Predicting Cloud Integration trends in 2014

Predicting Cloud Integration trends in 2014

With 2013 in the books, it’s time again for our annual predictions for this year’s cloud integration trends.

We see three major trends in integration for 2014:

1) An explosion of endpoints is driven by the new API economy. In 2014, we expect to see point-to-point enterprise integration rapidly displaced by agile integration that manages API interactions for real-time process automation between hundreds and thousands of disparate apps. The explosive growth of public APIs in 2013 will continue, and businesses will begin truly harnessing the power of this new breed of endpoint.

We see organizations looking to go beyond traditional CRM-ERP integration, to include other  cloud and mobile apps, as well as non-traditional, industry-specific applications.  In 2014 organizations will have to bring all this data into one cohesive source in order to keep up with the competition.

The proliferation of APIs will be REST-based.   Though SOAP has long been utilized for consuming services, REST is easier to set up and maintain while not necessitating the need for all new architectures.  Interestingly, we may also see the emergence of other standards like MQTT for specific applications in mobile and the Internet of Things.

2) Big Data will go from a buzzword to a common consideration.  In 2014, “Big Data will be so big it will actually be ‘no big deal’ in that no one will need to be convinced of its importance and they’ll be tired of talking about it” according to Chris Grossman of Rand Secure Data.

Diving in more deeply, Natasha Baker of CenturyLink lays out in Forbes: 4 Big Data trends for 2014.  She predicts that “Big Data Will Transition From Hype to Actionable Insights”, meaning that companies will be able to start using all this data we’ve been talking about.  This includes more effectively managing supply chains, better understanding customers, and planning out resources.

She also points out ways in which “traditional companies will derive revenue from data”, such as selling important data points from their core business.  For example, grocery stores can sell their vast trove of customer data to their suppliers and advertisers, for a better, more lucrative shopping experience.

Let’s not forget about understanding big data.  Not everyone is a data scientist, so making the most of these efforts requires solutions that convey meaning to those without a supremely technical background.  Companies like Tableau and SAS are providing solutions for exactly this purpose.  Expect to see more organizations adopting big data visualization strategies.

So while Big Data may have been considered hype the last few years, expect to see this information used in practical, actionable, profitable ways in 2014.  Of course with all this data from multiple different sources, organizations will need to adopt an integration strategy to really make that data sing.

3)  The modern hybrid architecture rises. We’ve seen tremendous growth for cloud services over the past few years, but a majority of businesses still want and need to maintain some of their data and enterprise apps closer to home — whether it be for security purposes, for development efficiencies, or compliance and regulatory reasons.

Take Hubspot for example.  According to a Rackspace case study, “the customer back-end can run on the private cloud and the web-scale front end can run on the public cloud to burst as needed”.  With security at every level, a customer need not worry about their data, and to the customer, the entire process is seamless.

So while some industries and organizations will run all data on the public cloud, most will choose a hybrid architecture.  And these companies will need these apps integrated – your hybrid architecture only works as a connected whole, and your data is only as good as it’s weakest link.  As the Rackspace case study states, “Building modern hybrid applications requires being able to “talk” to all of the resources you have available to you using some kind of automation or orchestration tool”.

These aren’t “out there” predictions by any means.   These really are trends we see becoming standard-operating procedure for the modern enterprise in 2014.   And for us, that means a very busy year.  One that we will officially call the year of integration!  As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or download our free 30 day trial.

In the meantime, please check out our latest webinar on 1/23, Fulfill your 2014 Resolution to Integrate your Enterprise Apps!