Enterprise Application Integration is a broad term used in the integration landscape to connect multiple software applications and hardware systems within an organization. It is a collaboration strategy that also includes integration with external entities including partners, customers, and suppliers. The connection is to warrant the free flow of information across applications, overcoming all data barriers without actually transferring data from one place to another.
An application integration solution uses middleware technologies and APIs to connect different applications at a functional level irrespective of the application type or the application service provider. The complexity of integrating on-premise systems and cloud services can only be resolved with an app integration and it is important to deploy this technology for businesses to function as a single unit.
With a new year just around the corner, the question of what the future holds for us has raised almost automatically. With that in mind, we compiled the hottest app integration trends for 2018.
Let us explore the various Data Integration trends to monitor in 2018.
1. Adoption of Cloud-based Integration solutions
A modern enterprise employs a number of cloud-based applications and services along with on-premise systems. However, enabling the free flow of information across applications and services is a challenging task. Check out these Challenges to Counter during Integration Implementation.
Cloud-based Integrated Solutions are already adopted by many organizations to integrate back-office systems as well as move their SCM systems from on-premise to cloud computing model.
Such solutions are going to be readily accepted by remaining organizations due to the cloud elements pricing, cloud API effectiveness, flexibility and faster connectivity to run multiple applications.
2. E-commerce Integration Solutions to Increase
The rise in e-commerce transactions in B2B and B2C landscape has made it difficult for businesses to manage multiple tasks like online selling, placing orders, inventory management, and various other back-end operational processes.
2018 will witness e-commerce integration solutions that are responsible for amalgamating e-commerce website, back-end processes and ERP system. These data integration tools ensure the free flow of information across back-end and front-end systems and minimize IT outlays.
3. Hybrid Integration Technology Adoption
Hybrid integration technology is a combination of on-premise systems and cloud integration of applications using a secure technology like Transport Layer Security (TLS), to bridge network divide between enterprise systems and services like SaaS/PaaS/iPaaS.
Following the cloud integration trends, next year we expect more clients to adopt hybrid integration as it enables users to access both on-premise data and cloud application-based data besides incorporating new systems within the organization. Such solutions help to save the cost of data transfer, gain a competitive edge and drive innovation.
4. Mobile Application Challenges
Organizations are witnessing an increasing diversity in enterprise mobile devices and mobile application ecosystem. While developing a new enterprise mobile application, businesses face challenges like enterprise data access from mobile, enterprise data security, remote device and remote data access management, BYOD and device diversity.
These challenges will need to be handled deftly in the coming months and years to ensure the development of scalable applications using a single code base. This will help avoid costly mistakes in app design, device compatibility besides giving business owners complete control over their data. Solutions like EMM (Enterprise mobility management) and MADP (Mobile application development platform) cater to such challenges.
5. DevOps to take Center Stage
DevOps is a concept formed by the combination of words “development” and “operations.” This concept lays stress on the importance of communication and collaboration among product management, software development, and operation staff.
We expect DevOps to take center stage in 2018 as it enables organizations to follow an agile and lean approach so that the final product is successfully delivered to a user while meeting their expectations.
6. Increasing CRM Integration with ERP, BI/Analytics
Enterprises have largely managed to integrate their contact databases and customer service systems using CRM systems. However, there is a huge gap when it comes to integration between ERP, BI/Analytics, and CRM systems. This gap limits an organization’s capacity to function at its full potential.
CRM and ERP integration enables you to have a complete view of the customer, gain better access to critical information and automate business processes. Integrating these back-end and front-end systems through a single platform solution will be a priority in 2018.
7. Focus on Business Process Integration
Enterprises need an integrated solution to streamline business processes like marketing, sales, customer service, supply chain management, administration, and operations. As a business grows, point-to-point integration between applications and services becomes a daunting task.
A high number of point-to-point integrations increase business complexity. Professional business process integration solutions that allow businesses to automate internal company processes and collaborate with customers, business partners and suppliers will find increasing acceptance. Check out Bespoke Integration Solution Vs Enterprise Grade Integration.
8. Real-Time API-Driven Application Integration will be a huge Topic of Discussion
Mobile applications, cloud-based apps, wearable devices etc constantly use APIs to interact with other applications and systems. APIs are used to integrate new applications with existing enterprise IT infrastructure.
With real-time API-driven integration, one can integrate API-centric applications using real-time data propagation. Discussions will center on enhancing interactive data access among users using API-enabled services and data sources.
9. Focus on Mobile and Real-Time Integration
Application integration is not just about connecting two or more applications to enable data flow. It must deliver results to end-users. Users today expect a seamless experience across all their devices whether for shopping, data storage, or data access.
By 2018, integration solutions in e-commerce landscape will focus on ensuring real-time data synchronization between systems, across various POS (Point of Sale) including desktop PCs, laptops, handheld devices or physical store purchase to deliver a superior shopping experience to buyers.
10. Fully Integrated Applications on SaaS Marketplaces
Communication service providers (CSPs) offer various applications to their customers. New applications with new features are added to the marketplace to provide more value to the consumers.
Irrespective of where the applications are bought from i.e. CSP provider or SaaS vendor, new applications should gel smoothly with the existing ones.
