(Senior Vice President of Products at SnapLogic)
Why/when should a company implement an Integration Architecture?
Companies need integration of enterprise software systems to break down data silos. In the past, organizations ran their applications on-premises, often they bought enterprise software suites from one vendor that were already integrated. But this approach was suboptimal as the feature set of such software suites was limited. In addition to the software suites, organizations had data stores and custom applications that acted as systems-of-record, or helped digitize business processes. When an organization builds the “ERP of One” by integrating a collection of best-of-breed applications, they tend to build point-to-point integrations. But with many applications and data stores across the global enterprise, as well as limited IT resources, point-to-point integrations become increasingly hard to manage, are not sustainable over time, putting the brakes on growth. And that’s when you need an integration architecture.
Integration architectures such as Hub-and-Spoke architecture or Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) helped reduce the amount of work needed to connect an application or data store and maintain the connection over time. By adopting these models, the number of connections you had to maintain were reduced significantly from O(n2) to O(n). As these platforms evolved, there was reduced data replication, more real-time interfaces, better standardization, and enhanced ability to do service discovery. However the ESB approach still suffered from complexity, long lead time, and required skilled dedicated resources to manage hardware and software.
Enterprise iPaaS, or integration platform as a service offerings, enable organizations to manage integrations at scale -- applications in the cloud, on-premises, or hybrid. A modern iPaaS platform such as SnapLogic, are based on JSON and REST, modern web standards. Organisations can leverage hundreds of pre-built connectors that the platform provides without having to build (and maintain) them themselves. They also don’t have to worry about buying and maintaining hardware or maintaining software to run the integration engine.
What is the innovative character of your Integration solution?
The SnapLogic Intelligent Integration Platform focuses on improving productivity of all integration personas with a self-service, low-code user interface, from citizen integrators to the integration specialist.
- Our Iris AI-based Integration Assistant significantly reduces time to value for business users by recommending the first and subsequent Snaps as they build their integration pipelines. Gartner recognized SnapLogic as the first-mover in applying AI to enterprise integration.
- We provide a single unified interface for organisations to manage all their application integration, data integration, API management, B2B integration, and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform. Having that single platform to manage all integrations, APIs, the machine learning lifecycle, and more significantly improves user productivity and accelerates business outcomes.
Where do you see Integration Architectures within five years?
Enterprise iPaaS platforms will continue to improve in terms of their performance, scalability and connectivity. Doing this more simply, more reliably and more quickly through the application of enhanced AI to the process. Within the next five years, Enterprise iPaaS platforms will dominate the integration scene enjoying increasing presence in enterprises for the following reasons.
- previously, the enterprise need revolved around breaking data silos through integration, but as organizations realise the value of the data they possess, and as big data processing comes within reach of even the smallest of organizations, more and more of them will want to generate insights from the data. We believe we’ll see data and application integration platforms become even more tightly integrated with analytics platforms.
- Integration platforms will also make it easy to discover and utilise software services so that organizations can build digital ecosystems around their products more efficiently.
Most integration runtimes will be in the cloud where enterprise applications and data will reside, but with some of those runtimes continuing to reside on-premises to meet data regulatory, residency and performance needs. As enterprise IoT usage increases, we do expect that hybrid integration architectures will become the norm.