To gather insights on the state of application and data integration, we spoke with 18 executives from 15 companies who are involved in the integration of applications and data.
Here’s who we talked to:
Shawn Ryan, V.P. Marketing Digital as a Service, Axway | Kurt Collins, Director of Technology Evangelism and Partnership, Built.io | Thomas Hooker, V.P. of Marketing, CollabNet | Piyush Mehta, CEO, Data Dynamics | Daniel Graves, VP of Product Management, Delphix | Samer Fallouh, V.P. of Engineering, and Andrew Turner, Senior Solutions Engineer, Dialexa | Andrew Leigh, V.P. of Marketing and Alliances, Jitterbit | Trevor Hellebuyck, CTO, Metalogix | Mike Stowe, Developer Relations Manager, MuleSoft | Zeev Avidan, V.P. Product Management, Open Legacy | Sean Bowen, CEO, Gordon McKinney, Senior Solution Architect, Ross Garrett, Product Marketing, Push Technology | Joan Wrabetz, CTO, Quali | Razi Sharir, V.P. of Products, Robin Systems | Girish Pancha, CEO, StreamSets | Bob Brodie, CTO, SUMOHeavy |
And here’s what they told us when we asked them, "What’s the future of integration of applications and data from your point of view - where do the greatest opportunities lie?"
- For large customers with beacon technology and a lot of complex data, they will be able to use the data to provide truly omnichannel, customer-centric experiences. We’ll set the information they have free. Getting data and analyzing it are two different challenges. There’s less opportunity for automation in insights.
- Open APIs and cloud-based services collaboration platforms. Our clients average four to five platforms per organization (e.g. Microsoft 365, Salesforce, SAP, and Workday).
- Real-time understanding of interfaces people want to integrate data like chat bots. Now we’re at a tipping point where people can create custom integration through a triggered chat bot, or Alexa, or Siri, et al.
- We've gone from mainframe to distributed systems to VMs. We're now going to containers with greater velocity and volume of data. Ability to run the data and not be bound by it. Sensors, mobile devices, and desktops are generating more data to the repository for analytics. Ingest more data so the enterprise can get more information and insights from the data.
- Data collection will bring microservices to the forefront. Separate frontend and backend data collection will go to separate applications or services. You’ll have greater bandwidth to do more as only one person is needed to manage a microservice while 40 are needed to manage a platform. Microservices will save money, increase productivity, and efficiency.
- Software continues to be more ingrained in our lives with chips, sensors and mobile devices. We will move to the citizen as programmer with the cost of entry dropping and the skillset necessary for development getting easier.
- Explosions of endpoints and microservices connected at cloud speed supporting thousands of connections.
- Creating additional value to products through public APIs. Server less architectures and event-driven applications (AWS’ Lambda). Machine-to-machine integrations.
- Better focus on the operations side. Look at as performance managing application portfolio management. What’s the impact on the UX and how the application behaves? If integration between the different systems is not smooth, what is the impact to the end user? We provide better metrics and fidelity users can trust the data they’re using for decision making.
- Release data mobility to/from third party cloud platforms. Know how to onboard data to the platform. Know how to take legacy information and move it to the cloud. There will be no vendor lock-in with cloud providers. Make as seamless as possible. Cloud-to-cloud management.
- Event-driven architecture. An integrated model is needed to move to the world of a microservices network. Real-time is fundamental to this. Once developers adopt a paradigm the use cases and applications explode. Chrome is doing this with event driven APIs. Progressive web apps – capability of native app but in the browser. Write once run anywhere. Web apps with full native applications via event-driven architecture with a live stream of requests and responses improving the user experience. No one will have a clue to what’s going on under the hood and how to improve performance.
- Consumption and availability of data trends will continue with mobile and IoT. We are already consuming and creating data and integrating with elastic technology, cloud, and API standardization for millions – not just hundreds or thousands. Brilliant experiences are driving this now. The user experience was set by Apple and now must be matched by everyone since this has established the expectation of the user.
- 1) Creating a virtual copy of the production database to use early in automated development and testing. 2) When building for microservices, provide access to a private database whereby the data is private for each microservice. This is good for new applications. It’s much more difficult to do for existing ERP and CRMs. Service virtualization provided for DevOps.
- 1) Integrations have moved from requiring complex point to point code/middleware systems to lighter, faster, and easier to use integration platforms - ranging from enterprise level tools like our Anypoint Platform with a visual drag and drop editor, to more simplistic versions designed for citizen developers, letting them quickly connect their applications that do not require any special configurations using simple web interfaces. I think we’ll continue to see a move towards more simple interfaces and tools for integration, as well as the move away from large monolithic applications to nimbler approaches similar to microservices - or really leading into API-led connectivity. 2) Another area with great opportunities lives around hypermedia and code on demand, or the ability to have APIs flexible enough to change over time without impacting the client’s interpretation or logic handling them. While we have kind of plateaued in this area, I think we’ll see significant jumps forward over the next five years or so.
- 1) Integration across clouds and to on-prem datacenters. 2) Integration of older packaged applications and SaaS. 3) Integration of applications which are based on microservices.
What is the future of application and data integration from your perspective?