Executive Briefings

Market for Integration Tools Continues to Grow. Why Is That?

After a spike more than a decade ago catalyzed by a buying spree of ERP, supply chain, web front ends and so on, one would think that a market like integration would be a no-grow or go-away market. But quite to the contrary, the tool suites, the delivery options, and sales of even traditional elements continue to grow. Why is this?

First, users have an insatiable desire for data - new systems, more reports - and therefore, as a new module or product is added to the enterprise portfolio, naturally the pipes have to be built between it and the rest of the portfolio. Companies that rely on manual or point-to-point tools reach a point where the pain of creating and maintaining them just gets to be too much. This (pain point) has basically been the driver right along.

Second, firms are confronting more issues that are driving the need for and the growth of the integration market, such as:

Cloud proliferation - today's users are integrating more and more to a variety of cloud applications. That requires a refresh on the tools used for cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise integrations.

Increasing end-points - more customer or supplier portals to integrate to, more apps, more devices, and disconnected enterprise processes. The Internet of Things will drive a huge explosion of data coming from trillions of devices that will need to find its way from source to destination.

More customer and trading partner interactions - behind the scenes in omnichannel, home delivery, outsourcing, service logistics, and ecommerce sales are many more processes that require not only well-engineered workflow and web services, but accurate and real-time data. They are increasing the type and quantity of business process integrations between trading partners, thereby changing the B2B solution.

Automation of business processes and integration - users and IT would like to make the process of change easier. Business process management tools and workflow engines are getting easier to use and often are part of the application vendor’s offering and the user’s solution purchase. So adoption of tools continues.

Revitalization of the IT portfolio - decades ago Richard Nolan proffered that the useful life of a software product is about seven years. Since the mid-nineties, when ERP became hot, there have been at least four major identifiable waves of technology transformation. Hence, even major firms are feeling behind the times and are re-evaluating, adding to, or outright replacing their investments from a decade or more ago to take advantage of the current innovations.

Being left behind - one of the sad challenges that users sometimes have to address is as ERP companies continue to release new products, they sometimes differ radically from the past. New code just does not work with the old code anymore. Users are on their own to re-establish connections, transform data, and so on. As disappointing as this must be, it does point to typical challenges for customers who have charted their own course (or just have little use for some of the new code offered by the vendors). If an enterprise also did a fair amount of customization, it is really on its own to manage and modify that code.

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First, users have an insatiable desire for data - new systems, more reports - and therefore, as a new module or product is added to the enterprise portfolio, naturally the pipes have to be built between it and the rest of the portfolio. Companies that rely on manual or point-to-point tools reach a point where the pain of creating and maintaining them just gets to be too much. This (pain point) has basically been the driver right along.

Second, firms are confronting more issues that are driving the need for and the growth of the integration market, such as:

Cloud proliferation - today's users are integrating more and more to a variety of cloud applications. That requires a refresh on the tools used for cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise integrations.

Increasing end-points - more customer or supplier portals to integrate to, more apps, more devices, and disconnected enterprise processes. The Internet of Things will drive a huge explosion of data coming from trillions of devices that will need to find its way from source to destination.

More customer and trading partner interactions - behind the scenes in omnichannel, home delivery, outsourcing, service logistics, and ecommerce sales are many more processes that require not only well-engineered workflow and web services, but accurate and real-time data. They are increasing the type and quantity of business process integrations between trading partners, thereby changing the B2B solution.

Automation of business processes and integration - users and IT would like to make the process of change easier. Business process management tools and workflow engines are getting easier to use and often are part of the application vendor’s offering and the user’s solution purchase. So adoption of tools continues.

Revitalization of the IT portfolio - decades ago Richard Nolan proffered that the useful life of a software product is about seven years. Since the mid-nineties, when ERP became hot, there have been at least four major identifiable waves of technology transformation. Hence, even major firms are feeling behind the times and are re-evaluating, adding to, or outright replacing their investments from a decade or more ago to take advantage of the current innovations.

Being left behind - one of the sad challenges that users sometimes have to address is as ERP companies continue to release new products, they sometimes differ radically from the past. New code just does not work with the old code anymore. Users are on their own to re-establish connections, transform data, and so on. As disappointing as this must be, it does point to typical challenges for customers who have charted their own course (or just have little use for some of the new code offered by the vendors). If an enterprise also did a fair amount of customization, it is really on its own to manage and modify that code.

Read Full Article