Hybrid integration: What you need to know!
A hybrid integration platform strategy is the only viable integration strategy in the digital era to support the fast pace of innovation. The integration landscape is constantly changing. If you want to move with the times, “IT must align with the business and accelerate innovation, improve efficiency and reduce risk.” What is hybrid integration? Hybrid integration is the path to do so.
What is hybrid integration?
Start with Massimo Pezzini at Gartner’s take on it. “The hybrid integration platform (HIP) is a framework of on-premises and cloud-based integration and governance capabilities that enables differently skilled personas (integration specialists and non-specialists) to support a wide range of integration use cases.”
Translated, hybrid integration allows your IT to fast-track innovation, enhance efficiency and lower the risk factors. A win-win all around!
Becoming hybrid integration
What is hybrid integration? What are the necessary steps to become a hybrid integration solution? Step one, offer Integration as a Service. Say good-bye to “IT being a ticket taker” serving the business integration needs at their best possible pace. IT must now work to embrace and enable others within the business as integrators. IT cannot just sit with the status quo while the business takes over as “Shadow IT”–the wild west for integration creates significant risk. IT must enable the business to act and play an important role in “corporate governance, data protection and regulatory compliance.” In this they are enabling “ad-hoc” integrators in the business–now using a positive term as this now brings the business in and helps the business scale innovation. This means that IT steps up to the plate and offers integration as a service full stop.
A second step just as critical as the “what” you offer which is the new role your team takes on. Align your team to be enablers for those in the business and the application leaders using this self-service, focus on offering best practices, share knowledge and create training to simplify onboarding. Create the whole product of offering integration as a service and a great experience for the business to use this service. Gartner covered hybrid integration at last week’s Applications Strategies & Solutions Summit. The new role Gartner calls an Integration Strategy Empowerment Team (ISET), Gartner subscribers can read more about this here.
Align and inspire engagement
For any hybrid integration strategy to be effective, a company must open their data flows to drive their innovation forward (read more here about selecting the best HIP). A modern IT infrastructure is where “data/content is the natural resource.” Don’t be fooled into complacency, engagement is where innovation really happens. Note that any integration you support must have an API-first approach.
Get on the API Management lifecycle
To move forward, you must move with the times. A hybrid integration solution is no different. A company must embrace a full-on AMPLIFY API Management lifecycle. What does this involve you ask? For starters, a company must recognize the business value of APIs, the role APIs play in continuous innovation that is part of being digital. At its basics, yes “create, control and consume every aspect of the API lifecycle” but do so in the context of the business to be truly successful with their hybrid integration solution.
Further, to move fast, your company must move fast through embracing modern development practices – microservices and DevOps. Embrace and empower your developers with an API and microservices management strategy.
To live in the hybrid integration world, you must have a full-on strategy to execute it to the next level. If you’re a global institution, make sure your hybrid integration strategy works to protect your data and sovereignty. Since we started with Massimo Pezzini’s definition, check out his recent blog here for more “How to Achieve Digital Business Excellence by Mastering the Pervasiveness of Integration.”