In my last blog I wrote about the increasing importance of total integration in today’s Internet of Everything economy, and how the fractured enterprise cannot even hope to compete with half answers, ill-founded decisions or business reaction times that are too slow to be effective.
This is why I am extremely excited about Software AG’s acquisition of Built.io last week. Built.io Flow is another jewel in Software AG’s technology crown. And when it comes to integration software, there is no crown in the world that shines brighter than iPaaS.
What makes this merger so interesting – and I much prefer the term merger to acquisition – is that Built.io will heavily influence and expand our cloud presence, our digital sales models, our customer and our developer community relevance. These are compelling reasons as the iPaaS market will be the most dynamic segment in the integration market for the foreseeable future. As our CTO Wolfram Jost puts it: “Cloud integration is at the heart of digital transformation with 80 percent of the work in IoT projects related to integration.”
Bang on the button!!! This is why a siloed or “fractured” enterprise can react with the speed and agility needed in the Internet of Things and in the “real-time” economy.
But there is more to the story than Software AG and the iPaaS market.
I have often said that software is today driving innovation in every industry. And I do mean every industry. Here is one example: Software AG has a new customer in the Netherlands - a bread-baking company that is using the IoT to better monitor and service baking ovens and improve customer service along the entire value chain. Not quite digital bread – more like a digitally controlled perfect loaf of bread.
And I have also said that to really harness these innovation possibilities, every company must become a software company. This is easier said than done, as many enterprises have spent recent decades outsourcing their IT development capabilities.
One way, as Volkswagen or GE have done, is to hire thousands of new developers and foster a start-up mentality within the larger enterprise. This is not an option for every company as it requires large up-front investments.
Another approach, and still unique as far as I know, is Software AG’s joint venture ADAMOS, the perfect marriage between the IT and the manufacturing industry. This brings IT skills and industry skills together.
There is also a third way; the Built.io way. That is the democratization of IT, the active participation of “citizen” developers who can quickly and easily implement cloud integration projects - at a departmental or customer event level - for however long, or short, the period that the solution is needed to be available.
Here is a great Built.io customer example: By partnering with Built.io, Dreamforce was able to accelerate building a “concierge bot” for the conference. It was built in five hours! This ticks so many democratization boxes and, being cloud hosted, it is cost effective: you don’t have to pay all year for an event-based application.
This is where IT technology really and truly reflects the ideas, the innovation capabilities and the collaborative abilities of every person within the enterprise. And what is an enterprise but its people?
Those who know me know that I am passionate about teamwork. That means removing barriers within the enterprise - between people, departments, countries and continents. The more people that talk, and the more diversity, the better. If you hear just the “usual suspects,” then you will get just the “usual answers.”
Every conversation that doesn’t take place is potentially a missed opportunity for a new idea. And a conversation among people from diverse parts of the organization is more likely to come up with an innovative and ground-breaking idea, rather than just staying in the comfort zone.
My point is that technology has the same issue. Without full integration of all applications, on premises, in the cloud, on the edge (and more about that soon), the enterprise remains fractured. Parallel conversations waste time, restricted conversations exclude opinions and potentially vital bits of information. Siloed conversations produce siloed solutions.
Great and innovative IoT solutions will only be delivered if all external and internal data can be analyzed and that unexpected diamond of information uncovered. Great and innovative enterprises can only be built on inclusive, stimulating and continuous dialogue and that means continuous integration too. IT must serve and mirror the enterprise and its customers’ services.
So it is great to have Built.io on board and I truly look forward writing/developing the next chapter of our integration story.