation with an intelligent integration layer—is a given.
of IoT early movers believe that data integration (24%) or analysis (16%) will be the biggest technology hurdles to clear.
(Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, The Intersection of IoT and Big Data, March 28, 2016)
Event-driven architecture in a digital integration platform will change industries as we know them
By 2020, over 20 billon connected things will be in use worldwide.
(Source: Gartner, November 10, 2015)
Microservices for distributed architecture
Microservices-based software will continue to evolve rapidly over the next several years. It replaces clunky and inflexible monolithic architectures with composable focused platforms to provide rapid cycle times, selective scaling and right-sized technology choice. Today, most cloud-native applications are built using scalable, distributed architectures based on microservices.