True or False? Integration Costs are Set to Become Higher than Application Costs
January 24, 2014

Ivar Sagemo
AIMS Innovation

Share this

The talk around the IT water cooler is that integration costs are on track to become higher than application costs within five years, with integration becoming more complex and burdensome. But like all predictions, what can we believe? Should we start to prepare for the worst? And, most important of all, who's the one to blame for this problem?

The experts predict that integration hassles are on the horizon. Gartner predicts that:

- By 2018, more than 50% of the cost of implementing 90% of new large systems will be spent on integration

- By 2016, midsize to large companies will spend 33% more on application integration than in 2013*

Ovum also estimates that spending on integration middleware is growing at a compound growth rate of 9.1% between 2012 and 2018, reaching $17.9 billion by the end of 2018.**

Whether you come from the business or IT side of an enterprise, nobody can deny the fact that the introduction of BYOD, the strong use of the cloud and dependency on mobile and social media have all increased the load that IT systems have to bear.

In addition, organizations are increasingly focused on integrating with customers, suppliers and partners. Integrating with external systems adds to the complexity. It's only logical that connecting these disparate systems and adding the glue to make them all integrate seamlessly has to be more complex than it used to be. But does adding in these elements really create an integration Armageddon?

Integration Glue

Ovum's Saurabh Sharma says that organizations are now realizing that cloud computing and SaaS can lead to more information silos and greater integration complexity.

"SaaS vendors claim they provide web service APIs to ease the integration between SaaS and on-premise applications but APIs alone cannot ensure seamless interaction," he says.

IBM’s Doug Clark believes that a huge amount of time is spent integrating back office applications such as ERP and finance. Maintaining and integrating these applications swallows a lot of budget and, in the future, Clark predicts that companies will eventually want to integrate ERP and finance with cloud applications.***

One thing for sure is that disparate silos of information will continue to increase, and they will become more complex and abundant with greater care needed to integrate them correctly. Added to this, mobile applications have now moved beyond handset-based systems and are now used to connect to backend databases to pull up information while a user is on the move.

Enterprises are working to integrate BYOD and cloud as well as connecting with supplier customer data. At AIMS Innovation, we've seen that they are engaging in point-to-point integration, which is quick but will only backfire on TCO, complexity and scalability. Point-to-point integration improves the speed of integration but does not provide that strong, robust information flow that's needed to keep systems connected correctly.

With applications such as Hubspot, Salesforce or Zendesk, when you grow as an organization using these products, you need to integrate these systems into your network and you want to do it fast. Many providers have out-of-the-box integrations ready. But this is a less feature-rich form of integration than ones being done by integration engines such as BizTalk, Oracle and IBM. Point-to-point integration is often a "quick-win" but the downside is that you end up with integration spaghetti. It's costly to maintain, not standardized and person dependent.

Do We Have a Solution?

Point-to-point integration will lead to integration chaos — that much is certain. Even with integration engines, the growing use of cloud, BYOD and increased data volume will also lead to integration challenges.

Microsoft and others help by introducing integration platforms as cloud services to better facilitate hybrid /cloud scenarios. They also deliver integration as a service with flexible setup and billing, reducing TCO in a pay-as-you-go model.

Solutions such as monitoring your integration platform or using smart monitoring tools will also help to alleviate this problem. Monitoring is one of the tools that can pinpoint errors and give you granular insight into how each system is functioning, how effectively applications are integrating with each other and where performance is impacted.

Whether integration will become the IT burden that exceeds application costs has yet to be seen. The reality is that it will become more complex and important to organizations and it will emerge as one of the top IT challenges along with downtime and security for enterprises going forward.

Ivar Sagemo is CEO of AIMS Innovation.

* Gartner, Predicts 2013: Application Integration

** Ovum View, Saurabh Sharma, March 1, 2013. Global integration middleware market to hit $17.9 billion by 2018

*** Information Age, December 4, 2012. Cloud brings application integration out of the shadows

Share this

The Latest

August 03, 2020

APMdigest and The Field CTO joined forces to launch the AI+ITOPS Podcast. The mission of the podcast is to discuss the struggles faced by ITOps — such as digital transformation and the need to keep IT services "always on" — and explore how AI/ML, AIOps, APM and other ITOps and DevOps technologies can help. Episode 1 features guest Dennis Drogseth, VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) ...

July 30, 2020

One of the most frustrating experiences for website visitors is a slow, unresponsive website. Worst-case scenario, a web bounce causes prospects to permanently bounce from your company. In an effort to help companies improve web performance, Google launched the Web Vitals initiative in May and announced three new search engine ranking factors ...

July 29, 2020

Organizations have benefited from the use of modern applications to adapt and maintain agility and reliability during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by VMware. The global study also reveals improved perceptions of alignment across app developers, IT and business decision makers as they collaborate to help their organizations operate amid the pandemic ...

July 28, 2020

According to The State of ITSM in the COVID-19 Pandemic, a survey by ManageEngine, 72% of IT professionals affirm ITSM's continued effectiveness even in remote work scenarios. However, only one in two organizations have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy to support continued productivity in new remote work environments ...

July 27, 2020

Many remote employees must access a corporate private network from home to continue business as usual. Organizations are turning to virtual private networks (VPN) as never before to keep remote workers connected to critical information and tools. To protect sensitive data and network bandwidth, however, companies must secure and control that network access such as by incorporating digital certificates into their cybersecurity strategy. Follow these five VPN best practices for secure remote worker access ...

July 23, 2020

The role of the IT department was once manageable — straightforward tasks such as computer desktop support, installing and configuring hardware and software, and monitoring and maintaining systems and servers were commonplace. But as a result of digital transformation and the adoption of new and emerging technologies, IT teams are now responsible for driving business strategy and cost savings. With all of the new responsibilities, it's not surprising that we've seen new disciplines emerge, such as NetOps, DevOps, SecOps and DevSecOps ...

July 22, 2020

How does one acquire skills at the level appropriate to ones' self? Not by reading tomes at various levels; I have tried that and often understand every paragraph I read but still fail to grasp the subject. Sound familiar? It dawned on me that it was better to read a few small articles on the subject, maybe more than once, and eventually you should hit that "Eureka" moment when the topic slips into place. What follows is what I learned about learning; over many decades in IT ...

July 21, 2020

One byproduct of COVID-19-imposed stay-at-home mandates is an unprecedented reliance on digital services for everything from grocery shopping and food delivery to video conferencing and workflow automation. And it's impacting both consumers of those digital services and the IT operations professionals responsible for delivering them ...

July 20, 2020

OpenTelemetry is a project within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that has gathered contributors and supporters far and wide, becoming one of the most active projects found in open source today. In fact, the collaboration that OpenTelemetry has developed is pretty amazing ...

July 16, 2020
eCommerce companies have entered into the domain of mobile applications given the huge number of customers using such apps on their smartphones on the go. However, these apps are vulnerable to both performance and security issues. Performance-wise, the apps may slow down while loading or transacting, give erroneous counts, become non-responsive across devices, and many more. So, the need of the hour for enterprises developing such applications is to invest in eCommerce performance testing ...