Digital Ecosystem Development: The future of integration environment

In general, to drive digital transformation, organizations must tap into an ever-growing set of applications, processes and information sources across multiple clouds and on-premise – all which significantly expand the enterprise’s need for modern integration capabilities. The Integration and API environment is evolving rapidly and will create new business opportunities. On-premises integration platforms are moving to public cloud, and the same time microservices oriented development demands new ways to create communications between microservices and data reserves. These new ways are utilizing APIs and event driven approaches. These require new technologies like API management, async APIs, event stream technology and service mesh services (like Istio). All this needs to work in synchronized manner which means that governance demand will and have to be resolved by new efficient solutions. At the same time, old school integration legacy cost has to decrease to maintain competitiveness. Keys for success is to replace old integration legacy by iPaaS based cloud integration services, and to use APIs in cloud platform and event driven data communication by event stream technology like Kafka.

Gartner and Forrester have analyzed those demands and tells in their investigations next observations:
Gartner Hype Cycle for Application and Integration Infrastructure, August 2019

“The dynamics of digitization require innovative application and integration infrastructure that rapidly evolves into productive maturity. Organizations are under considerable pressure to modernize their application infrastructure and middleware as part of a broad, cohesive strategy to deal with the disruptive changes associated with digital business transformation. Tool and skills adaptations to develop, deploy, integrate and manage applications have to meet businesses’ demand for fast time to value and greater intimacy with customers, employees, partners and citizens.
The newest and most hyped application and integration infrastructure technologies and practices are increasingly expected to fulfil more advanced and demanding requirements. They include event broker platform as a service (PaaS), self-integrating applications, digital integrator technologies, container management, and practices associated with hybrid integration platform and service mesh.”

The Hype Cycle
“This Hype Cycle includes a diverse range of emerging and maturing innovations intended to equip application leaders to deliver agile and scalable applications that will integrate with the rest of their digital business technology platform. Application leaders’ infrastructure, integration and platform strategies must continue to evolve, along with a sharper focus on API-enablement and event-driven capabilities, and a readiness to integrate at scale across their organizations and ecosystems. Work to meet these requirements will lay the foundations for user organizations’ application portfolios to evolve into API- and event-enabled granular business services, which will be composed and recomposed via integration technologies to support the changing nature of business.
This progress will require modern techniques for application and integration infrastructure. These will include implementing application functionality as a service mesh tied to emerging elements of application architecture such as microservices and containers, along with a hybrid integration platform strategy and defined competencies for an integration strategy enablement team.
Greater adoption of event-driven architectures that support “business moments,” including use of event-driven APIs and information from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, is renewing interest in event broker PaaS. Also emerging are self-integrating applications, and there is growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in integration platforms in the form of digital integrator technologies, which are intended to rebalance the work of humans and AI. Additionally, the requirement to provide largescale, high-throughput and low-latency API platforms is driving the emergence of digital integration hubs.”

The Forrester Wave™: Strategic iPaaS And Hybrid Integration Platforms, Q1 2019
“The integration technologies strategic iPaaS and HIP are a cornerstone of the evolution required to support digital transformation. Data is the new oil, and not only due to its value as a resource. The fluidity of data is becoming a key factor in data management and managing data in motion well is a differentiator for firms. Making data usable for analysis in 12 to 24 hours was just fine in 2010 — but for 2018’s real-time businesses, data needs to be available in less than 60 seconds. A retailer that wants to compete on time-to deliver must consolidate stock in all warehouses and in all regions to manage real-time delivery to its customers, and the data must be available for processing by all relevant applications — and must be visible to customers.
In the first wave of investments in EAI and SOA middleware, it was difficult to build the business case because these foundational investments benefited the vague goal of reuse or automated little understood IT processing. But the new pricing models with OSS, freemium, and cloud solutions avoid upfront license and hardware investments and are helping even midsize enterprises adopt integration technologies. As a result, the market is growing, with solutions like iPaaS in the cloud not requiring architect or developer training. Today’s iPaaS solutions are also faster to implement than previous technologies, supporting the pace of Agile development cycles and governance.
At the same time, large enterprises that first heavily invested in message-oriented middleware (MOM), integration architectures, and proprietary solutions like EAI and ESB are showing interest in integration technology to lower their licensing costs. They are also increasingly challenged by lines of business (LOBs) that desire more autonomy for their systems of engagement and are finding integration solutions that fit their requirements without involving central IT.”
In our approach, the following technologies are the forerunners in integration technologies, such as APIs, API management and event streaming solutions. We have created a new era model Digital Enabler Services which give the cornerstone to move integration and API needs to business environment which digital transformation demands. Solution suppliers have estimated that the cost will reduce 30 – 50 % if replacing old on-prem integration with legacy base services. At the same time, microservice architecture, cloud base data handling and AI can be utilized only by using rapid iPaaS and API based technologies and event driven architecture. The integrations transfer to cloud, API and API management services near integration environment and event streaming in the same packet are mandatory to handle demands of the next era digital business.

Source: Gartner

The next phase of digital transformation is edge computing which will be the mainstream when 5G will be in use. Also, the ecosystem business model needs a new technology motor for the future. Monitoring and logging capabilities are needed through the whole digital technology. The business and technology situational awareness have to be as online snapshot every time because of speeding and automating business processes.
The business process automation is also coming back with RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and AI based decision making. Visual planning tools and low-code base platform create more efficiency and cost reduction for system development and data handling. Now it is the moment to enable these capabilities with modern integration solution, as digital transformation demands integration modernization.
Automation is organizations using technology to automate tasks that once required human judgment or action. Gartner has named this phenomenon as Hyperautomation which is a state in which organizations use a combination of AI and ML to rapidly identify and automate all possible business processes. Hyperautomation extends across a range of tools that can be automated, but also refers to the sophistication of the automation (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess).

According Garner by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyper automation technologies with redesigned operational processes.

Related to for instance 4APIs Ypsilon case, hyperautomation could offer more rapid utilization of censor data and proactively optimizing operational costs and well-being of pupils and Ypsilon personnel.