Navigating the challenges of enterprise platforms for hybrid integration
The growing complexity of enterprise technology, mobile endpoints and asset management have made hybrid integration platforms an essential technology within the business world. These enterprise platforms offer the benefits of supporting multiple integrations and centralizing governance through a custom UX, which are all critical services for large enterprises managing endpoints and assets that can span the globe.
As a result, Markets and Markets projects the hybrid integration platform market will rise to $33.6 billion by 2022, driven by increased demand for cloud-based hosting, as well as integrating on-premises and cloud applications. As enterprise brands continue their digital transformation, services like a hybrid integration platform will be impossible to ignore.
But for all these solutions have to offer, there are challenges in implementing such a complicated technology management platform. CIOs tasked with bringing these platforms to their own organizations need to understand how to navigate these pitfalls and ensure a smooth transition. Here are some tips for improving the onboarding process:
Identify the best hosting location
The hosting location for your hybrid integration platform (HIP) should be based on the primary location of your business applications and data. If you currently host the majority of these assets on-premises, it’s recommended to host your HIP here, too — this close proximity makes it easier to meet the quality of service requirements.
If these assets are primarily hosted on the cloud, however, then a cloud-based HIP might make more sense. A hybrid cloud option is available when these assets are split between a physical location and the cloud. When choosing your hosting location, don’t only consider your present-day asset management; also consider how this storage is projected to change over the coming years. If you’re currently keeping your applications and data on the cloud but plan on migrating them to local storage in the next couple of years, you’ll want to choose your HIP hosting location based on your long-term plans.
Choose enterprise platforms that offer versatility
While hybrid integration platforms offer an essential service for enterprise endpoint management, these technologies and related strategies are relatively nascent, which means plenty of disruption, innovation and change is projected in the next few years. Businesses need to choose a platform with the ability to grow, which means retaining the flexibility to integrate with a range of vendors, rather than just one or two.
As TechTarget notes, these hybrid cloud solutions can be misleading when touting their ability to support certain vendors. Any given hybrid tool, for example, might list a number of major vendors they support, but what these data sheets might not communicate is that only a percentage of hybrid cloud management tools work with each vendor. This limited functionality might be a deal-breaker depending on the vendors offered. In general, limited integration functionality does not speak well of the solution’s ability to adapt going forward.
The solution is to do a thorough vetting of any hybrid integration platform and develop proofs of concept that demonstrate functionality and capabilities in critical scenarios. With these proofs of concept in hand, you’ll have a better sense of what you’re getting and how it will support your business going forward.
Establish a facilitation team
Whether your enterprise platforms require developers, on-site integration specialists or a combination of the two, every hybrid integration platform should be implemented by a facilitation team tasked with managing this process to make it as smooth as possible. The complexity of this implementation is one of the top challenges of adopting an HIP, but integration specialists can address some of the most pressing pain points.
These specialized teams can manage implementation of the HIP by sharpening the transition’s focus on outcome-centered governance, so organizations can be confident the wholesale changes being made will better serve business outcomes. Specialist teams also play an essential role in offering training, support, consultation and help desk access for enterprise employees. This access to educational resources will speed up the learning curve for workers, making the transition to a new technology as smooth as possible.
Manage user access to ensure proper governance
Once fully implemented, these enterprise platforms are highly susceptible to corruption created by new integrations and management strategies. But it’s inevitable that these platforms will evolve over time through the addition and subtraction of endpoints, as well as the advent of new functionality.
Enterprises can minimize the risk of a system corruption by maintaining tight control of the permissions access granted to individual users. By making sure only authorized users can access the back end of the hybrid integration platform, proper governance of the system can be ensured, and these hybrid cloud solutions will be better protected from missteps that could corrupt data, inhibit HIP performance and possibly bring the entire system crashing down.
Hybrid integration platforms are a complex solution to a complex organizational problem. But this enterprise solution is well worth the investment if organizations can use it to enhance endpoint security, optimize their use of resources and make their respective vendor technologies more efficient.