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Key Criteria for Evaluating Cloud Platforms for Hybrid Integration and Automationv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Cloud Platforms for Hybrid Integration and Automation Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Middleware—the software layer that connects different applications, services, devices, data sources, and business entities—has evolved significantly over the last decade, with cloud-based integration platforms cannibalizing the market for traditional middleware products, such as enterprise service bus (ESB) and enterprise application integration (EAI) suites). The push toward digital transformation is driving organizations to invest in flexible and scalable integration capabilities that reduce data, process, and operational silos.

This key criteria 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/EDI integration. Hybrid integration and automation involves disparate applications, data formats, deployment models, and transactions and is a multifaceted challenge.

Line-of-business (LoB) leaders increasingly have a say on the types of solutions they would like to procure; IT is no longer in the drivers’ seat, especially in the mid-market. LoB leaders are no longer willing to wait for months to acquire the integration tools that are essential for delivering business-critical functionality and end-to-end processes. This represents a deep-seated market shift toward cloud-based integration platforms targeting a range of hybrid integration and automation use cases. Integration competency centers (ICCs) or integration centers of excellence (CoEs) are being pushed hard to look for alternatives that deliver agile integration and significantly reduce time-to-value and total cost of ownership (TCO).

Ease of use, for integration practitioners and less-skilled, non-technical users (so-called citizen integrators) is a vital consideration when selecting integration tools for a range of hybrid integration and automation use cases. User productivity tools, API-led integration, and deployment flexibility are key features of cloud platforms for hybrid integration and automation. Uniformity in user experience (UX) across different integration products, AI/ML-based automation, self-service integration, and deployment on software containers are areas where vendors have advanced their cloud platforms for hybrid integration and automation. iPaaS vendors have also invested significantly in developing lightweight PaaS-style products for B2B and electronic data interchange (EDI) integration.

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.