In 2018 and beyond, we are going to witness fully integrated applications that provide integration layers under SaaS marketplaces to help CSPs improve customer experience and customer retention.
11. Rise of iPaaS
Enterprises today run in utterly complex cloud situations with the deployment of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS within the organization. Integration of various cloud technologies is not easy with a number of vendors associated with the system. Moreover, SaaS integration is just not enough to deal with this growing complexity.
iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) is a cloud integration solution that comes handy under such circumstances. iPaaS will see a tremendous increase in demand owing to its ability to induce simple point-to-point integrations along with developer tools to build custom integrations.
12. Collaboration of Independent Software Vendors and iPaaS Service Providers
Software vendors realize their limitation in binding customers to their products due to stiff competition in the market. To differentiate and provide more value to their customers, vendors are approaching iPaaS service providers to extend their product’s integration abilities.
In 2018, more vendors will open their APIs to external developers and embed integration platform as a service through APIs into their own product. This will help them to create homogenous infrastructure, tools to amend integration, broad monitoring and logging system.
13. Integration of Chatbots with Mobile to Boost mCommerce
Chatbots, actively used in e-commerce ecosystem, rely on written or spoken messages to understand what shoppers want and accordingly communicate with them depending on message platform’s ability.
With the help of integration middleware, chatbots can be integrated with company’s mobile applications and databases to get all the desired information scattered across the organization at a click of a button.
In 2018 these developments will provide an immense opportunity to businesses to understand their customers better and boost m-commerce.
14. Agility-Driven Integration to see a Rise
Organizations require agility to support evolving environment, new functionalities, and capability to couple and decouple on demand. Lean messaging platforms are back in vogue and businesses are aiming at distributed messaging solutions when connecting different services.
Agility-driven integration solutions will enable businesses to build and run pipelines of data micro-services. These loosely coupled micro-services will be linked through shared messaging layers to help run modern system integration.
15. Adoption of BYOD Policy
A lot of organizations ask their employees to use their own devices to perform multiple business functions with the use of applications. Most applications are connected with company cloud server accessible via a security code.
BYOD policy helps companies to save cost, increase efficiency, brings flexibility, encourage cloud adoption and pushes BYOD-focused integration in the existing IT infrastructure. In 2018, increased focus on BYOD policies will be a priority.
16. Outsourcing Application Integration
In-house IT teams neither have the expertise nor time to facilitate business workflow and data exchange between multiple applications and software packages. With IT environment becoming complex and data security at stake, CIOs can’t afford to experiment with integration solutions.
Enterprises will begin to outsource application integration to service providers with integration expertise across various industries and environment. Outsourcing companies will take into account evolving technology, integration maintenance, and scalability while performing event exchange, routing and workflow implementation.
17. Continuous Focus on IoT, Mobile and Cloud
Internet of Things (IoT) is all over the place today. Enterprises are already competing in big data space where the sheer volume, variety and velocity of data are mind-boggling.
New applications and devices are flooding the IoT space with a demand for real-time data analytics, and insights.
Integration solutions will begin to incorporate IoT technology in a full-fledged manner to bring all connected & upcoming devices and applications within the existing IT system.
18. Data-Centric Integration
An enormous amount of data is produced every day across multiple systems, applications and services even though not every data set is useful. However, enterprises realize what useful data can mean for their business in the long run.
Enterprises are already using various data integration and data management solutions like dPaaS (Data Platform as a Service) to manage and rescue their data from the confines of applications. Application integration solutions will continue to accommodate data integration solutions to deliver a cleaner and more useful centralized platform.
19. Specialist System Integrators
Message exchange patterns are used to establish communication protocol. Two commonly used message exchange patterns are a request-response pattern and a one-way pattern. It is important to make the right choice of message exchange pattern depending on options available and business various requirements.
Specialized system integrators have stepped in the market with a focus on solution design, implementation and interoperability to address the needs of small and medium businesses. Independent software vendors and service providers with expertise will develop custom solutions for meeting specific business challenges.
20. Service-Oriented Integration in SMBs
The point-to-point approach in enterprise application integration creates messy interconnections between applications and services. When a number of applications multiply, it creates spaghetti code which is difficult to scale and reduces business productivity.
Large enterprises are using service-oriented integration for a long time; it is high time that SMBs move away from point-to-point integration and adopt a service-oriented approach where existing applications are integrated as web services. This approach will bring flexibility and scalability to build advanced business services.
App Integration will Witness Major Growth in 2018
App integration is bringing out the best of service providers to cater to varying integration requirements. There is a rapid adoption of cloud-based integration, keeping in mind important elements like mobile, ecommerce, and real-time synchronization. Use of hybrid integration is still low and has a huge potential.
IoT-focused and data-centric integration are occupying a primary place in the integration network to meet big data challenges. Apart from that, DevOps, iPaaS, chatbots and integration outsourcing will ensure that 2018 showcases an interesting phenomenon in the backdrop of app integration.
Now, you can easily integrate your business applications viz. ERP, CRM, Ecommerce, Marketplaces, Shipping and POS Systems under one single platform and automate your business process!
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