Hybrid integrations are going to be a significant part of your integration strategy in the years to follow. What do we mean when we are talking about hybrid integrations? It can be explained as plainly as integration between on-premise systems and cloud-based applications. However, there is more to this.
In our last blog posts, we have been briefly touching on the topic of hybrid integrations. We were clarifying why it will be an emerging data integration trend in 2018 and why you need a modern cloud-based integration platform as a serviceto ensure the best implementation
To drill down to the bottom of the concept and explicate what hybrid integrations mean, how you can best execute it with utilizing an iPaaS, and why enterprises will adapt to it even more aggressively than before, you want to keep reading this blog.
What are hybrid integrations exactly?
Nowadays, when you hear hybrid, you will probably think hybrid cars that are gaining popularity quickly.
The concept is pretty much the same in case of hybrid integrations, too.
You have a legacy technology – in the case of cars using gas, while in case of organizations using on-premise or legacy systems. Nevertheless, simultaneously, more advanced and state of the art technologies have appeared on the market – like electric cars or cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions.
Maybe it seems like a good idea to ditch the old technology and go for the modern one. However, you may want to hold your horses and wait until the new technology completely matures. Changing to more advanced technologies can be a huge risk for enterprises for different reasons – few would actually jump on the idea. Alternatively, doing the same as car manufacturers did with cars can be a good idea: merging the two different technologies – in this scenario with the help of hybrid integrations. To develop complex hybrid integrations, you might want to consider how an iPaaS vendor can assist your integration strategy.
With the help of hybrid integrations, enterprises can connect al their internal on-premise and cloud systems and applications, as well as they can connect with external partners too regardless of the complexity of the architectures, different standards, and interfaces.
Why do you need a hybrid integration platform?
Either you don’t want to change your on-premises systems or you can’t do that due to organizational or governmental policies and security concerns, but you still need to enable connectivity across your organization and partners and break down data silos. Using the cloud and integrating only cloud-based applications is a simple solution, but in some cases, it is not the right approach, especially when you need to have control over your systems and data.
In these cases, fully committing to an iPaaS and cloud integrations is too early or not an option at all for you it is still an ideal tool for connecting on-premise and cloud-based systems and execute large-scale complex integrations. This way you can maintain your previous technology investments better, while already utilizing some of the benefits of the cloud. At the same time, you are not only sharing data faster through better connectivity, but you encourage digital innovation and new processes. Timely access to data by all relevant partners can improve your operations.
There are simple reasons behind using an iPaaS for hybrid integration scenarios. Integrating on-premise systems with business process networks, business partners, subsidiaries, SaaS cloud services, internet of things (IoT) devices, mobile apps, and so on can turn into a very complex task. Additionally, you may want to enable API connections for your partners to easier and faster connectivity – in this case, iPaaS is an absolute must.
You also need to be able to overcome the challenges of having firewalls. While enabling connectivity your partners, it doesn’t mean that you need to give up on security and control over your data.
In these scenarios hand coding is not really an option anymore. It gets too time consuming and expensive, and making even the tiniest changes carries the risk of breaking the entire integration. With iPaaS, you don’t need to have ownership of the technology, your IT department does not need to focus on developing and deploying challenging and complex integrations It is also not scalable and flexible for the times when your requirements change – just think of adding more systems to connect or your data volumes would significantly grow in a short period of time.
When you need to connect on-premise systems with more modern applications, you will need to deal with very different architectures, standards, and interfaces – challenges that can be easily tackled with an iPaaS with pre-built connectors and integration scenarios.
If your organizational or governmental policies allow for that, building hybrid integrations across on-premise systems and the cloud can be a good option to start thinking of migrating part of your data to the cloud. In the end, the cloud is more cost-effective.
What are the benefits of hybrid integrations?
If all the above mentioned sounds a bit overwhelming and scary, that’s understandable. However, hybrid integrations cannot be overlooked and you must ensure that you have the right tool and vendor the help executing your integration strategy (that you might need to pivot to better represent your actual needs for hybrid integrations).
Having the right partner and tool means that you get full support from designing the integrations and tailoring it completely to your specific needs through the development phase, end-to-end testing, and deployment until the integrations are already up and running and those need to be maintained.
You will be able to connect any systems faster than before with greater agility, flexibility, and scalability while also maintaining the highest level of security – sensitive data will remain on-premise.
Including hybrid integrations in your integration strategy will also affect your competitiveness. You will be able to create new and better processes, innovate if you like, and save a lot of time – and consequently a lot of money.
In case you are using legacy systems, hybrid integrations can be interpreted as a small renovation in the existing architecture and align it with other more modern technologies, while you also enable better connectivity enterprise-wide as well as with your partners, and you provide more visibility into the available data. It also allows space for reshaping your operations and processes.
As chances are high that your integration needs are emerging, you need the capability to scale the solution or quickly develop new solutions in an agile manner.
The solution needs to come with proactive alerting, support, and maintenance and ensure that you always have insights on exactly what’s going on with your data and systems.
Evaluate your hybrid integration needs
Start to revise your integration strategy and evaluate if you have given enough emphasis to hybrid integrations. Maybe you will discover new opportunities for refurbishing existing systems and processes.
Lay out exactly what your needs are and once you are done with that start looking for the best integration solution and tool that will help you to succeed.
APIs are important building blocks of your integration strategy. To learn more about them, download our short guide on API Lifecycle Management: