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

Hollis Tibbetts

Integration - Technology vs. Business Initiatives like Legacy Application Modernization

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One of the most challenging things about being an advocate for Integration technology is that Integration does not solve a particular business problem. Instead, it solves about 100,000 business problems (a bit of integration-geek humor for you to use at the next party you attend).

Most Software Technologies Solve Easily Identifiable Problems

Sales Force Automation products like Salesforce.com solve some very obvious and very demonstrable business problems - for example, the Sales VP doesn't have immediate visibility into the state of the sales pipeline, or into the current state of a particular sales opportunity.

I can call up a VP of Sales, and ask that person "If you needed to know what is going on with a particular sales opportunity, would you have immediate access to that information - without contacting the Account Manager"?

The answer to that very specific and easily answerable question would let me know if the Sales VP has a Sales Force Automation-related business problem.

Integration - So Much Harder

Integration technology is so much more difficult than "business applications" that are used by end-users. Like other kinds of "infrastructure software", it's more or less invisible to most people. It "enables" everything, but "does" nothing by itself. It does the hard work necessary to solve a lot of problems - that end-user applications like CRM, SFA, HelpDesk, ERP, Financials, etc. then take credit for.

Solving Problems - like Legacy Application Modernization

I am going to increasingly be writing on the actual business problems (e.g. the classic "360 degree view of the customer" solved with the help of Integration software, as well as IT initiatives like legacy application modernization, application migration, etc. legacy application modernization http://www.legacy-application-modernization.com

Legacy Application Modernization - a critical IT initiative enabled by Integration

Legacy Applications (as in "Mainframe") continue to be at the core of business operations for many large organizations. Yet they are expensive on many fronts to maintain, nearly impossible to extend, and are neither agile nor flexible nor extensible.

Legacy Application Modernization is a key business initiative that is at or near the top of the agenda for large IT shops. Some 59% of IT leaders place it as their top software issue according to Forrester Consulting.

By doing a functional analysis of these legacy mega-applications, by rewriting some components in modern languages like Java, leveraging Cloud (public or private) technologies, inexpensive on-premises Intel platforms, and purchasing Off the Shelf software packages (on-premises or SaaS), these organizations can save a tremendous amount of money, and enable a huge leap forward in IT's ability to support the organization.

Yet none of this can happen without Integration technology. When you take a legacy mega-application and de-compose it into many different pieces - newly written applications, various purchased or licensed applications, etc., you end up with business processes which span multiple applications, and almost certainly multiple systems.

Integration is what ties all those pieces together and makes them work - so that they can deliver the promised value (and flexibility/extensibility) to the enterprise.

Anyhow, I consider this particular integration-enabled IT initiative important enough to even launch a micro-site around the topic - Legacy-Application-Modernization.com (LegacyApplicationModernization.com also works).

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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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