Do you use an enterprise application integration (EAI) framework for data integration or an on-premises enterprise service bus (ESB) architecture to integrate applications and services? If so, you’ve probably noticed that cracks are showing up in your IT infrastructure. That will accelerate as more applications migrate to the cloud — but chances are, you’ve invested heavily in these solutions and are reluctant to replace them.
There is a way to extend your investment and achieve a more modern architecture that can handle today’s more demanding data, but first, it makes sense to review the reasons you may want to begin modernizing your on-premises legacy middleware solutions today. A primary reason is the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your current EAI or ESB solution.
In this blog, we encourage you to examine the TCO of your middleware more closely by posing five questions for your organization to consider. These questions will help you better understand the overall expenses you might be incurring now with your aging middleware solutions, as well as with any upgrades you might be undertaking or planning to pursue.
1. Are You Factoring in OPEX?
When calculating the costs of integration platforms, companies typically consider only the CAPEX angle, but OPEX can be significant. In addition to the hardware and software costs outlined in your budget, take a look at the expenses associated with DIY development. These expenses will likely be considerable because legacy ESB and EAI models — and even newer approaches like integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) options — require your IT team to devote resources to connecting your solution to various applications and data sources. These costs will be ongoing since DIY development will be required every time new data sources and formats must come online.
2. What Are Your Compliance and Security Costs?
If your data includes personal health or financial information like credit card numbers, you’ll have to invest in certifications to demonstrate that you’re compliant with data privacy and security regulations like PCI and HIPAA. It’s not just a one-time charge either: companies that handle data subject to regulations must make sure they maintain compliance over the long term, which also means staying current on rules and guidelines that change frequently.
When internal IT teams create data integration and application and service management frameworks, they typically add security and compliance costs into the mix in the later stages of the development project. That means initiatives may be at risk when they go into production and significant costs may be incurred to improve security after the project is completed. In either case, the cost of security and compliance should be factored into the total cost of ownership.
3. What Is the Real Cost of Developer Productivity?
Another important consideration is the rising cost of employing iPaaS developers, which offsets productivity gains. The base cost of maintaining ESB/EAI frameworks comes with the added challenge of finding the resources to support them since the technology is decades old.
4. What Does It Cost to Accommodate New Data Sources and Formats?
We’re living in a golden age of information, with new data streams pouring in from multiple sources — and in numerous formats. Smart business leaders recognize the value of that information, but accommodating an ever-widening stream of data in a plethora of forms takes time and resources. To calculate the overall costs of EAI/ESB ownership, you must factor in the expense of dealing with new data streams and formats.
5. What Does EAI/ESB Cost in Terms of Lost Opportunities to Innovate?
EAI/ESB solutions are labor intensive to maintain, with DIY development, compliance and security expenses. The IT professionals who are engaged in integration, providing data security and keeping up with regulatory requirements don’t have time to focus on more strategic tasks and gaining insights from your data that can be used to advance your business and meet your customer needs. This type of expense is almost never factored into the total cost of EAI/ESB ownership, but it should be.