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Integration on the Edge: Data Explosion & Next-Gen Integration

Hollis Tibbetts

Application Integration Upheaval

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One thing has remained constant for the past 10 years - in every major CIO survey, Application / Data Integration has been at the top of the list of must-do initiatives. Many of the other top initiatives (such as Data Warehousing or Business Intelligence) rely on integration technologies as a necessary foundation.

What these surveys don't show is the tremendous upheaval in the very nature of these integration initiatives. The very nature of applications and data are in accelerating flux. Well, today, I found a study that shows this (OK...technically, a study found me).

My news feed picked up a nice gem this morning in the form of some new primary research. The rather mundanely-titled report ("2011 Application Connection Priorities") shows the distribution of answers to key questions regarding data and application integration - current implementations and near-future plans. It was done by Gatepoint Research and is being distributed by SnapLogic (the Cloud integration company created by integration luminary and Informatica founder Gaurav Dhillon).

This report, though, is light on interpretation and analysis. From a 20 minute scan of the report, it was clear that the survey results hide a number of very valuable, but buried, jewels - that truly deserve attention. These are items which really capture the changing face of data, applications and the integration needs of the market. It is an "upheaval" - no question about it.

This upheaval will drive (and is already driving) a change in the way that we bring applications and data together - and how we use all of that data. It's far more significant than the shift from Mainframes to Client/Server in the late 1980's and early 1990's. The impact on the organization (and the software vendors who supply technology solutions) is almost certain to be greater as well.

It is shaking the foundations of the technology vendors in critical areas such as application integration, data analysis/analytics, customer service, marketing/lead generation, and so many others. It's the kind of market shift that creates new categories of software, forever changes other categories, and dooms some segments and vendors to an unpleasant lingering decline. Organizations which are not already planning for this change may find themselves painted into an expensive and difficult to get out of corner.

This survey is the most recent validation of the "more of everything" problem I've been writing about (more data, more formats, more interfaces, more platforms, more places, more often, more change, more data dimensions, more potential headaches).

At first glance, it will probably take me three or four postings spread out over next 2-3 days to do this report justice. There's a lot hidden in the Gatepoint Research's report - if you take the time to dig through the responses and understand the implications when you relate them together to synthesize "the big picture".

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Knowing the customer and the market is a SOFTWARE BEST PRACTICE.

It's off-topic for the theme of this blog (data and integration), which is why I'm putting it in the comments, rather than in the blog posting itself.

But it's THIS kind of data that marketing, product management and executive management at software companies should be looking at - in addition to doing "primary" research of their own (i.e. go talk to your target customers).

It continues to astonish me how many such people are afraid to pick up the phone, or go visit the people who buy (or should be buying) their software.

I've been writing a lot about one of my other interests - best practices for the creation (and marketing) of excellent software.

Knowing the customer and the market is a SOFTWARE BEST PRACTICE. Read more on this topic - best practices, lessons learned, disasters witnessed: http://www.softwaremarketingexperts.com

I haven't read the study yet, but I like your insight and agree with your assessment of the App Integration space.

Extremely useful cheers, There's no doubt that your current subscribers may well want a lot more items like that maintain the good effort.

Awfully enlightening thank you, There's no doubt that your subscribers may want a great deal more well written articles such as this keep up the great work.

I keep waiting for data integration to replace the date warehouse. Leave the data where it is. Integrate it when you need it. Missing the historical record?

This blog offers an informed and informative perspective on the ongoing explosion of data and the technologies used to turn this data explosion into assets and competitive advantages.

Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis has established himself as a successful software marketing and technology expert. His various strategy, marketing and technology articles are read nearly 50,000 times a month. He is currently Director for Global Marketing Operations for Dell Software Group. Hollis has developed substantial expertise in middleware, SaaS, Cloud, data management and distributed application technologies, with over 20 years experience in marketing, technical, product management, product marketing and business development roles at leading companies in such as Pervasive, Aruna (acquired by Progress Software), Sybase (now SAP), webMethods (now Software AG), M7 Corporation (acquired by BEA/Oracle), OnDisplay (acquired by Vignette) and KIVA Software (acquired by Netscape). He has established himself as an industry expert, having authored a large number of technology white papers, as well as published media articles and book contributions. Hollis is a top-ranked author on Sys-Con media, is also published on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on creating great software: Software Marketing 2013. He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

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