hybrid integration

What is a Hybrid Cloud Integration Platform [HIP]?

By November 29, 2019 No Comments

Introduction

For years, companies have been looking to scale up their business processes, and technology has played an imperative role in driving digital transformations. Of course, there are a lot of technologies that help amplify everything that exists in a business. Choosing the right one depends on prioritizing goals and realizing what’s important and what’s not. On that note, while there can be an innumerable number of new technologies that you can incorporate according to your business requirements, the most important remains the integration of business systems. That’s why you need a Hybrid Integration Platform. But what exactly is HIP?

hybrid integration platform

Firstly, before innovating, standardizing business applications and having all of them connected and synchronized with one another is crucial. To be on target, integration is the foremost requirement that businesses have and integration requirements are ever-rising, in terms of complexity. There are a lot of integration methodologies and solutions, from time immemorial till now, and it is a constantly evolving process. But, if we are talking about the cherry on top of the cake, Hybrid Integration is a comprehensive solution to implement any kind of integration requirements.

A Hybrid Integration Platform is nothing less than a set of integration software that helps connect, maintain and govern integrating business applications, whether on-premise or cloud, as well as composing APIs, incorporating lifecycle management and catering to any kind of integration use cases. But do you really need to invest in a Hybrid Cloud Integration software? Let’s look into that!

Key reasons for you to invest in a hybrid cloud integration

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Many organizations have been using or still use old legacy applications for their business and cannot forgo or drop these applications. Also, with changing or increasing requirements they are slowly incorporating modern hosted cloud and SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. Moreover, with increasing complexities of business processes such as faster customer order fulfillment, robust inventory management, sales funnel optimization, marketing flywheel incorporation, to mention a few, there is an increasing need for a comprehensive solution that connects all endpoints regardless of type, technology and hosting, under one single dashboard. That’s what Hybrid Cloud Integration will facilitate for you.  In specific, a hybrid cloud integration facilitates the following:

To connect diverse applications:

Keeping on-premise and cloud applications connected will ensure information transfers between two systems that are hosted in two different locations. Hybrid Integration presents a middleware service layer between these two applications, thereby allowing systems from two different generations to talk to each other.

Security and regulations:

Most companies still feel it unsafe to hold their data in the cloud environment and want to have control over their sensitive information. Thus, a sense of assurance is present in the on-premise implementation. Moreover, most organizations have data regulations in order to maintain some amount of data on-premise and self-hosted. In that case, it will become a mix of software in two different environments and integrating them in a Hybrid Cloud environment is the solution.

Cost of integration:

Most often than not, Hybrid system integration will reduce the integration cost, complexities and overall IT expenditure, when compared to a traditional method of integration using scripts.

Legacy application integration:

Hybrid Integration is the only way with which you can integrate legacy systems with cloud-based SaaS applications and ensure smooth dataflow.

Break down data silos:

The integration helps extract data from different systems in different environments. Data transfer happens between similar pools of different systems, thus breaking out data silos.

What should you look for in a hybrid integration platform?

what should you look for?

Given that Hybrid Integration is so crucial for businesses to keep applications connected with cloud integration while not eradicating the traditional legacy systems and integration styles, it is important to know what the key features to look out for in a Hybrid Integration Platform are:

Application integration and data synchronization:

A good Hybrid Integration platform should be able to integrate multiple systems at ease across environments and keep them all in synchronization. Data transfer should be seamless, irrespective of different data formats. In fact, the HIP should help drive data standardization.

Secure data transfer:

One of the key things to look out for in a HIP is how securely it transfers data between legacy on-premise systems and cloud applications.

High speed of data transfer:

A robust Hybrid Integration Platform must be able to transfer data at faster rates, especially, It should support batch transfer as well as the one-time transfer of data as per the requirement. This is an important factor to consider as the quantum of data being created and processed keeps increasing exponentially every year.

API integration and management:

If you are looking to choose among the available Hybrid Integration Platforms, then make sure this feature is available. Any HIP must not only facilitate the creation of APIs but also manage and govern them under one single platform.

How to implement a hybrid integration architecture?

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According to Gartner, there are three different ways to implement and govern HIP applications. They are:

Centralized HIP implementation:

This is integration methodology helps integrate few applications in a centralized middleware and manage the connected systems. Mostly, centralized HIP implementation is incorporated by small to mid-sized teams with relatively simple hybrid integration requirements.

Shared HIP implementation:

The methodology is almost similar to centralized implementation. It is used by large organizations to integrate and govern a great number of diverse applications in a centralized platform.

Federated HIP implementation:

This method of implementing and governing HIP incorporates setting up integrations using more than one (multiple) HIPs and managed by multiple integration specialist teams.

While implementing a Hybrid Integration Platform for your business, you need to take into consideration certain key terminologies, which Gartner mentions as dimensions. They are deployment models, end-points, integration domains & personas.

To know more about them, check out Gartner’s set of dimensions for implementing a Hybrid Integration Platform.

In order to select and implement a HIP for your business, the first and foremost should be selecting the right vendor according to your integration requirements. There are a lot of vendors in the marketplace claiming themselves to be HIPs, but they are all lying and/or promoting if they don’t incorporate all the above-mentioned dimensions and basic selection criteria. A hybrid cloud integrator should fulfill, with security, speed, application integration, and API management, to be precise.

Moreover, selecting an integration platform should be based on whether it caters to your evolving business needs and also holds an appropriate mix of cloud as well as on-premise integration functionalities.

After selecting an appropriate Hybrid Integration Platform, don’t implement it abruptly. Take to the gradual implementation of your Hybrid implementation based on your resource bandwidth such as budget, availability of integration expert, cost incurred and business priority. One thing you need to make sure of during integration is scalability, by which you can expand your number of integration endpoints whenever newly incorporated without disrupting the existing integration.

