As data volume and velocity continues to rocket up, companies are under increasing pressure to digitally transform, seamlessly connecting data, applications, systems, and other enterprise infrastructure to remain relevant and profitable. Hybrid integration – the integration of cloud-based services, on-premises systems, and applications – is key for ensuring this happens.
These systems serve as a bridge, connecting all of the moving pieces. Since most enterprises implement new technology as needed, it’s common to find legacy systems, on-premises applications rubbing shoulders with contemporary cloud systems. Hybrid integration platforms help bring these disparate models together.
What is hybrid integration?
Hybrid integration connects apps and data, personas, domains, endpoints, business operations, and deployment models. The technology supports cohesive engagement across the enterprise while providing for a modular IT infrastructure where different applications and systems are easily interchanged–a business imperative for digital transformation initiatives.
Most companies rely on hybrid integration to connect cloud and on-premises platforms, two opposing technology models that do not integrate intuitively. For example, on-premises software is installed and runs on a company’s internal hardware infrastructure, while cloud software is stored and managed on private or public servers in the cloud.
A hybrid integration platform brings these systems together, facilitating the transfer of data, while resolving challenges such as scalability, data exposure, and unauthorized access.
What are the benefits of hybrid integration?
Along with supporting digital transformation initiatives, hybrid integration delivers a range of benefits to the business:
On-premises applications are notoriously difficult to scale. When the company must expand or adjust its technology infrastructure to support a new business opportunity, it must invest significant time and resources to render the change. Hybrid integration platforms and integration strategies support coexistence of all systems, enabling the agility and resilience central to the health of the business.
Security and compliance
Regardless of existing on-premises security models, odds are that cloud providers will deliver improved security. By leveraging large storage capacities and best practices in the cloud, enterprises benefit from easy customer data access, lower costs, and a reduced risk of system failure since all data is stored and backed up externally.
Hybrid integration platforms are fast, not because they are superior to public or multi-cloud environments, but because network optimization is easily enabled in ways that reduce latency, while streamlining data transfer processes. Edge computing and other advances save critical processing time, enhancing speed across the entire enterprise.
Within a mixed environment, hybrid integration platforms make it easier for the business to maintain control. For example, digital transformation initiatives proceed at pace, with no dependencies on vendor agreements or new equipment to achieve desired agility. Alternatively, on-premises systems are easily modified to suit the specific needs of the organization.
Reduced development costs
Given its innate scalability, hybrid integration accelerates growth, which in turn increases income. Conversely, legacy systems hinder growth, resulting in higher opportunity costs. Another cost advantage with hybrid integration is data storage. Enterprises may choose between cloud and on-premises storage models to help control costs.
Improved customer experience
Finally, and most importantly for many enterprises, hybrid integration supports an evolved and frictionless experience for customers and partners. With a modular IT infrastructure, new technologies are easily implemented to elevate the customer experience, which in turn builds loyalty and stickiness, protecting and advancing market share and profitability.
What are the key capabilities of hybrid integration platforms?
The key capabilities of hybrid integration platforms include:
API lifecycle management
API management within a hybrid integration platform combines the benefits of a SaaS environment with the greater control capabilities of an on-premises environment. API gateways may be created in a private data center, while remaining components (user interfaces, developer portal, analytics, etc.) reside in the cloud.
Application and data integration
Hybrid integration platforms reduce the amount of development time needed to get applications to work together. With time-saving practices such as low-code and drag-and-drop capabilities, less time-consuming development, allowing developers and architects to focus on digital transformation initiatives versus piecemeal coding tasks.
Messaging and event-driven architecture
As cloud computing expands, application architectures have evolved, becoming more modular and portable, making them easier to deploy and run. Infrastructure costs are reduced while operational efficiencies go up. With event-driven architecture, runtime and protocols are decoupled for greater scalability.
High-speed data transfer
Hybrid integration platforms employ a batch transfer model to transfer data quickly. With high data transfer rates, more complex tasks can be performed within the network. For example, online streaming.
Monitoring and management
With hybrid cloud integration, monitoring and management is standardized across all platforms. Administration is simplified for developers and architects, with a centralized model in place for the entire operation.
With increased adoption of cloud computing, virtual machines, networking, and storage across the globe, manual processes are no longer able to deal with the complexity of modern cloud stacks. With hybrid cloud orchestration, automation is at the center of these higher level operational activities.
What to consider when choosing the right hybrid integration platform for your business
Until recently, hybrid integration capabilities were piecemeal, relying on different components within stand-alone tools such as API management, iPaaS, and ESB solutions. Today enterprises are deploying purpose-built technology tailored to hybrid environments where on-premises and cloud-based applications easily coexist to support the business. In 2018, Gartner predicted that integration work would account for 50% of the time and cost of building a digital platform. Judging by the enterprise integration market today, the analyst firm wasn’t far off the mark, with enterprises prioritizing integration to support critical business objectives.
If you are assessing hybrid integration platforms for your enterprise, ensure the technology provides:
- Ease of implementation that requires minimal resources and completes within weeks versus months
- Support and maintenance offered for the platform to ensure costs do not bloat over time
- Compatibility with existing systems and solutions to guard against unnecessary downtime
- Security that meets the existing and future needs of your business
- Monitoring and reporting to ensure all stakeholders are aware of system performance (real-time and historically)
How Digibee helps
The Digibee integration platform includes:
- Low-code building capabilities
- Hands-on support
- Built-in management and monitoring
- Drag and drop capabilities to accelerate timelines
- Flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing