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The importance of integration in enterprise applications

09 May 2017

The pervasive nature and speed of technology today means that integration is no longer just the IT department’s problem; it’s everyone’s problem.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), application programming interface (APIs), blockchain and chatbots thrown into the mix, everyone needs to integrate with everything.

And this is leading to companies who are partnering with integration vendors to ensure their success as they adopt these, and other disrupting technologies, in the future.

Digital transformations are taking place across the world by more organisations than ever before. Analyst group IDC says that in the next four years, digital transformations will have a large-scale impact on organisations of all sizes.

IDC also predicts that by the end of 2018, over 50% of Australia’s top 500 companies will have dedicated digital transformation/innovation teams.

And in a digital driven economy, integration will become the underlying element driving these transformations.

Below is our take on what’s driving the rise of integration on enterprise applications:

Specialists Not Required

Integration is becoming a pervasive problem across businesses, and that means integration tools will need to accommodate multiple user types along with traditional developers.

Integration vendors will need to provide tooling for ad hoc and non-technical developers as well as specialists, including graphical, low code solutions.

Microservices gains traction

Mature Cutting edge development teams experimented with microservices last year, but in 2017, mainstream organisations will take microservices architectures into production with real projects.

To support these initiatives, integration vendors will go to market with microservices using important supporting technologies such as containers (Docker, Kubernetes, etc.). 

IoT Integration Everywhere

The IoT is abuzz this year with talk of smarter Things, plus the increased use of edge computing for analytics. So, as more companies move into real IoT implementations, the role of integration as the broker of “Thing” data will become fully realised.

Data is only valuable if it gets delivered.

Integrating Integration with APIs

A flurry of recent acquisitions of major API management vendors, such as Tibco’s purchase of Mashery and Rogue Wave Software’s Akana buy, showed the world that APIs are part of a bigger market—integration.

Companies now view API management as an extension of integration - because that’s where they are developing their APIs.

This is a clear indication that the IT community recognise the value of APIs for application integration, and this trend will continue to gain importance in 2017. 

Rise of the Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere these days, especially with the rise of chatbots and virtual assistants.

But even the smartest chatbot can only provide intelligent responses if it has the right data to work with.

We will see an increase in the need for bots to have timely data such as customer, product and service data to improve the virtual experience of customers. 

Blockchain Integration

The financial sector is seeing an increase in the use of blockchain technology for fast and secure payments.

And industry after industry is getting in line behind the banks to adopt blockchain as a way to track secure ledgers of transactions, from healthcare to manufacturing.

Integration will be the key that ties these new initiatives into your business, adding new channels for secure and fast business.

With data accessibility more manageable through integrated lightweight protocols, containers and robust APIs, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to turn the growing mountain of data from disparate sources and formats into consumable information and actionable insights.

IT departments and CIOs will need to find a new way forward to support the enterprise infrastructure and maximise the potential benefits of having improved access to data.

Article by Mike Saxton, senior vice president, Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), Software AG

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