Last but not least, things don’t stop after implementation. Don’t forget to incorporate a specialist integration expert team to manage and govern the hybrid integration post-implementation.

Benefits of hybrid cloud integration

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Implementing a hybrid cloud integration is the need of the moment and we can’t stress more on that. Once you implement a Hybrid integration platform for your business, you will start leveraging the following business benefits:

  1. You can keep your existing on-premise applications intact and enable them to talk to high-end SaaS applications or cloud services in a very sophisticated manner.
  2. Your business can incorporate any kind of complex integration requirements through Hybrid integration that is an appropriate mix of both.
  3. Your data is secured at the highest level. Data transfer between systems is also encrypted and secure.
  4. You can leverage top-class technology and scale-up for innovating and digitally transforming your business in the future.
  5. You can align legacy systems with modern applications on the cloud.
  6. Incorporate any degree of complex business logic for integrating systems in multiple environments.
  7. You can manage the integrations on the hybrid cloud interface on your own, or incorporate managed service providers to take care of the integration lifecycle governance on your behalf.
  8. Hybrid Integrations support integrations with platforms that are one of Cloud, on-premise, hybrid or embedded deployed.

Again, when it comes to managed services, you need to make a decision as to whether you want to incorporate it or not. Managed services are provided by integration managed service providers who are either hybrid integration platform vendors or any other third-party service providers who take care of managing and governing your integration life cycle, right from set up. You just need to mention your system integration requirements and relax while the managed service provider takes care of the process from then on.

Before choosing if you need a managed service provider or not, you need to answer certain basic questions like whether you have the required bandwidth (time, human resources) to manage the integration on your own.

Strategizing your hybrid integrations

Developing and executing hybrid integrations takes a lot of planning and strategizing as part of the process. Without a proper strategy, your integration can turn out to be a huge bane for you. There are a few steps you need to follow while strategizing integrations.

Evaluate:

In the planning stage, you must evaluate a few important criteria, such as your existing integration standpoint. If the integrations are done in house or outsourced, know how much expertise your IT department has, whether you have an integration expert team, and so on.

Plan:

After evaluating the above-mentioned criteria, you need to plan your integration devotedly. Planning includes knowing the integration solution you are going to implement in the span of the next few months to years, depending on your business. Make a note of what the new systems you will be coming up with are and what type of connections you are going to set up.

Vendor research:

After your plan and criteria evaluation are done, move on to researching which hybrid integration platform you will need to incorporate. This depends on the requirements you have and whether the tool you look out for caters to all these requirements. There are a lot of iPaaS vendors claiming to be top-notch HIPs, so keep your research as deep and detailed as possible.

In-house or outsource:

One of the key criteria in the evaluation stage is understanding the existing IT infrastructure, integration expertise and resource bandwidth. If you can cater to all these sufficiently, then you can manage your integration in house. If not, it is advisable to outsource your integration lifecycle management to a managed service provider. These are third-party service providers who manage your integration lifecycle completely, right from hearing your specifications till continuous monitoring and governance.

How does hybrid integration modernize legacy systems?

Old legacy systems are something a lot of businesses have been using for a long time. In the quest for digital transformation, there exists a paradigm shift towards modern applications such as SaaS cloud-based software, as well as towards integration methodologies such as API Integration, Hybrid Integration, and so on. While most companies incorporate these modern systems and practices, the huge burden they feel is the difficulty in dropping old self-hosted legacy systems.

Moreover, dropping them is also not a feasible solution as it is difficult to shift business processes from their existing applications. So, hybrid integration comes to the rescue. Using Hybrid Integration, you can achieve the innovation and digital transformation, by simultaneously retaining your legacy systems, since the major benefit of Hybrid Integration is connecting on-premise and cloud applications under a single interface.

CLORAS – a complete hybrid architecture

Have you been following up to this point? Then you must understand the importance of Hybrid Integration. Now that there are enough reasons for you to make a decision on implementing a Hybrid Integration Platform for your business, know that CLORAS is one of them. CLORAS incorporates all the above-mentioned features and capabilities of a Hybrid Integration software and seamlessly enables you to integrate business applications. Moreover, we have a dedicated team of integration experts, who completely manage your entire Hybrid Integration lifecycle (managed service provider).

CLORAS has provided hybrid integrations for a wide range of businesses in a span of just 6 weeks. Our seamless integration feature suite and built-in hybrid connectors for leading eCommerce, ERP, CRM software make CLORAS the go-to iPaaS hybrid integrator for enterprises. CLORAS is also capable of integrating any two business systems and incorporating any degree of customization in Hybrid Integration, making it a robust, flexible and customizable solution. If you have an integration requirement for your business, all you have to do is contact us or schedule a free demo with one of our integration experts who will take you through the entire integration process using CLORAS.

Wrapping Up:

wrapping_up

I hope you gained valuable insight into hybrid integration in this blog. As we have said, integration processes and methodologies evolve with time and what’s relevant today might be outdated tomorrow. Hence, I urge you to keep yourself updated on the same. CLORAS provides you an easy way to stay right on track. Just enter your email and punch the “Yes, Sign me up” button below and join our thousands of subscribers (most of our subscribers are top decision-makers from different industries) to receive the latest insights in the information arena.

 

Srivatsan

Srivatsan

Srivatsan, Digital Marketing Executive at DCKAP, has vast experience working in B2B space. Being an enthusiast, a passionate learner and a business blogger of B2B enterprise applications, he has a keen sense to write on trending topics and address business challenges and solutions.