We Left Informatica. Now You Can, Too | Webinar

 

You can run a modern company on a mainframe. You can also ride a horse to the office. But would it really make sense to do this? Join us on Wednesday, March 22 for a discussion with Informatica’s former CEO Gaurav Dhillon and CTO James Markarian about reinventing data integration for the modern enterprise.

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Does your business still run on Informatica? It might make more sense to switch to a more modern platform. Join the conversation, hosted by industry analyst David Linthicum, as our distinguished panel discusses the key business reasons and technology factors driving modern enterprises to embrace data integration built for the cloud.

They will also cover:

  • The evolution of data integration – from the pre-internet, mainframe days of Informatica – to today’s modern cloud solutions
  • How they have re-invented application and data integration in the cloud
  • The changing role of IT – from “helicopter” to enabler
  • The cost to modern enterprises of inaction
  • Why sticking to the status quo is not an option

Register for this exclusive webinar here and be sure to join the conversation on Wednesday at 11am PT/ 2pm ET.

What You Need to Know About Modern Data Integration

dave_linthicumLast week we hosted a webinar with industry analyst, thought leader and author David Linthicum that focused how the enterprise problem domains are changing and how data integration technology must change with it. The presentation boiled this down to 5 critical and lesser known data integration requirements, how to understand them, and how to pick the right approaches and technology to solve the problems.

According to David, the 5 most critical things to understand about modern data integration are:

  1. Workloads and data are likely to be distributed across traditional systems, private clouds, and public clouds.
  2. Data is growing quickly, with big data and data lakes common within most enterprises.
  3. Data must be delivered in real-time, on-demand, in support of most modern applications and business processes.
  4. Security is now systemic, it can no longer be an after thought.
  5. DevOps is the new standard for building and deploying applications and data store.

Continue reading “What You Need to Know About Modern Data Integration”

Hybrid Cloud Integration for the Digital Era

A few years ago I wrote a post on the Sandhill.com blog entitled: Is Hybrid the New Black in The Era of Cloud Computing? “Cloud First” wasn’t exactly a mainstream concept for enterprise IT organizations at the time, but “more comprehensive (and collaborative) cloud computing strategies” were being considered. It was clear that hybrid was going to be the reality for the foreseeable future.

Fast forward to mid-2015 and:

hybrid_cloud_integration_451Given the dramatic acceleration of cloud and big data adoption in the enterprise, how companies connect all of their data sources, applications and APIs is also going through a re-imagining. Today’s increasingly hybrid cloud infrastructure, self-service end-user requirements and the need for speed and agility are at the center of the transformation.

So what is hybrid cloud integration and why is it so important?

In a recent SnapLogic webinar (Hybrid Cloud Integration: Why it’s Different and Why it Matters), 451 industry analyst Carl Lehman defined Hybrid Cloud Integration from two perspectives:

  • Tactical: enables the data and process flows between any number and type of cloud services with any number and type of in-place IT systems
  • Strategic: enables cloud services to be dynamically consumed within IT architecture and exploited on demand for their price/performance and elasticity advantages

He referred to the hybrid cloud integration reference architecture as, “a blueprint of goals, practices, tools and techniques used for data and application integration across clouds.” He also referred to it as, “a framework for assembling the integration technology needed for hybrid IT.”

Clearly legacy ETL and ESB technologies and approaches are not going to deliver on the modern hybrid cloud integration requirements. Industry expert David Linthicum noted in the whitepaper, The Death of Traditional Data Integration:

“It’s not a matter of “if” we’re moving in new directions that will challenge your existing approaches to data integration, it’s “when.” Those who think they can sit on the sidelines and wait for their data integration technology provider to create the solutions they require will be very disappointed.”

Cloud-ComputingAccording to Carl Lehman, there are three waves of hybrid cloud integration:

  1. The first wave addressed on-premises to SaaS data-loading: little data quality management; accessibly and security entrusted to the SaaS providers
  2. The second wave occurs when SaaS deployments accelerate, data quality begins to matter, cross-functional processes exchange data among on-premises and SaaS systems (hybrid IT), and other applications are offloaded to IaaS and PaaS (workloads shift)
  3. The third wave occurs when big data becomes a real strategic initiative in an enterprise; value can be derived from intelligently managing the Internet of Things (IoT) – operational technology (OT) automation; and IT meets OT

You can download the slides here and listen to the recording here.

So what is the recommendation for getting started with a hybrid cloud integration strategy? 

Seek platforms that unify data and application integration functions to:

  1. Simplify tooling and enable consistency for development, execution and management
  2. Enable the second wave of cloud integration (expanded private cloud, hybrid IT and ITaaS)
  3.  Support the third wave of cloud integration (actionable intelligence from big data)

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Enterprise Integration 2.0: New Approaches to Old Problems with iPaaS

Last week Ovum introduced their iPaaS Decision Matrix. The report noted:

“The rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the increasing heterogeneity of enterprise applications portfolios and data sources have necessitated a shift to suitable alternatives to traditional integration approaches…Enterprises should consider iPaaS as a means to ease the complexity of hybrid integration as they continue to focus on managing the complex interplay of business needs and persistent budget constraints, and still achieve faster time to integration.”

Welcome to the new era of integration innovation. Is it time to call it Integration 2.0 or are we now at 3.0? I’m not sure, but there is definitely a re-thinking going on in the enterprise as IT organizations seek greater agility, speed and flexibility. As legacy vendors in the market deal with private equity buyouts, waiting for a faster horse is clearly not an option.

Gartner recently outlined 5 reasons to begin converging application and data integration.

