EiPaaS and Your Digital Transformation
The enterprise integration platform as a service (EiPaaS) and hybrid integration platform (HIP) market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the middleware space. According to VYNZ Research Global iPaaS Market Forecast 2018-2024, the global market is anticipated to grow at 42.1% CAGR and hit 8.6 b USD by 2024.
VYNZ describes the crowded landscape, “The iPaaS market size is larger for large enterprises; however, its growth rate is higher for small and medium enterprises due to the increasing awareness and increasing complexities of integrating the application in on-premise and cloud.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the C-suite at a large enterprise, spearheading a startup, or somewhere in the middle; these products are a catalyst for driving digital transformation and growth.
The 2019 Q1 Forrester Wave Report named Software AG as a Leader in the iPaaS space. Its webMethods HIP makes up part of a broader portfolio called Digital Business Platform. The platform also includes built.io acquired in 2018 and named an EiPaaS Challenger in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant.
Subhash Ramachandran, SVP, Product Management & Marketing for Software AG has more than twenty years in the integration area and opines on the market from one vendor’s perspective.
He says that historically, customers have wanted to place their integrations close to where their applications reside. After the introduction of cloud, there was an 80/20 split; 80% on-premise (on-prem) and 20% in the cloud. According to Ramachandran, “Integration on-prem was fine because you wanted to have the integrations as close to the applications as possible. Increasingly what we see is that reverse. It's not going to happen right away, but certainly, in the next two to three years, 80% of the applications will move to the cloud, and only 20% will stay on-prem. This is driving a push for iPaaS. Organizations want to run integrations directly in the cloud so that when they are doing cloud-to-cloud integration, they are not hopping back through on-prem applications back into the cloud.”
Software AG’s path to building an all-encompassing EiPaaS has been a combination of maturing its products and adding complementary acquisitions that provide strategic capabilities. For example, Ramachandran talks about built.io, “We wanted to add some modern cloud-native architecture and technology. Node.js is now one of the most popular programming languages out there. Millennial students coming out of college are studying Node.js instead of Java, which was the language of choice ten or so years ago for the typical developer. It's a much easier language for young developers to adopt and learn.”
Ease of use is high on the list of both reports’ customer must-have lists. Vendors must cater to the preferences of two different types of personnel: Traditional IT developers with a high code approach to building integrations, and the business analysts and citizen integrators with a low code approach to building integrations. Ramachandran concurs, “We see this with iPaaS integrations as opposed to 10 or 15 years ago when integration was such an esoteric discipline requiring high technical skills. Integrations are being democratized and put in the hands of almost anyone in the business."
Reading the EiPaaS tea leaves
Security is top of mind for all sizes of enterprise, and APIs are the new target for hackers. Smart homes, IoT devices or cars with very loosely defined API’s (without any security or access control) are ripe for attack providing easy back door entry into company devices. Ramachandran says there is a role for artificial intelligence (AI) to play in EiPaaS security. He says, “AI models can continuously inspect and report on API activity and in the process of doing so discover anomalous API behavior. This way, you are continuously monitoring, learning, and creating new ways to address threats. We would use bots to protect the corporate network from these different kinds of cyberattacks.”
The next things around the corner are microservices and server-less functions. Microservices already exist within large enterprises. Organizations want to drop the next generation of applications into the cloud in microseconds without the need for significant cloud infrastructure. That's where serverless computing is coming into play. Ramachandran says Software AG is already working on incorporating these functions.
Embedded iPaaS is another innovation Software AG is working on. The biggest challenge SaaS applications face today is integration and embedding iPaaS into the SaaS application without having to use its UI. The integration becomes transparent to the end-user.
What’s in an iPaaS?
Gartner lays out several specific capabilities for a product to qualify as an iPaaS. Products may include full life-cycle API management, B2B ecosystem management, and IoT integration abilities. But it clarifies even further, identifying what capabilities a vendor must have to be enterprise (EiPaaS.) These include:
- Support for enterprise-class integration projects requiring, high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR), security, service-level agreements (SLAs) and technical support from the provider.
- Integration capabilities independent of the EiPaaS provider's professional services.
- Multiple integration scenarios, including application and data integration use cases.
- A broad range of use cases, verticals, and industries.
- Vendor management for patching and upgrades.
- Flexible deployment of the runtime engine for hybrid deployment options.
Strong iPaaS integrates everything. Partners, sensors, and devices drive analytics that supports informed decision-making and the enterprise’s digital transformation.
Researching vendors can be daunting. However, the Forrester Research and Gartner Research reports may help you sort out which products map across to your organization’s needs. Keep in mind, the vendors’ roadmaps are evolving rapidly and what a product offers today may be significantly expanded in a year.