Businesses around the world are advocating for connected customer experiences, which is one of the key objectives of Digital Transformation (DX). Integration plays a vital role in an enterprise’s digital transformation journey, by connecting various data sources, applications and devices. It is an integral part of an enterprise’ technology landscape to have seamless connectivity between the different components of its business ecosystem. The last decade started the emergence of cloud-based applications and presented its utility to the world, the year 2020 and the decade following it promises to deliver on the idea of a connected world and data integration would be at the core of its operations. This blog is aimed to look at the key data integration trends shaping up the upcoming year 2020.
• The Rise of Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP)
• APIs at the Centerstage of Business Performance
• Push Towards Consistent and Connected Customer Experiences
• Secure B2B Integration/ EDI Integration
• Real-Time Integration to Power Business Needs
• Proliferation of IoT
• Empowering Users for Enterprise Synergies
Let’s look at each of these in detail –
Data Integration Trend 1 - The Rise of Hybrid Integration Platforms (HIP) – Since the evolution of IT, data has always been confined as an in-house asset as it gives greater control and accountability to the enterprise. However, the confluence of digital technologies and a multifold increase in big data led to decentralized data management. At a given time, businesses are juggling with various digital transformation initiatives. The traditional methods of using legacy integration solutions are not adaptive enough to cater to the needs of connecting multiple endpoints hosted on-premises or on the cloud.
Such situations need a specialized hybrid integration platform (HIP) which can be well amalgamated with the existing underlying infrastructure and can embrace the cloud ecosystem equally. As per Gartner, by 2022 at least 65% of large organizations will have implemented an HIP to power their digital transformation. And why not, after all a HIP provides all the necessary tools for the users to develop, deploy and govern the customized integration workflows to meet the requirements of their intended use cases.
Data Integration Trend 2 - APIs at the Centerstage of Business Performance – APIs (Application Programming Interface) has been around for years as a fundamental part of any software. Off lately, businesses around the world have realized the power of APIs that make them position themselves as a strategic partner rather than merely being a solution provider. When it comes to digitization, customers are looking at a shorter sales cycle and expediting integrations of the SaaS applications to their existing infrastructure. APIs are a lifeline of such digital transformation initiatives as it effectively addresses the connectivity issue of the modern business ecosystem.
APIs are changing the way software is developed and brought to the market. More and more enterprises are exposing their product APIs to the third parties to build compatible integration solutions which are readily available, hence bringing people, businesses and things together.
Data Integration Trend 3 – Push Towards Consistent and Connected Customer Experiences – Customer is the king and always has been. In a digital world, there are multiple touchpoints through which a customer interacts with an enterprise’s and its product/services. Integration comes to the rescue of IT leaders when it comes to offer a consistent experience to the customers and make them feel a part of the business ecosystem. There are multiple applications which need to be integrated together to provide a connected experience, in other words, a multi-channel integration.
The multi-channel integration is of paramount importance as it makes or breaks a customer loyalty towards enterprise businesses. In fact, a connected customer experience can also help businesses to gain crucial insights into customer journey right from awareness to decision making, from their expectations to needs and to further simplify their sales cycle and enhancing various touchpoints for truly unified customer experience. After all, customer delight is enterprise delight!
Data Integration Trend 4 - Secure B2B Integration/ EDI Integration – EDI or Electronic Data Interchange standards have paved the way for B2B transactions and enable the business between the trading partners for years now. Moreover, the need to connect digitally with your business partners has gained momentum and that’ why business-to-business (B2B) integration technologies are increasing in demand.
B2B integration requires a sophisticated solution in place that can tackle with each enterprise’s protocols, governance, security and business rules. Each enterprise has its own ERP system and unique standard data formats for documents such as purchase orders, invoice, shipping documents, etc. In fact, the EDIs are often customized by enterprises with additional or modified data fields to their own specific needs. The eventual goal of B2B integration is to seamlessly integrate these disparate sources for exchanging business transactions. Quick partner onboarding, comprehensive visibility into supply chain and reliability are some of the major benefits of a B2B Integration.
Data Integration Trend 5 – Real-Time Integration to Power Business Needs – The advent of technologies has made the world a smaller place to live. The rise of e-commerce, social media and wearables have changed the way we live and communicate with our surroundings. The one thing that remains common is data. Data is the most strategic asset for any organization, and it has led to the emergence of analytics-driven organizations.
The transition to cloud demands real-time business intelligence and business updates which cannot be handled by the traditional methods of ETL and point to point integrations. Specifically for businesses like e-commerce which demands real-time data synchronization between systems across various Point of Sale - desktop PCs, laptops need robust integration platform that can deal with the heterogenous data sources along with the other strategic issues such as pushing the data from source to destination without altering its meaning, dealing with data inconsistencies and data value conflicts, providing secured data, and auditing the integration data.
Data Integration Trend 6 –Proliferation of IoT – IoT is here to stay. According to Mckinsey, IoT could have an annual economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion by 2025 across many different settings, including factories, cities, retail environments, and the human body. The rise in IoT can be attributed to the improved infrastructure connectivity and presence of real-time business data.
The world of IoT has flooded enterprises with many applications and device that need to be synced on a real-time basis. Enterprises will rely on data integration solutions to face the proliferation of IoT in their day-to-day operations. They would need to deploy specialized integration platforms to support complex integration scenarios, implement multiple workflows and IoT projects. Moreover, this will help in providing connected experiences to the end customer by providing a single view and connecting cloud systems, SaaS apps, and data.
Data Integration Trend 7 – Empowering Users for Enterprise Synergies – Since the beginning of 21st century, IT team has been monumental in shaping the business ecosystem and bringing it up to speed to embrace all the technological breakthroughs. Now, since the business horizons are expanding due to movement towards SaaS applications, there is a consistent need to work on the connectivity issues between the legacy on-prem and cloud-based applications. Deploying merely an IT team and expecting them to deliver can lead to implementation delays and errors. The need of the hour is to have an integration platform which can empower even an LoB user to build integrations with utmost ease and confidence. A no-code integration platform with a graphical interface with a drag and drop functionality would be needed so anyone can build integrations at anypoint, anywhere. This would create employees’ synergies that would lead to unlocking productivity and efficiency within an enterprise.
The enterprise connectivity will take the center stage, even Gartner predicts that through 2020, integration work will account for 50% of the time and cost of building a digital platform. The businesses will juggle their way to find their way to connecting cloud and enterprise applications, systems and data with agility, low cost and high quality. The customer will lie on the cusp of all their efforts as enterprises would continue innovating and delivering.