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Refresh Your Integration Strategy to Tackle Cloud-Based Services


With the growing advent of cloud services, new challenges and opportunities emerge when it comes to addressing the perennial application and data integration issue.

Ahead of the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2013, taking place May 16-17, in London, Massimo Pezzini, vice president & Gartner Fellow, examined the business benefits and technology challenges of cloud services integration (CSI).

Mr. Pezzini’s commentary is included in today’s analyst guest post:

Inconsistency, semantic conflicts, redundancy and duplication of data are inevitable, whether applications are in the cloud or on premises. Therefore the problem of integrating cloud-based systems with each other and with established on premises environment should be addressed with the same rigor and discipline that organizations have adopted to support on-premises data and application integration or e-commerce B2B integration.

We advise IT leaders to extend the reach of their established integration strategy to also cover cloud services integration (CSI). Establishing a separated strategy for CSI would cause ineffective duplication of efforts, technology infrastructures and skills, higher costs in skills and technology infrastructure, and technical and organisational complexities.

Although CSI addresses the same basic problem as traditional application and data integration, a special form of integration platform, iPaaS*(integration platform as a service), has emerged over the past few years to address this specific challenge.

Organizations are increasingly turning to iPaaS offerings because of their close affinity with SaaS and the anticipated greater ease of use, lower costs and faster time-to-integration than traditional integration platforms. Gartner predicts that by 2016, at least 35 percent of all large and midsize organizations worldwide will be using one or more iPaaS offerings in some form.

For most large organizations, iPaaS will complement, not replace, the traditional on-premises integration middleware (such as, enterprise service buses, B2B gateway software, and managed file transfer). Therefore, dealing with the coexistence and federation of iPaaS and on-premises integration platforms will be the norm for most IT leaders.

In addition to considering CSI-oriented technology platforms, CSI will also require organizations to plan for an incremental development of their integration team’s organizational structure, methodologies and governance processes. In fact, CSI projects often require a more agile approach and faster time to value than traditional application or data integration initiatives.

If CSI is not a core competency IT leaders are interested in developing, or cannot afford to develop, Gartner recommends they adopt integration outsourcing policies, such as integration brokerage.

Mr. Pezzini will further discuss the challenges and opportunities of CSI at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2013, May 16-17, in London.

For more information about the Summit, please visit Members of the media can register for the Summit by contacting Information from the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2013 will be shared on Twitter at using #GartnerAADI.

*iPaaS is a suite of cloud services enabling the development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual, or across multiple, organizations.

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