Last week Loraine Lawson summarized 5 reasons why integration is changing from David Linthicum’s whitepaper on The Death of Traditional Data Integration. They are:

  1. Cloud computing
  2. Mass data storage
  3. Complex data, such as unstructured data
  4. A service-based approach to data (which is key to mobile apps and wider use of enterprise analytics)
  5. Streaming data, mobile data and the related data security challenges

Today, Valerie Silverthorne wrote about Nine questions for hybrid cloud integration. They are:

  1. What are you not going to move to the cloud?
  2. Where will most of the future development take place?
  3. What is the use case?
  4. What kinds of applications are involved?
  5. Who will manage the integration?
  6. How quickly can this happen?
  7. What’s the next application?
  8. Can I make do with what I have?
  9. Should you trust the vendor?

The bottom line?  We’re seeing a remarkably fast transition of late, with enterprise IT shifting away from legacy data management and integration technologies to iPaaS. The reason for this is that the confluence of several transformational technologies including social, mobile, analytics/big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (SMACT) is finally coming into place.

Next Steps:

5 Signs You Need a New Cloud Integration Strategy

Over the last few years I’ve had many conversations about the need for better cloud services integration (now referred to as iPaaS) with members of IT organizations (typically the team responsible for SaaS applications) and people in the line of business (often sales operations, but also marketing, finance, HR, analysts and administrators of SaaS applications like Salesforce or Workday). I started a blog on the topic in 2009 and wrote about the idea of an On Demand Data Warehouse in 2007.

5 Signs You Need a New Cloud Integration Strategy

In the early days of cloud services adoption, it was clear that the topic of data and application integration was seen as more of a cloud buzz-kill than a cloud enabler. But things have changed. IT organizations and the line of business (LOB) are now perfectly aligned when it comes to the overall cloud computing shift and strategy. SaaS silos have been eliminated and the dangers of delaying cloud integration are well understood.

Or are they?

Here are 5 signs it might be time to re-think your cloud services integration strategy:

1) You’re Struggling with the Integrator’s Dilemma: Your old on-premises tools can’t keep up with the world of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC). Legacy middleware technologies were conceptualized and built in the 1990s and were not designed to handle an IT ecosystem that expands beyond traditional confines of the firewall. Either built for moving large data sets in scheduled batches (ETL) or moving small volumes of data in real-time (EAI), neither technology is well-suited for this new world for unstructured information. This post talks about the Integrator’s Solution. This post talks about JSON and REST.

2) You Have Unintegrated Integration: You have multiple tools and teams for different styles of integration (application, process, data), not to mention hand-coding. The world of integration has been converging in the on-premises world for years. In the cloud world, it’s on the fast track. As we noted in this iPaaS announcement, Gartner had this to say about next-generation integration in their PaaS hype cycle:

“Compelling iPaaS value propositions for user organizations include the financial benefits (operating expenditures vs. capital expenditures) that are typical of cloud services, faster time to integration and greater ease of use compared with traditional integration middleware and the set of cohesive and integrated capabilities that were previously found in multiple discrete integration products.”

3) You Thought Cloud = API Utopia: All APIs are not created equally and having an open API does not mean easy on-going maintenance and integration. There’s no doubt that APIs are everywhere but one does not superannuate the other. In fact, in his Forbes review of our Spring 2014 release, Ben Kepes writes about the convergence of API management and integration noting: “All in all it’s an interesting release for the company and gives us a glimpse of what the future looks like for the broader integration space.” You can learn more about the API management features in the SnapLogic Integration Cloud Spring 2014 here.

4) You Still Have Swivel Chair Integration: Are you logging into multiple applications and spreadsheets to get a single view of customers and employees? Yes, it’s an old problem, but it simply hasn’t gone away. Cloud single sign on (SSO) solution providers like OneLogin and Okta do a great job allowing people to log in once, but if you’re a sales rep, for example, you want to go to one place to see all relevant customer activity including social media, support tickets and order history. This requires real-time integration. And when it comes to cloud analytics, you want to be able to dynamically assemble data from multiple sources to get relevant information and insight. This requires that “citizen integrators” can serve themselves. It requires broad cloud services and on-premises connectivity and it requires powerful data integration capabilities. Learn more about our Snaps here and the SnapLogic Integration Cloud user experience for “citizen integrator’s” here.

5) You’re Considering Going Back to On-Prem Due to Diminishing SaaS Returns: Does it seem that the more SaaS apps you deploy, the less adoption and ROI you’re getting? Silo’d SaaS inevitably leads to “SaaS Sprawl.” As summarized in this Cloud Computing Experts Forecast post, IDC predicts that, “over the 2013 to 2017 forecast period, public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of 23.5%, five times that of the IT industry as a whole and PaaS will lead IaaS and SaaS with a CAGR of 29.7%.” Clearly the demand for SaaS and PaaS is on the rise. It just makes sense. But the right approach to cloud services integration is the key to unlocking the transformative potential of these investments. Integration guru David Linthicum has been an early and vocal advocate of this point. He noted in a 2011 article:

“The beauty — and the downside — of SaaS is that the businesspeople don’t need IT to establish accounts and to get up and running. IT has less work to do in the short term. But without integration, SaaS silos spring up, resulting in duplicate data, inaccurate reports, and ultimately, damaging data discrepancies….With SaaS in particular, you need a flexible integration solution, because both the source and target system interfaces change more frequently than those presented by traditional enterprise software.”

The good news is that integration has emerged as a hot cloud computing topic, often eclipsing security as the top barrier to adoption. Even better news is the pace of integration innovation that is coming from solution providers who aren’t bound by their legacy and are built to handle a variety of integration styles and data sources while running at cloud speed. You can learn more about the SnapLogic Integration Cloud here or check out the slides below further explaining these 5 signs.