The future of integration

The Cloud is once again liberating us from the complexities and costs we see from traditional technology platforms. For a long time, integrating with the Cloud was seen as being complicated.
Integrating with apps in a business’s four walls was hard enough, but integrating with a platform that is in the Cloud? Come on!

Time and the tremendous growth of Cloud-based apps has shown everyone that it is far easier to integrate with Cloud applications, such as Salesforce.com, Amazon and Google Apps, than it is to integrate traditional technologies from SAP, Microsoft and IBM.

What has been traditionally known as middleware is becoming Integration Platform As A Service (IPAAS), a new term in the lexicon of all things Cloud. In many cases, existing middleware vendors are migrating their tools to the Cloud, as is the case with Informatica and Tibco. The Cloud has also created opportunities for disruptive service providers, such as Talend, Jitterbit and Boomi (acquired by Dell) to emerge.

Then, there are those innovators that are pushing the envelope like Zapier and Cloud Elements whose mission is to make it possible to integrate everything using prebuilt connectors and a declarative interface for configuration.

While these applications and tools are making our lives easier, the real revolution may not be in tools that simplify integration, it’s is likely to be that the Cloud is changing the way applications themselves are being architected and built to create seamlessness without a middle. More and more, the lines between enterprise applications are becoming blurred. Take for example Salesforce.com CRM and the ERP and general ledger applications Kenandy or Financial Force. Users and even developers have difficulty in knowing where one app ends and the other starts.

The middle that middleware occupies is shrinking as the Cloud brings apps together. But there are still plenty of legacy applications being used to make everyone’s lives a little more interesting and challenging. In fact, there are companies who pride themselves in their ability to unravel the mystery of these archaic systems and have turned this wizardry into their own intellectual property.

In the evolution of technology and the Cloud, the goal is to shrink and even collapse the middle that exists between applications. Where this is not entirely possible, it’s to simplify and squeeze out the unproductive complexities using disruptive integration tools. And, for those companies who thrive on guarding your knowledge of integrating the complex and the archaic, good luck. You are basing the value of your company and your future on a dying legacy.

Integrare in nube