SAG_Twitter_MEME_Integrate_Everything_Feb17.jpgIntegration is no longer your IT department’s problem; it is everyone’s problem.

With the Internet of Things, APIs, blockchain and chatbots thrown into the mix, everyone needs to integrate with everything.

Here are my predictions for 2017:

#1. Specialists Not Required

Integration is becoming a pervasive problem across businesses, and that means integration tools will need to accommodate multiple user types along with traditional developers. Therefore integration vendors will need to provide tooling for ad hoc and non-technical developers as well as specialists, including graphical, low code solutions.

#2. Microservices Mature

Cutting edge development teams experimented with microservices last year, but in 2017, mainstream organizations will take microservices architectures into production with real projects. To support these initiatives, integration vendors will go to market with microservices using important supporting technologies such as containers (Docker, Kubernetes, etc.).

#3. IoT Integration Everywhere

The IoT is abuzz this year with talk of smarter Things, plus the increased use of edge computing for analytics. So, as more companies move into real IoT implementations, the role of integration as the broker of “Thing” data will become fully realized. Data is only valuable if it gets delivered.

#4. Integrating Integration with APIs

A flurry of recent acquisitions of major API management vendors, such as Tibco’s purchase of Mashery and Rogue Wave Software’s Akana buy, showed the world that APIs are part of a bigger market—integration. Companies now view API Management as an extension of integration - because that’s where they are developing their APIs. This is a clear indication that the IT community recognizes the value of APIs for application integration, and this trend will continue to gain importance in 2017.

#5. Rise of the Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere these days, especially with the rise of chatbots and virtual assistants. But even the smartest chatbot can only provide intelligent responses if it has the right data to work with. We will see an increase in the need for bots to have timely data such as customer, product and service data to improve the virtual experience of customers.

#6. Blockchain Integration

The financial sector is seeing an increase in the use of blockchain technology for fast and secure payments. And industry after industry is getting in line behind the banks to adopt blockchain as a way to track secure ledgers of transactions, from healthcare to manufacturing. Integration will be the key that ties these new initiatives into your business, adding new channels for secure and fast business.

Now that data accessibility is more manageable through integrated lightweight protocols, containers and robust APIs, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to turn the growing mountain of data from disparate sources and formats into consumable information and actionable insights.

IT departments need to find a new way forward to support the enterprise infrastructure and maximize the potential benefits of having improved access to this data. They have to integrate everything with everything.

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