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What enterprises seek from IT in general and from prevalent integration technologies in particular, and what they actually get, are often very different, so its time to take a step back for some fresh perspective. Enter Service Oriented Integration (SOI): It takes integration from data centers and hub-and-spoke architectures, to the edges of networks and mission-critical applications, and delivers where hub-and-spoke setups frequently fail.

The assertions come from IONA Technical Director Peter Cousins in the IONA-sponsored ebizQ webinar Distributing Integration Technologies to the Edges of the Network.

Cousins said companies wish lists for IT include the ability to reduce the cost of their IT infrastructures without compromising competitive advantages; highly-leveraged IT infrastructures that are more responsive, business focused and future-proofed; the enabling of a high quality of service to customers, partners and suppliers; the ability to incorporate new technology in an incremental manner instead of with a disruptive and risky rip-and-replace approach; and strong and demonstrable Return on Investment (ROI).

I havent seen a lot of enterprises that have been able to exhibit these characteristics, he remarked. The typical enterprise IT reality is much more complicated and much less inspiring. And this is whats driving people to look for a new approach.

Cousins described an IT reality in which application integration and maintenance costs account for the lions share of enterprise IT budgets. Integration projects always span multiple technical domains. Its difficult enough to try to manage security, performance and reliability in a single technical domain. But when you cross domains, it becomes even more challenging. We have application silos that are difficult to embed with functions across divisions within the enterprise, and its even more difficult for these silos to be embedded in business processes of partners, customers and suppliers. But the solution so far has been to create integration silos -- yet more silos, that prolong the problem and ultimately make it worse.

Its this state of affairs that is driving the best thinking in the industry to look for new topologies, to look for a way of reducing costs and complexity in a fundamental way.


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