Enterprise integration is one of the biggest challenges facing organisations today.
IT leaders know that application, system and data integration is essential for any business wanting to deliver better experiences to their customers. But many organisation’s are struggling with existing/legacy systems, siloed data and challenging infrastructure environments and are at risk of losing customers and revenue as a result.
As the race to the cloud has continued, approaches to enterprise integration have evolved. Over the past few years, off-the-shelf iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solutions are becoming increasingly popular as enterprises strive to find the right approach. However, iPaaS presents its own unique challenges and isn’t always the most effective solution, especially when compared with the alternative of the modern-day cloud.
At Dootrix, we believe that the challenge of enterprise integration is best solved with the suite of services and technologies already available from your cloud platform provider. Moreover, organisations that take a cloud-native approach can benefit from greater cost-efficiencies, increased scalability and a homogenized set of services instead of data silos and walled gardens.
Here we look at the top five reasons to switch to a cloud-native integration platform –
1. Move away from on-premises solutions and free yourself from managing infrastructure
Transformation is not new. A recent survey of IT leaders revealed that 93% of organisations are planning or currently engaged in a digital transformation programme. With the support of the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework, organisations have been taking a structured approach to their transformations, namely PaaS > IaaS > On-Premises infrastructure.
By using a cloud-native approach to build your integration platform, you’re solving any hosting problems you might have. There is no need for on-premises solutions or virtual machines in the cloud (IaaS) and you can avoid the often complex management of the SaaS iPaaS model.
You avoid all the expense and complexity of buying and managing a new product in your ecosystem, looking after the underlying infrastructure or specific development tools and resources. Your teams are free to customise and evolve your integration capability - your cloud platform provider manages
2. Low cost of entry & total cost of ownership
When you choose to build your cloud-native integration platform, you’re avoiding several economic barriers to entry. There’s no software subscription costs or hidden fees to be considered, no costly onboarding/implementation process or singular training required.
Your costs are transparent and easily reportable. Costs are made up of standing charges, which are predictable monthly costs associated with the various service stock-keeping units (SKU) representing the service’s performance tier; Consumption, meaning you only pay for the compute and storage you actually use; and data ingress/egress, the cost associated with the transport of data in and out of the cloud.
Alongside the cost of entry, going cloud-native can reduce the cost of ownership in many ways. Automated scaling can dial up the cost only when necessary, reducing the IT team overhead of manual intervention. Additionally, test and temporary environments can be spun up and down as needed. By choosing a cloud-native approach, you’re also reducing the amount of bespoking required per integration, allowing you to expand and scale the platform with ease, without attracting additional costs.
3. Save development time and resource
With no more time spent on provisioning, configuring and managing infrastructure or learning the numerous nuances of an iPaaS product, your development teams can stay focused on delivering applications.
By using your cloud platform to integrate, your engineers get to the tools they’re already familiar with while integrations with DevOps tools makes deployment simpler, getting more done in less time.
[Box out] Cloud-native can provide a broader set of compatible capabilities that go beyond pure iPaaS features allowing for a deeper and better-tailored integration capability. [/Box Out]
Pre-coded software components – from key integration services such as API Management (APIM) or Data Factory in Azure and customisable data transformation pipelines like mapping data flows – mean there’s less engineering to do in the first place.
For example, you could spend weeks on configuring API Gateways or identity aspects for an iPaaS product, with your resources being taken up creating custom code. But because going cloud-native requires less coding and works seamlessly with cloud tools already in your business such as Identity Management, your teams are free to focus on adding value to your business. If you choose a cloud provider like Microsoft, you can also take advantage of incredibly tight integration with project management, build, release and test pipelines such as Azure DevOps.
4. Better security, data operations and data handling
With GDPR in full effect, all organisations are having to take careful steps to ensure that the data they store and the process is safe and secure. Whilst it’s true that lots of iPaaS products have security features, by choosing cloud-native you’re able to benefit from a host of data control and data security measures.
Most cloud platforms provide security of data both in transit and at rest, secure identity management with tools such as Azure Active Directory, secret management in Azure Key Vaults all whilst benefiting from the security of the Azure development and deployments tools (Azure DevOps) you’re already using, all backed up by your cloud providers SLAs.
Not only that, you’re able to benefit from data logs and metrics, build automated alerts for data governance protocols and intelligent threat detection.
5. Granular cost management with optimisation and reporting at a per integration level
One of the most documented benefits of adopting a cloud platform such as Azure is cost management. Your integration platform can also benefit from your providers full set of cloud cost management capabilities.
By using these cost management tools, you’re able to manage and optimise your cloud costs whilst maximising the potential of your platform. You have access to an always-on management facility which allows you to accurately plan and control your expenses with advanced cost analytics but you can also proactively optimise your costs by taking advantage of reservations, rightsizing or removing idle resources.
You can track resource usage and manage costs across your entire platform with a single unified view and drill down to a per integration level giving you access to rich operational and financial insights, improving your decision making and helping you manage and reduce the total cost of ownership.
To find out more about platform selection strategy and get a full considerations check-list, download our free eBook the CIO's Guide to Enterprise Integration now.