Cloudy with a chance of integration: The Great iPaaS Gold Rush is on

Gold RushI was recently with a client who is looking for a new BPM solution and they have a very positive outlook towards Cloud. They love it, so much so that they weren’t interested in on-premise solutions. This represents a real shift in attitude, and the company is no slouch or tadpole in size either.

And this is where iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) is really coming into the fore and has to rule as a first-thought strategy when entering the cumulonimbus worlds of Cloud and SaaS. In the last week both SoftwareAG (Integration LIVE) and TIBCO (Cloud Bus) have thrown down the gauntlet into the ring with IBM, Mulesoft and Informatica to name a scarce few who are already there.

But why has it taken everyone so long ?

iPaaS, without the vendor nonsense clouding the understanding (pun) is a solution provider’s service that allows cloud-cloud and cloud-premise integration for applications. It’s a step away from Cloud Brokerage which is essentially the development and maintenance of SaaS applications and their integration in the entirety. If iPaaS was a scarce offering Brokerage is even thinner on the ground (however take a look at Accenture’s play in this area recently announced in April.

But back to the client at the start of the post. Despite their pro-cloud stance tucked away in their enterprise architecture diagrams was that horrendous long box labelled ‘ESB’ and it just looked so out of place in a forward thinking strategy. And this is where iPaaS doesn’t go far enough for me. iPaaS is limited because it’s built primarily for Cloud based services. A Cloud based ESB strategy would be a welcome minimum requirement to any iPaaS solution simply because the Service Bus is one of the most overworked and overly relied on pieces of kit in an enterprise stack.

Removing that entire headache of routing messages between disparate systems into a Cloud solution makes more sense where a hybrid environment exists rather than retain that piece on-premise. It’s also a solid first step for companies in moving away from relying on IT to manage the biggest piece of the architecture puzzle. Most of these services will have already undergone SSAE 16, ISO27001, PCI compliance so they’ll be robust and secure and I see no reason not to ask a solution vendor whether they can provide a cloud ESB in its truest sense as part of their iPaas offering.

Cloud is really at a tipping point now. We have SaaS applications and companies willing to invest but in an unstructured and legacy heavy manner. We have vendors offering to integrate a multi-SaaS strategy with their own solution but still retain that on-premise bus. We have Brokers who will handle it fully end to end. But the key to real Cloud adoption is in how that ESB is treated. It’s the biggest prize to be had and the largest thorn to remove.

The iPaaS rush is on and every cloud has a golden lining, but without clearly including a Cloud-based ESB in that strategy you might just be panning for iron pyrites.

This article first appeared on ITRedux and has been lightly edited.

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Categories: Cloud / SaaS / PaaS

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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