These 5 Technologies Can Change the Future of Enterprise Integration

Integration is as old as enterprise software itself. since the early inception o business software system, integration has been an omnipresent challenge in the enterprise. Throughout the years, enterprise integration platforms have evolved alongside other technologies. Movements such as mainframes, relational database, SOA, mobile or cloud have created new types of integration platforms. However, the fundamental architecture principles of enterprise integration platforms have remained surprisingly unchanged during the last three decades.

Despite the remarkable advancements in enterprise software technologies, the patterns and principles behind integration platforms have remained incredibly consistent throughout the years. Don’t take me wrong, there have been plenty of innovation in the enterprise integration space but the core architecture components of modern integration platforms still look very similar to its predecessors. Whether you are evaluating a traditional ETL platform such as Informatica, an ESB such as MuleSoft or an iPaaS such as SnapLogic, concepts such as connectors, orchestrating, business rules or process analytics remain very similar. More importantly, the architecture model that relies on a central messaging broker to orchestrate the data flow between endpoints hasn’t really changed in a few decades.

The unchanged nature of enterprise integration patterns have been partially due to the smooth transition paths between different generations of enterprise software technologies such as web and cloud. However, in recent years, the evolution of recent technologies movements is offering an opportunity to completely reimaging enterprise integration. These days, we are living in the middle of a series of technology revolutions that can change the foundation so enterprise integration platforms as we know them today. Let’s take a look at some of the core technology movements that can influence the next generation of enterprise integration platforms.

1 — IOT

Internet of things(IOT) architectures brings new integration challenges to enterprise that can’t be easily addressed with traditional integration platforms. Requirements such as large volume of messages, thousands of concurrent endpoints, in-device integration logic and bidirectional communication s are claiming for a new type of IOT-first interation platform. Efforts such as Apache Nifi or Node-Red are solid initial efforts in this area.

2 — Blockchains

Blockchain applications often require integration with off-chain databases or business systems. These type of requirements are likely to influence a new type of integration architectures optimized for blockchain technologies. Additionally, blockchain platform can influence decentralized integration models which are becoming very relevant in the enterprise (ex: IOT scenarios). Technologies such as Ethereum Oracles or Microsoft’s Project Bletchey Cryplets are relevant efforts in the space.

3 — AI

artificial intelligence(AI) is redefining every aspect of enterprise software and integration is not an exception. AI techniques can help to completely reimaging enterprise integration solutions by creating models that understand the behavior of the different endpoints and assemble intelligent orchestrations. Other traditional aspects of enterprise integration platforms such as business rules or analytics can also be redefined with AI as a first-class citizen.

4 — Serverless Computing

Serverless computing stacks can drive an entire new generation of enterprise integration platforms. Key aspects of serverless platform such as developer friendliness, high availability or multi-language interfaces result incredibly attractive to enterprise integration scenarios. AWS Lambda Step Functions is a great example of how these technologies can evolve in the near future.

5 — Voice Interfaces

Voice is becoming a new form of user interfaces and, as a result, will drive a new group of enterprise integration requirements. Natural language, voice-drive integrations will powered sophisticated bots and digital assistant solutions in the enterprise. Even though we are still in very early stages, the voice integration space is starting to get a lot of attention by startups and venture capitalists. Amazon Alexa already provides very complete integration to popular SaaS and line of business systems.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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