Digitalization is a top priority for businesses in the digital economy. Far too often, however, organizations move headlong into their digital transformation efforts without stopping to properly prepare their systems and processes for the transition. The results can be costly and ultimately hamper the entire strategy. In 2018, Gartner predicted, “Through 2020, integration work will account for 50% of the time and cost of building a digital platform”.
Hybrid integration should form the initial, crucial step of any digitalization strategy. Integrating your data and applications across your entire IT landscape will help you streamline all of your processes and deliver lasting business outcomes.
Starting with the right hybrid integration platform strategy equips you to accomplish this.
What is hybrid integration?
Hybrid integration is a process by which organizations connect all of their systems, applications and data into a single, seamless whole. As companies transform, they’re increasingly spreading their systems across private and public cloud and on-premise locations. Hybrid integration standardizes the connections between each of these endpoints to give organizations a more robust and efficient IT infrastructure.
Hybrid integration platforms (HIP) play a key role in this process. Most people don’t have native-level familiarity with cloud computing, but success in the digital economy requires that kind of expertise. For organizations in need of support, an HIP provides all the necessary tools and functions to help make their integration strategy — and ultimately their digital transformation — easy and cost-effective.
The importance of hybrid integration
Enterprises face a number of challenges in the modern digital economy that hybrid integration helps solve. These include:
- Highly disruptive technological innovation and market changes.
- IT infrastructure spread across on-premise locations and public and private data centers.
- Operating numerous technologies across a sprawling ecosystem, making it challenging (and costly) to oversee without a central management platform.
Hybrid integration helps create streamlined processes underpinning automation and providing consistent customer experience, all while breaking down obstructive data silos.
Beyond this basic importance, however, companies are realizing the value of transitioning to ecosystem-based enterprises that deliver services, products and solutions to numerous different partners and customers across a wide landscape.
Enterprises in this category are relying on the platform model to bring together their various stakeholders. Hybrid integration enables them to function efficiently and seamlessly.
Business benefits of hybrid integration
Specifically, there are a host of business benefits that come with adopting the right HIP. These include:
HIPs streamline business processes and make the enterprise’s entire organization more efficient by automating connections and increasing scalability. That means enterprises are better able to respond to challenges related to the platform model, with their own innovative solutions.
A hybrid integration solution gives enterprises greater oversight of their entire IT infrastructure ecosystem, allowing them to cut out redundant hardware and software and get more from their legacy systems. That helps enterprises drastically reduce the costs of their IT spend every year.
Centralized management system
The ability to “see” each component of the entire ecosystem means enterprises can easily identify potential vulnerabilities, preventing future security breaches and making their risk management strategies more effective. API management capabilities help them handle all API and other applications.
Some enterprises mistakenly believe that the best way to implement hybrid integration is to completely overhaul their IT infrastructure and replace all of their systems and components with the latest versions. Not only is this an ineffective approach, it also ignores the fact that many legacy components can still serve key functions in a hybrid IT environment.
It all starts with having the right mindset. Instead of starting from the basic principle that the entire infrastructure needs to be modernized, enterprises should actually approach integration under the premise that certain parts of their legacy systems should remain intact. Once they’ve decided which legacy components will stay, they can gradually and progressively begin migrating the rest of the system to a more modern integration landscape.
New does not automatically mean better, and enterprises should avoid modernizing just for the sake of modernizing. They should understand how each component is either contributing to the system’s broader function or detracting from it and work to make the entire system work better.
These are the people who should have access to hybrid integration infrastructure. They range in skill and capability, but should always include integration specialists, ad hoc integrators, citizen integrators and digital integrators. The power of hybrid integration is that it’s accessible to a constituent base far beyond traditional IT specialists.
The IT space has become significantly more diversified in recent years, so HIPs have to have the capability to integrate across numerous domains. While that includes applications, data and processes, it also must integrate with the domains used by B2B partners, which is critical for ecosystem-based enterprises.
As enterprises evolve, the devices that compose their IT infrastructure are becoming more decentralized and spread out across a much greater physical space. It’s essential that a hybrid integration solution can integrate endpoints from on-premise devices, the cloud, mobile devices and even IoT devices.
Hybrid integration should be deployable across numerous different models, as opposed to staying within the on-premise and cloud environment. That should include embedded models that use headless deployment, which is fast becoming standard fare for SaaS applications.
The hybrid integration platform market is oversaturated, meaning that in addition to these four broad domains, it’s also important to consider HIPs that possess the following core capabilities to help give you a competitive advantage:
- Accelerate ground-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud integration workflows
- Integrate business platforms, storage repositories and each API to connect all data
- Enable connectivity to SaaS and other cloud applications
Hybrid integration is the key to future digitalization. Torry Harris Integration Solutions is a trusted advisor to enterprises across the world, working with numerous different stakeholders to extend the power of digital access through automated integration.
Contact us today to get started.
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