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From Space Travel to Data Integration: A Tale of Two Reinventions

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From Space Travel to Data Integration: A Tale of Two Reinventions

I’m aware that the topic of data integration doesn’t possess the same wow factor as space exploration, but stay with me for a moment while I draw some parallels.

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Last month, SpaceX bullseyed a rocket landing onto a floating drone ship in the Atlantic. It’s the third—and most impressive—rocket recovery by the moonshot tech company to date, bringing the reality of reusable rockets and affordable space travel one tantalizing step closer.

SpaceX is private industry’s answer to NASA and its woes. Aging space shuttle technology that requires increasing resources to maintain, coupled with decreased funding, has swept in an era of decline for the space agency. SpaceX, on the other hand, has no such baggage. With fresh ideas and no legacy architectures to accommodate, it’s reinvented the mechanics of space travel from the ground up. As a result, space travel is well on its way to being agile and affordable—meeting today’s prolific payload transportation needs, and maybe even tomorrow’s space tourism wants (count me in!).

I’m aware that the topic of data integration doesn’t possess the same wow factor as space exploration, but stay with me for a moment while I draw some parallels. First off, integration can be pretty exciting (in a nerdy, practical way) to those who realize it’s the backbone of every Big Data and business intelligence initiative their organization undertakes. (And there’s no doubt SpaceX relies on integration to crunch and correlate its many data points.)

But as with the space travel industry 10 years ago, legacy architectures in the integration industry are getting in the way of breakthroughs. For decades, businesses have invested heavily in on-premises middleware solutions such as enterprise application integration (EAI) or enterprise service bus (ESB). These solutions, while innovative for their time, were designed to connect traditional on-premises applications. In a landscape crowded with anything-but-traditional cloud applications and unstructured data sources, they’re proving too unwieldy and resource intensive to keep pace.

And so just as SpaceX is reinventing space travel, Liaison Technologies is reinventing integration. Last year, we launched (pun intended) an entirely new approach to integration—the first seen in our industry in almost two decades—that we’ve termed dPaaS (Data Platform as a Service). dPaaS takes integration operations into the cloud and delivers them as managed services so that an organization’s diminishing IT resources are freed for more strategic data operations such as data analysis.

This fresh approach is exactly what businesses’ need to move past legacy architectures and overcome the integration challenges posed by untraditional data sources and formats. But I recognize that it’s not always possible—or even ideal—to walk away from years of investment and infrastructure. Luckily, organizations don’t have to undertake liftoff at Mach speed.

Liaison offer programs such as Embrace & Extend, which first moves the support of your existing EAI/ESB integration platform (whether its TIBCO, webMethods, IBM MQ, etc.) under our managed services umbrella and then gradually migrates these operations to our cloud platform. This steady approach balances the need for minimal disruption and maximum cost savings while working toward a future-proof solution.

After all, instead of a fast and furious blast off, you may prefer to methodically release the tethers of your legacy EAI/ESB—and that’s okay with us.

(Want to learn more? Watch It’s your Move: How to extend Your EAI/ESB)

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