How a hybrid cloud integration platform drives greater mobility

By Becky Lawlor

Row of businesspeople sitting in a meeting looking at their smartphones powered by a hybrid cloud platform integration

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Recently there has been a significant increase in cloud applications, particularly for mobile. As research director Adrian Leow recently noted, “It’s encouraging to see significant growth in the number of mobile apps that are planned, but most of this growth is in mobile web apps as opposed to native or hybrid mobile apps.”

While cloud offers valuable benefits, including lower costs and the ability for businesses to be more agile and innovative, it has added complexity to the IT environment. There is now an urgent need for hybrid cloud integration, especially for companies looking to support mobile applications and other cloud-based digital services.

A hybrid cloud integration platform — which provides a framework for on-premise and cloud-based integration — allows businesses to support a wide range of digital and IT integration use cases, including cloud, mobility, IoT and API integration.

Hybrid cloud and on-premise integration considerations

Given the rapid rise in mobile cloud applications, there is a parallel need for fast integration with current on-premises systems. Yet there are numerous issues that must be considered as part of any integration, including:

  • Reliability between your data center and cloud applications might potentially be low.
  • Web services interacting with legacy applications may need REST APIs to support formats required by cloud applications.
  • Gateway software or some type of trusted agent will be needed to mediate web services requests for cloud applications.
  • Data associated with a cloud application might need to be replicated to a cloud or on-premises data repository for reporting and analytics.

One way to address these issues is to purchase an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) solution. However, because most enterprises also must maintain capabilities for integrating assets running into their data centers, it is recommended that integration teams should plan on a hybrid integration that can support existing data center–based integration plus iPaaS.

Hybrid integration for greater mobile enablement

Because the growth of mobile within the enterprise is a large driver of the need to integrate cloud and on-premise applications, any business with a mobile-first strategy should be considering a hybrid integration platform (HIP). A HIP is particularly important if there is a need to support a mobile workforce while providing access to legacy applications or to provide secure third-party mobile application access to customers, partners or contractors.

Additionally, many mobile applications utilize REST APIs for back-end services, mobile device management and security. As a result, there is an increasing need to better manage and govern these APIs. Analytics-driven mobile applications that require continuous collection and processing of data also provide another use case for a HIP.

A roadmap forward

As IDC notes in its report, “Hybrid is not an effort to standardize adoption of new types of integration technology into a single approach, but an effort to look at integration as individual services with their own APIs that should interoperate with other services as needed.”

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a HIP, and best practices are still being defined. However, by implementing a hybrid integration platform, organizations can enjoy centralized governance and control, a flexible deployment model and better support for multiple integration scenarios.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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