Why you need to be world class in Application Integration

In Sweden there is a radio program called “Spanarna” where a group of three persons tries to read trends in the everyday noise, and then present their visions of the future for the radio listeners.

The criteria for a valid trend-watch is that it requires at least three evidence to substantiate that this is something that will be realized in the coming future.

I will borrow this program idea and present my vision for application integration based on what I see when I visit customers in Scandinavia and listen to their upcoming challenges. Also I use what Radar Group and Gartner advises us to be prepared on.

I’ll start by stating the trend and thesis and prophecy: Your most important critical applications will not only be running in the cloud they will also be running in different clouds. Your requirements on the suppliers will be for them to take greater responsibility on your internal processes, and so will your customers require you to do. Therefore you need to form a plan for the cloud and focus to become world class in the area of application  integration.

Since a valid  trend-watch or thesis requires at least three evidences I made it easy for me.  I  borrowed most  material from other trend-watchers namely Gartner and Radar group. Couldn’t be more safe, since  everything that comes out of their mouths tends to be self-fulfilling prophecies.

Ok, now it is time to present the evidences that proves my trend-watch.

Evidence #1  Gartner Top 10 Strategic Trends by 2015

  • Computing Everywhere
  • The Internet of Things
  • 3D Printing
  • Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics
  • Context-Rich Systems
  • Smart Machines
  • Cloud/Client Computing
  • Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure
  • Web-Scale IT
  • Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection

In the above list of hot technologies I have  underlined where the applications most probably will run in the cloud and as you see they all involves application integration. To be able to take advantage of computing everywhere, collect data from smart machines and especially for the internet of things where everything should be connected Application Integration excellence is vital.

Internet of Things is already happening and there is huge opportunity for early adopters to gain advantages if they can identify the value offering that comes with data together with the skills to collect the data the products produces. This can then be used to share and improve your offering and strengthen the relation to the customer. Look at the car industry, they have already started.

We also see small  manufacturers that already understood that they are sitting on an “information gold mine” where they not only can extend the value of their product for the consumers but also sell the data collected to others.

Application integration in combination with the cloud are two of the enablers for this to happen.

Evidence #2

This is an old Gartner prediction from Las Vegas 2013 where Gartner emphasizes the need for organizations to strengthen the application integration skills to meet the below listed bullets where Gartner predicts.

  • Continuously and accelerating B2B growth
  • By 2016, midsize to large companies will spend 33% more on application integrations than in 2013.
  • By 2016, the integration of data on mobile devices will represent 20% of integration spending.
  • By 2017, over two-thirds of all new integration flows will extend outside the enterprise firewall.
  • By 2018, more than 50% of the cost of implementing 90% of new large systems will be spent on integration

Gartner also predicts the transfer of business critical applications will now start to run both in the cloud and also as Apps on our mobile devices. The first business people that saw the possibilities in the cloud was the sales group who moved out the CRM, and by 2015 more than  50% Of CRM Will Be Deployed As SaaS.

The message is clear; Make sure you have a plan for  application integration otherwise you will have a hard time to keep up with your competitors.

Evidence #3

This evidence is taken from an investigation made by Gartner again where both IT as well as business decision makers were asked how they prioritizes and to which area are the  IT-investments made. The result of the survey where quite interesting since they seems to be from different planets and also with completely different agendas.

It get’s even more interesting when you look at how their respective IT-budget is developing the coming year where the IT-departments budget is increasing with 1.3% whereas the business are now getting 3.6% more money to spend.

Guess what? When I look at the table below my guess is that the money our business representatives gets will end up in the cloud. Because I do not see any areas in the table where business and IT have mutual interests.

IT driven prioritization Business driven prioritization
1. Application development. 1. Business Intelligence.
2. Application Management. 2. Business and finance system.
3. Cost reduction. 3. Mobile solutions.
4. Digitization of business. 4. Web.
5. Architecture. 5. Issue Management.
6. Information Security. 6. Distance Meetings (online).
7. Control. 7. Document and information management.
8. Infrastructure Management 8. Customer Relationship Management.
9. Competence development. 9. E-billing.
10. Application Consolidation. 10. Communication Solutions.

Peter Sondergaard from Gartner says that today 38% of total IT spend is outside of IT.  By 2017, it will be over 50%,” .  Read more at: http://which-50.com/blog/2014/october/07/digital-investments-drive-global-it-spend-towards-us4-trillion-gartner/#.

To be able to meet this trend and for you to make sure that the business wont bypass you totally , you need to be seen as an enabler rather than the IT-guy that stops all innovation and spend the money solely on cost reduction rather than business development.

Two things the IT-departments needs to do to meet the new power of the business is to form a plan for the cloud and also strengthen the skills in Application Integration because when your applications starts to run in a mix of different clouds and on-premise applications you better know how to connect in a good way. It is no only good enough to keep systems in sync in a secure, efficient and reliable way. Now you also need to share data to make your customers better or even sell information if your business model allows for that via your well designed information APIs. Conclusion

Of the top  technology trends most of them have the cloud as playground and will require application integration to a large extent. With that in mind I’ll kindly recommend that  you form a plan on how your organization should benefit from the cloud and also stay competitive in your organizations offering.

Because new digital initiatives and start-ups sits inside your own organization but not recessionary in IT. Probably the investments is made in your marketing department, HR,  logistics and in sales. You can bet that  they will drive IT-investments which will require excellence in application integration and since this non-IT people they will most probably choose the cloud to run their application since the cloud supports their need of speed.

At iBiz Solutions we know that to be able to stand prepared for changes and to be able to stay competitive in the are of application integrations you need to think in maintainable application integration. Our Integration Framework describes methodology, best practices, patterns,  guidance and strategical directions based on where you are and what needs you have. In Integration Framework we have collected all our knowledge, experiences and skills in application integration so that you can benefit from it and say competitive in your area of expertise. Let us tell you more about our thoughts about the future of application integration.

iBiz Solutions Integration Framework

This blog post relates mostly to the governance hexagons in iBiz Solutions Integration Framework 

The intention of this blog post was to make sure that if you do not have a plan or application integration it is about time that you create one. The future have never been closer and the speed of which the future travels against us has increased dramatically.I hope I was able to prove the importance of both the cloud and excellence in application integration. If you have any questions on how you should be prepared to meet the coming opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I will end this post with another  interesting prediction also delivered by Gartner. Listen to this:

-By 2015, 10% of your online “friends” will be nonhuman. How many non-human friends did you have 5 years ago?

-Get used to the sentence. Robot, please bring me a cup of coffee and while you are away please check outside the door if the Amazon drone have delivered the stuff I ordered 10 minutes ago.

If the drone has delivered the goods, then you know that the network of connected systems is well integrated.

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