Table of Contents
- Market Categories
- Key Criteria Comparison
- GigaOm Radar
- Vendor Insights
- Analyst’s Take
The rise of digital business is driving a proliferation of applications, services, data sources, processes, and APIs that all need to be connected to deliver critical business processes and end-to-end functionality. Integration is the lifeblood of today’s digital economy, and integration products (middleware) provide a software layer for connecting different applications, services, devices, data sources, and business entities (that is, B2B integration).
This GigaOm Radar report focuses on cloud platforms catering to a range of hybrid integration and automation use cases: integration platform as a service (iPaaS)-enabled cloud application and data integration, API lifecycle management, mobile application/back-end integration, and B2B/electronic data exchange (EDE) integration. Hybrid integration and automation involves disparate applications, data formats, deployment models, and transactions and is a multifaceted challenge.
The success of iPaaS as an agile approach to integration has played a key role in the evolution of this market. For enterprises, cloud platforms for hybrid integration and automation represent a good opportunity to shift away from legacy middleware products that require significant upgrades and investment to remain relevant in the current operating environment. In simple terms, a cloud platform for hybrid integration and automation offers iPaaS-enabled application and data integration, API lifecycle management, B2B/EDI integration, and mobile app/back-end integration capabilities. These individual cloud-based integration services (for example, iPaaS) are offered on a subscription basis, and each component has essential cloud characteristics, such as multitenancy, resource sharing, and rapid scalability (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Reference Architecture for a Cloud Platform for Hybrid Integration
IT continues to struggle to meet new application and data integration requirements driven by digitalization and changing customer expectations, and line of business (LOB) leaders are no longer willing to wait for months for the delivery of integration capabilities that are mission-critical for specific business initiatives. Furthermore, integration competency centers (ICCs) and centers of excellence (CoEs) are being pushed hard to look for alternative solutions that significantly reduce time-to-value—without prolonged procurement cycles.
These factors drive the adoption of cloud platforms for hybrid integration and automation, which are used for both strategic and tactical hybrid integration initiatives. IT leaders realize the significant benefits that cloud platforms for hybrid integration and automation bring to the table in terms of greater agility in responding to business requirements and cost savings. Some cloud platforms for hybrid integration and automation can be referred to as PaaS products, in line with the NIST specification.
The significant features of a cloud platform for hybrid integration and automation include:
- Support for a range of application, service, and data integration use cases (that is, hybrid integration use cases).
- An API-led agile approach to integration, with reduced development effort and cost.
- A uniform user experience across different integration products, tailored to a specific user persona.
- Integration at the API level for products or components.
- Self-service capabilities for enabling less-skilled or non-technical users.
- The flexibility to rapidly provision various combinations of cloud-based integration services (such as iPaaS, API lifecycle management, and B2B/EDI integration) based on specific requirements.
- Developer productivity tools, such as a drag-and-drop approach to integration-flow development, as well as pre-built connectors and templates, and their extension to a broader set of integration capabilities.
Hyperautomation, as an automation approach, leads to a solution architecture comprising a range of tools and capabilities, including but not limited to robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent business process management suites (iBPMS), integration PaaS (iPaaS), process mining, and intelligent document processing (IDP). RPA users are now looking to iPaaS to connect to a range of enterprise and SaaS applications via API-led integration. Enterprises are looking for a range of integration and automation tools to achieve end-to-end process automation, and there is some convergence between API-led and UI-level integration approaches.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.