As organizations realize the value of using a hybrid cloud/on-premises integration platform, they should also recognize the need to have a hybrid integration strategy.
There are many things to consider when designing such a strategy, from the tools and technologies you already have to those you may need to acquire. There are six essential steps necessary to facilitate hybrid IT integration; this blog will illuminate step #1 – understanding your integration “center of gravity.”
By center of gravity we mean you must first consider the locations of the systems you have in place today. This includes your enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Are the majority of these systems running on-premises today? Or in the cloud?
Next, how do you intend to expand your IT projects and applications over the next three to five years? This can help determine the rate and complexity of moving to the cloud. Hosting your integration logic and runtime environments near your applications and other data sources is important to avoid slowing down integration transactions between applications due to network lag and other factors.
The closer your integrations are to your applications, the better performance you can expect from your integrations.
So, where should you host your integration – on premise or in the cloud? If your organization doesn’t have many legacy investments and has taken an aggressive stance on the cloud, you might find that a purely cloud-hosted integration solution is best. This scenario is probably not typical of most organizations that have established a large IT footprint over the course of many years, however.
For many, the most practical location for integration will continue to be on premises, co-located with your systems of record. This is especially true if your organization only has a few cloud-based applications in place today and doesn’t plan to increase the number soon. This choice might also make the most sense if you can’t easily move applications to the cloud for purposes of regulation or data security.
For companies that have many on-premises applications and legacy investments, but are adopting new applications and infrastructure primarily via the cloud, the choice defaults to a hybrid integration environment with some form of an on-premises integration solution, along with a cloud-hosted integration service such as an integration Platform-as-a-Service, or iPaaS.
For most companies, then, planning for a cloud-based integration solution to complement your on-premises integration solution must be viewed as a priority. Hybrid cloud and on-premises environments are becoming the industry norm, with few companies committing to pure cloud or pure on-premises environments, which means not having a hybrid integration strategy is not an option.
Once your company decides where to host your integration, the next question to consider is how much control you want of the hosting and management of the system? We will discuss this in our next blog.
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