New styles of integration are the hallmark of Digital Transformation

New Styles of Integration 2

Shakeup your integration strategy to enable digital transformation, says VP & Gartner Fellow Massimo Pezzini. Pezzini asserts that it is not just about transforming and modernizing the infrastructure and the applications concerned.  Some of the fundamental concepts of integration need to be revisited and transformed as well.  Such systemic transformation punctuate the migration of  legacy environments to microservices and the cloud.  What may have worked in the past will no longer be applicable going forward.  “Integration is dead.  Long live integration,” screamed the title of one of the sessions at the Red Hat Summit 2016.  The session was making a point.  Integration, as we knew it a few years back, is dead.  Integration in the digital world has a long life in the decades ahead.  Join me as I walk through the new styles of integration that are the hallmark of digital transformation.

API Management.  Gone are the days when you implemented an application first and added an API later. APIs are a mandatory component of application delivery these days—increasingly the first step in application design and development. APIs are the backbone of enterprise software in the digital world.  As more projects are developed with an API-first mindset, IT teams are also looking for an API-oriented focus on the operational side of the house, too. Enter API management, which allows developers and operators to address security, performance, life cycle, and governance concerns in a consistent, non-invasive way for all APIs deployed in the enterprise.

New Styles of Integration

Created by user Integrationrocks on Wikimedia Commons. 2012.

Data Virtualization.  Global enterprises are typically sitting on treasure troves of data. Business intelligence teams with the right tools can mine this data and unearth brilliant insights that could lead to the creation of new products and services and improve customer service and retention rates. To do this right, it’s key to obtain more sophisticated information, captured from different systems (transactional, risk, ledger, static), having structured or less-structured information.  Traditional integration approaches would involve the cost and complexity of data warehouses or extract, load, transform (ELT) techniques.  How about leaving the data where it is?  Instead, a logical data access layer can provide a virtual view simulating a single database schema even though there are multiple physical data stores being accessed behind the scenes.  This is a technique that offers accurate, reliable data in real-time with no unnecessary data replication reducing costs of out-of-sync reports.

Elastic Messaging.  Modernized environments must scale to accommodate the dynamic requirements of newer workloads.  Take messaging for example. With modern cloud technology, it’s practical to add and remove computing resources to accommodate changing workloads. Messaging environments in the digital world must be able to accommodate the fluctuating scales of workloads.

Microservices Integration.  Microservices is still a distributed-systems problem, and integration is a core component of any distributed system. Integration technologies must have the ability to connect disparate pieces with environments that enable build, test and deploy using out-of-the-box (but pluggable) continuous integration and continuous delivery toolchains.

There you have it.  Integration components within the enterprise IT landscape are also bonafide passengers in the transformation journey along with the very systems and applications they integrate.  Just like they sunset certain legacy applications, enterprises may very well have to cease employing some integration techniques.

Which integration approaches stay?  What are the new ones to be introduced?  Please weigh in with your thoughts.

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