What is a hybrid integration platform, and how to select the best one

hybrid integration platform

Wanda Shingane
20 October 2022

As we continue to go through technology evolution and live in a world of fast-multiplying digital ecosystems; many organizations still use on-premises, traditional data applications and are looking for ways to integrate them with modern, cloud-based applications.

Older technologies need to rely heavily on IT to establish connectivity with new, state-of-the-art cloud-based systems. However, most of these connections are isolated, point-to-point interconnections which can suffer a setback with a single change to a single connected interface.

To address these challenges, a hybrid integration platform (HIP) helps to integrate any combination of technologies, without IT intervention, in a timely manner. The purpose of a hybrid integration platform is to allow enterprises to seamlessly integrate on-premise systems and applications with cloud applications and services and cater for all your organization’s integration scenarios.

What do hybrid integration platforms do?

A hybrid integration platform is another answer to the pressures facing application leaders responsible for data integration. It is designed to address integration challenges resulting from data transformation projects spanning cloud, mobility, IoT, and API integration.

HIP refers to integration and governance capabilities applicable to both on-premises and cloud-based data. HIP can arise from a variety of sources but is ultimately a set of capabilities managed as an integrated whole.

These capabilities can include iPaaS along with on-premises platforms such as B2B gateway software, ESBs and ETL tools. It can also include API management platforms, IoT platforms, and managed file transfers.

As organizations need to redesign their integration strategies to meet the new demands of digital transformation, they are increasingly turning to HIP as a functional framework.

Hybrid integration platforms are available for cloud, on-premises, hybrid, and embedded deployments. This is why it is an attractive option. Flexibility and optimization are maximized.

Selecting the right hybrid integration platform

Different HIPs offer different features, so it makes sense to look around and find the one of his that best suits your organization’s needs.

Product robustness and flexibility should be considered when considering a HIP. If you want to find a solution that fits your specific needs. The minimum values ​​that a hybrid integration platform must provide are:

  • A stable, secure, and scalable way to link and orchestrate on-premises and cloud applications.
  • Out-of-the-box Connectors to lighten the development team with hard-coded connections.
  • Ability to build API-driven integrations to access data and services by default.
  • Deploy applications anywhere: on-premises, public or private cloud, multiple environments.
  • Reusable solutions or guides for common hybrid integration scenarios.
  • Fundamental support to ensure the platform meets requirements and continues to evolve

Typically, a HIP has all capabilities coming from a single vendor however, nothing stops enterprises from having a best-of-breed for each capability within a HIP.

hybrid integration platform

With the single breed option, it would help enterprises to potentially save on licensing costs and might be easier to integrate on-premise and cloud if they are from the same vendor.

Benefits of a single breed option:

  • There is a common user interface, making it easier to navigate and administer
  • Easier adoption by Integration teams
  • Lower or less multiple licensing costs.

Drawbacks of a single-breed option:

  • There may be limitations that the solution does not meet all your enterprise needs
  • Access to components that may likely never be used
  • Features and products are at the pace of the vendor
  • Tight coupling between cloud to on-premises integration for example, Azure requires an on-premises installation of a gateway. SAP CPI requires a SAP Cloud Connector and webmethods.io requires an on-premises Integration Server.

The mixed best-of-breed option helps enterprises to meet all their defined requirements and utilize the best product for the specific need.

Benefits of best-of-breed:

  • Enables enterprises to quickly respond to changes in the market given it would be easier to update each component and not affect other systems
  • Shorter implementation time
  • Typically a pay-as-you-use model allows for better control and use of components only as and when required.

Drawbacks of best-of-breed:

  • Multiple user interfaces to navigate and administer
  • Governing and monitoring across multiple systems complexities
  • Additional skills required to support multiple applications and components
  • Separate service charges for each feature add-on, for example, Content Advisor, Workflow, IoT, APIM, Business Rules etc.

With the push for higher productivity continuing to drive innovation, almost every organization is in a hybrid state with multiple back-end systems, cloud workloads and on-premises operations. To take full advantage of all the competitive advantages digital transformation can offer, an integration leader must strategically implement HIP to ensure success. HIP not only accesses business logic encapsulated in legacy systems, but also provides a solution for customers and partners to introduce innovative new capabilities.

Here at Integrove we understand the different problems and associated solutions and can enable you to get the foundation right on your road to digital transformation. Integrove can help you plan, design, implement and sustain your integration strategy with our integration specialists.

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