Why Hybrid Integration Is Critical to Maintaining Business Continuity
Throughout your business ecosystem of trading partners and customers, being able to handle integrations of all shapes and sizes is critical. No business can afford to turn away a potential customer because it isn’t equipped to manage specific integration requirements. That’s why integration must happen how and when your business needs it, and the best way to accomplish that is through the flexibility provided by a hybrid integration approach.
Hybrid integration is a combination of on-premise and cloud-based integration and governance capabilities that enable the reliable exchange of business data. The concept makes sense, as it enables business flexibility and thus, business continuity.
Experts would advise against, for instance, investing all your retirement savings in a single stock or bond, since such a strategy tends to carry a lot of risk. General best practices involve diversifying your portfolio and embracing flexibility to grow your nest egg. Similarly, hybrid integration gives you the flexibility to grow your business.
Enterprises face many connectivity challenges within their ecosystem because they must manage a complex mix of systems, applications, and processes across geo-dispersed facility locations, data centers, and other remote entities. But traditional integration toolkits that only focus on on-premise or cloud-first approaches cannot enable your ecosystem in a way that a hybrid integration platform can.
How to Avoid Business Disruption
Ecosystem enablement is about avoiding disruption. Ecosystem enablement is the result of flexibly supporting myriad technologies in order to maintain business continuity. Disruption occurs because enterprises aren’t ready or cannot adapt to what their customers and trading partners are demanding. Companies that embrace a digital transformation strategy, however, are best equipped to handle that disruption because they’ve armed themselves with the integration tools to meet emerging customer and partner requirements.
A common debate in enterprises across the world revolves around cloud vs. on-premise. The 2019 State of Ecosystem and Application Integration Report indicates that 47% of IT decision-makers say they must integrate with cloud applications to meet routine business demands, and 25% said it is difficult to integrate such solutions. So there remains a constant push and pull for enterprises to integrate cloud applications with those apps that reside behind your own firewall.
But true hybrid integration means supporting flexible deployment of not only cloud and SaaS applications but also the flexible deployment of the integration solutions that connect all those technologies. Whether they are deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid model, today’s integration solutions align with your business goals and also your IT infrastructure strategy.
On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based Integration
While there is no right or wrong answer as to which is better than the other, there are specific advantages and drawbacks to cloud and on-premise deployments. The direction you choose depends on your business needs.
Benefits of On-Premise Integration
- You have more control over your critical business processes.
- On-premise integration generally features more data security specific to your business.
- You can quickly make changes and do not have to wait for a VAN or pay for a consultant.
Disadvantages of On-Premise Integration
- You are responsible for all maintenance of the solution.
- You often pay a lot of upfront costs for the hardware and software.
- You are responsible for the talent and resources to manage the system.
Benefits of Cloud-Based Integration
- A third party manages and maintains the hardware and system.
- Access your cloud integration solution from any device across your network or via the web.
- Leverage a scalable solution in which you only pay for the resources you need.
Disadvantages of Cloud-Based Integration
- Security is a concern for any cloud-based deployment, since you’re entrusting a vendor to keep your data safe.
- You may have less control, as data and encryption keys generally reside with the cloud provider.
- The cloud provider’s uptime and SLA compliance may not exactly align with your business requirements.
The Hybrid Cloud Model
While the cloud-vs.-on-premise debate continues to rage on, the answer isn’t always one or the other, but a combination of two. That combination is the hybrid cloud option, which consists of a mix of integration solutions deployed where you need them and that best suit your business.
There are many companies that opt for this strategy because it provides the best of both worlds in terms of flexibility and control. For instance, one organization could have its data transformation solution in the cloud while keeping its data movement on-premise. The reason: They may want to outsource their complex EDI translation and data mapping functions, so they go a cloud managed services route on data transformation while keeping their critical data movement processes in-house and within their control. This gives companies a flexible, modernized way to tackle many of the integration requirements throughout their business ecosystem.
Hybrid integration enables business continuity because you have the pieces already in place, wherever you need them, to handle any curveball your ecosystem can throw at you.
Should I Deploy On-Premise or in the Cloud?
The reality is that going “all in” with either the cloud or on-premise is not, in fact, the most modern strategy. Instead of viewing things through the lens of having to pick between the two models, the companies that utilize ecosystem integration technology in a combination of cloud and on-premise models will optimize their internal business processes and provide greater external value to their customers.
Businesses leveraging hybrid integration and hybrid cloud integration ultimately will be able to scale up or down to keep pace with the business. The benefits of a hybrid integration approach, then, include the ability to:
- Flexibly deploy integration technology how and where you need it
- Outsource the management of often-complex solutions
- Integrate cloud solutions with on-premise data communications
Hybrid integration starts by embracing IT modernization to ensure your company is equipped to handle digital disruption. As processes evolve to fit your company’s current business patterns and culture, it will take a combination of cloud, on-premise, and managed service models.
A hybrid integration platform ensures enterprises can fully embrace ecosystem integration and enable them to manage integration across systems, applications, customers, and partners. This allows enterprises to attract, acquire, and strengthen new business relationships because it accelerates integration with your digital ecosystem, optimize operational agility, and take on integration in the modern way your business demands.
Download “The Common-Sense Guide to IT Modernization” to learn more about what it means to modernize, how to support legacy IT systems replacement, and how an ecosystem-driven integration platform insulates organizations from disruption and supports the technology balance required for digital transformation.