Application integration has become a game changer in the digital age, where organizations are striving to identify and deploy the right technologies at the right time. The traditional approach of unidirectional, point-to-point integration does not work well with new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), restricting the agility of the business to react to market dynamics. Consequently, enterprise integration is adapting to this new way of doing business.
Modern enterprise integration is now coupled with DevOps, microservices, AI, and other technologies, which make life easier for developers, businesses, and customers alike. With the increasing adoption of cloud and IoT applications, rise in hybrid integration, and deployment of data-centric systems, the future of enterprise integration looks promising.
So what's next in the integration space?
Increased hybrid integration
As cloud services continue to be commoditized, enterprises will increasingly turn to hybrid integration. Hybrid integration is a combination of on-premise systems and cloud applications. It is the go-to approach for companies that want to modernize their legacy systems and avoid the risk and cost of entirely switching to the cloud.
A Techaisle survey indicated that 75 percent organizations are already using some form of hybrid infrastructure. This figure is expected to soar as experts estimate that the hybrid cloud market will grow to $97.64 billion by 2023.
Focus on business process integration
The usage of cloud-based integration solutions will surge as enterprises seek to connect and automate their business processes. A report by Transparency Market Research states that the global market for workflow automation is likely to reach a value of $1.456 billion by 2025. Using business process integration and automation, enterprises will empower teams to be more productive, all while using the existing resources. The integration solution will not only help them eliminate data silos and create better collaboration between all stakeholders but also enhance the end-customer’s experience. Organizations that connect business processes with technology exceed average sector performance by at least 15%.
Real-time data sharing
Sharing critical data with stakeholders in real-time will continue to be a high priority for businesses. Over the next three years, 71% of enterprises globally predict that their investments in data and analytics will accelerate. With real-time data sharing, all stakeholders will have access to the same data exactly when they need it.
Integration service providers that offer real-time data synchronization between desktops, laptops, handheld devices, and the like will assume an increasingly important role, specifically for enterprises in the e-commerce landscape. Implementing data-driven strategies will help organizations to be 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.
Integration of chatbots to support m-Commerce
96% of businesses believe that chatbots are here to stay. Chatbots are being actively used in eCommerce and require real-time data to deliver good customer experience. Using integration middleware, enterprises can connect chatbots to mobile applications and other databases, both on-premise and cloud, to gather the data scattered across various departments and systems. Integration of chatbots will help businesses to understand their customers better and provide an exponential boost to mCommerce. Within the next three years, nearly 80% of businesses will have implemented some form of chatbot automation.
IoT to dominate industry-wide
The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a buzzword but our present reality. New applications and devices are flooding the IoT space. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, there would be 20.4 billion IoT devices, with a growing demand for real-time data and insights. Consequently, IoT will bring an essential change in the scale of integration and make it imperative for businesses to connect their intelligent devices and applications to the existing IT infrastructure. Using integration solutions such as iPaaS, organizations will collect and analyze device data in real-time, making it one of the most efficient ways to leverage IoT.
Adoption of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy
24x7 availability is a key feature offered by digital-first businesses, which is why most organizations require employees to use their personal handheld devices for performing multiple business functions. Business applications are connected to the company’s cloud server and employees are then provided access to these applications on their devices via simple user authentication. As businesses continue to expand the scope of their services and employee roles evolve, BYOD is going to become a force well into the future. It will support organizations to increase efficiency, improve work time flexibility, and boost cloud adoption.
Real-time API-driven integration
Cloud services, mobile applications, wearables, all use APIs to share data with each other. Next-generation enterprises have acknowledged the importance of APIs for application integration, and this trend will continue to develop in the light of cloud, mobile, and IoT driving an organization’s digital transformation. Real-time data integration between API-centric applications will gain momentum as more service providers open their APIs to external developers and utilize iPaaS to embed APIs into their own solution.
Rise of iPaaS
As enterprises continue adapting to the sheer volume, velocity, and different formats of data, the adoption of cloud-based integration solutions such as iPaaS are expected to go north. Market analysts have estimated that the iPaaS market will grow to $2,998.3 million by 2021, at a CAGR of 41.5%, owing to its scalability, reduced TCO, efficient API management, and ability to connect and run multiple applications concurrently. iPaaS extends self-service capabilities even to non-technical users, allowing them to easily connect services and applications. Organizations that incorporate iPaaS in their integration strategy are more likely to be successful in their digital transformation initiatives.
Collaboration of SaaS and iPaaS Service Providers
Improving product stickiness has become a challenge with an increasing number of software vendors offering the same type of product in a different packaging. To stand out amongst this crowd and provide better value to customers, more SaaS vendors will approach iPaaS providers to extend their solution’s integration capabilities. Connecting to an iPaaS will offer their customers rich and extensive integration opportunities with other SaaS applications on that iPaaS. Integrations built using an iPaaS can be made up and running in minutes and will help developers save time spent on writing custom code while offering the full benefit of the cloud to end-users.
To sum up, change is imperative for enterprises to stay aligned with the industry trends and prepare for global competition. As the number of systems, applications, and devices grows, organizations will need to restructure their integration strategy, as it will have a direct impact on their business insights and customer experience.