The challenge of IT modernization is for real and it requires dedicated time, resources and a concrete strategy to overcome it. Application integration is one of the crucial components of IT revamp program and no wonder more and more enterprises are seriously giving it due consideration.
The advancements in big data have disrupted the business transformation journey of an enterprise. The advantages of big data can only be witnessed if applications, devices and technology of your core infrastructure are easily accessible to each other and are competent to work in a hybrid environment. These days, there is a good mix of on-prem legacy applications and cloud-native applications which have a mammoth amount of data flowing within them. Data needs to be integrated between these applications to ensure the smooth functioning of an enterprise ecosystem.
But integrating this data is a challenge because of the presence of large heaps of data that exists in different formats in multiple disparate sources such as applications, devices and systems. Further, the integration of underlying legacy applications architecture with the service-based architecture i.e. microservices is a tedious and intricate task to undertake. These all possess a great challenge for the integration and needs an advanced specialized solution which can do much more than the traditional point-to-point integration techniques.
In the past, enterprise bus service (ESB) was used to connect every endpoint in an environment. But the latest developments due to the advent of big data demand faster, efficient, modern ways to connect applications which can be used with a plug and play manoeuvres to carry out real-time integrations. Such application integration is the need of the hour and it requires a specialized integration platform which can help in application integration. Here is a more formal definition of application integration –
“An application integration is a process of connecting various applications from disparate systems, devices and environments together for the seamless functioning of an enterprise. It boasts an enterprise’s scalability, efficiency and makes it ready for digital transformation."
Now we understand what application integration is and why it is important, the next question is how application integration is implemented in an enterprise. Well, the landscape of application integration has evolved from point to point integrations, to ESB as a central bus to connect all the APIs, data and systems, to using microservices architecture. The immediate benefits of using a microservice architecture lie in connecting applications hosted in hybrid environments. As the enterprises are embracing cloud applications at a rapid pace, they need a faster and efficient way to connect these applications with on-prem applications to bring the best of both worlds together.
One way to get this done is with the usage of application connectors. These are the customized adapters which enable to perform operations or listen for any events in the application and enables the user to quickly integrate. These are provided by the service provider as pre-built connectors which are good to be deployed with a mere plug and play. It saves times in comparison to creating in-house integration solutions and enhances an enterprise’ scalability.
Perpetually changing business environment, mergers and acquisitions and economic/political factors possess a challenge to enterprise sustainability. These enterprises need to prepare themselves to be agile and scalable and have a high level of business intelligence to respond to the changing business requirements. They need to invest in a modern application integration platform that offers the best of cloud technology and can coexist with the legacy systems.
In the end, the most effective application integration platform will empower business users to aggressively utilize various business applications without worrying about their state of operations with the existing infrastructure. This will shift their strategic focus to productivity and will help in achieving data-driven business growth for their enterprises.