Four51 OrderCloud: Integration Made Easy

January 22, 2016

Category: Best Practices

Enterprise technology has become scattered, as an increasing number of cloud-based apps, virtual services, and connected devices and sensors have proliferated across company departments.

Businesses need to connect the new cloud solutions they have adopted with on-premise systems that make up their traditional IT portfolio.

Established middleware, including Enterprise Service Buses (ESBs) and custom code are insufficient to keep up with demand. Businesses that have not adopted a rapid integration strategy will have to focus on finding faster, more efficient ways to connect the expanding universe of data and endpoints.

Many companies will build new cloud service brokerages and hubs that offer IT services and APIs as part of managed marketplaces. They will be accessible to business users and governed by the IT department. Cloud-based integration platforms will provide the fastest and easiest way for companies to ensure that new technologies are quickly linked to the rest of the organization – including legacy, on-premise systems.

Death of ESB & Rise of Real-Time API Integration

The importance of big data and the cloud has forced companies to rethink their traditional IT infrastructure in order to leverage the vast stores of information coming from the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, social and mobile endpoints.

For example, IoT demands a new level of high-volume, external-facing APIs that operate in real time. The ESB integration model architected more than 10 years ago, before the cloud revolution, was never designed for the scale or speed of modern digital commerce. Instead, the next generation of integration technologies, such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) integration platforms, deliver a new level of agility, and connectivity, in minutes instead of months.

Three integration innovations are now defining enterprise architecture: Virtual Integration, Cloud-based Platforms, and Managed APIs:

  • Virtual integration allows applications to access information from external systems without actually moving data from one application to another, delivering immediate insight across systems, a smaller storage footprint, and eliminating the need to synchronize redundant datasets.
  • Cloud integration platforms enable a new generation of hybrid integration designed and managed on a single cloud platform that can run in the cloud or securely behind the firewall.
  • Managed APIs are the new building blocks of digital business. Managed, integrated APIs are not your father’s SOA API. They are specifically designed for today’s scale and security needs, delivering massive throughput, throttling, analytics, monitoring, and centralized lifecycle management.

Together, these new integration innovations will redefine how we do business with our customers, partners, and employees.

Self-Service Integration: The End User Shift

With more business processes leveraging connected applications and data, integration solutions will become increasingly accessible to the average business user. Instead of relying on IT specialists to connect different business processes across various applications, the modern wave of integration solutions will empower line-of-business users to manage links between the solutions that they know best. As end users demand more control over the technology they use on a day-to-day basis, business IT and integration providers will focus on opening up APIs to allow people across the company to quickly bring on and connect new technologies to legacy solutions.

According to research from IDG, businesses expect the volume of data they manage to grow more than 70% in the coming year. This data will be important for a range of users beyond dedicated analysts and C-level executives, including field service reps, salespeople, marketers, and product managers.

As CIOs shift from being IT gatekeepers to delivering a service marketplace, they will need to adopt new platforms designed specifically for hybrid architectures, digital commerce, and cloud scale to deliver maximum value across the organization.