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toukokuuta 05, 2017

A wind of change in the integration business

How important is integration for your business? How important will it be in the near future? Is your company taking advantage of the benefits of the wind of change that is currently blowing in the integration field?

I have spent considerable amount of time the latest 10-years helping CIO’s, integration architects and others in navigating in the IT-jungle – especially in the area of system integration.

There has been discussions about what kind of software to use, to outsource or to have knowledge in-house, how to handle RFP:s, RFQ:s and Proof-of-concepts etc. All of this with a clear purpose of finding a good way of working and managing a company’s system integration.

During the years, the discussions have mostly focused around integration platforms. That is regarding software from the major vendors in this area. Looking at magic quadrants, listening and talking to Forrester, Gartner, Radar Group and of course the software vendors and others.

All of the major vendors in this area like IBM, TIBCO Software, Microsoft, Software AG, Oracle, Axway, MuleSoft etc have great integration solutions. Often they also have several different options in the same area - with a little twist in some direction. With all these great solutions – which should I choose? Does it really matter or are the solutions more or less the same?

Today with the high level of maturity, it is more about finding a vendor that you can have a good relationship with for a long period of time. With that said – sometimes the technical differences that do exists could be important and make a big difference, but for most customers I have meet over the years – this has not been very important.

But today in 2017– it is actually very different, not only due to the rise of the Cloud with changes in the technological landscape but also with the change in the business models – a lot will change by this. There is also structural changes going on, in how we actually integrate with other systems nowadays, when more and more systems live in the Cloud and not on premise. In addition applications today are built with open possibilities for integration in a way we have never seen before. We are starting to see use of different patterns, different technologies, different business models etc. A wind of change is blowing right now also in the system integration business.

Today - integration services exist server less in the Cloud - for example in AWS and Azure. Today vendors like IBM, TIBCO and others who are also providing integration in Cloud are making these changes in the market. And it is happening right now. With today’s server less architecture you can focus on the business needs and the actual implementations instead of long discussions about software licensing, Proof-of-concepts, installations and hard negations about purchasing an integration platform software stack to be installed somewhere. While which solution to use might still be important, we really see a market shift with more focus on the business needs and the actual data that is integrated, instead of how it is done and what software to use.

This is an awesome time for any company – any business! Making it easier to do integration work that will really enhance your business.

Today you can also buy integration as a service. Companies out there provide solutions to fit your needs and you can more or less pay and use as you go. No more agreements for several years ahead and no up-front-costs. Costs will be about the same in the longer run, but the business model change opens doors for smaller companies to use the same kind of solutions as Enterprise customers have done for years, but without high initial costs. The same solutions can be used for a small company as well as for a large Enterprise. Both technical environments and pricing models scales in a better way than before. This introduces equality in the market – making it a bit easier for a small company to compete in the global market we all live in.

I am glad to see this change. Integration is still important and it will be important for many years to come – but this change really opens up the possibility for integration related work to make greater business benefits than ever before. Naturally this also makes an impact for us at Enfo how we are managing our work in the integration area. We see a higher number of requests now for Cloud-services and especially for our Integration as Service offering where we, together with our partners, provide everything you need for system integration. Scalable, Flexible, and with a pay as you go model and without long contracts.

How important is integration for your business? How will it be in the near future? Is your company taking advantage of the benefits of the wind of change that is currently blowing? The combination of your customer relations, your data and your special way of managing integration is really what makes your business successful or not. And integration is still the core for making it possible. Are you ready for a wind of change within integration?

Contact me and let us make use of this change in the market together.



Björn Arkenfall

Head of Business Development, Enfo Integration