When a business wanted to integrate two disparate systems, it wrote its own code. Now an increasing number of data sources are being brought into the mix, making the maintenance of code a nightmare. Bus architecture was introduced to solve this.
In the early 2000s, a means to connect services, which we know as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), became popular. Over the last 15 years, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) has been widely adopted as middleware to solve complex SOA challenges. Today, organizations focus on becoming digital integration has gone beyond being complex. With Internet of Things (IoT), they now border on the surreal.
An Internet of Things (IoT) study by Gartner says 6.4 billion connected things will be in use in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015 . This is an inordinately large number. Many organizations have already begun to realize that device and data integration techniques developed two decades ago will crumble under the pressure of such numbers. The problem becomes even more acute when you consider the growing need for real-time analysis of data.
As the number of connected devices grows, organizations will have to re-visit their integration strategy. This won’t remain a technical discussion. Integration strategy will directly impact customer experience and business insight.
Businesses would do well to start scripting their strategy in two areas. The first is the outside (external), which produces high-volume data from sensors and systems. The aim should be to hook up to these systems over which the business may not necessarily have control.
The second is inside the business (internal), where the data is ingested and archived in system of records before being mixed with data from ERP, SCM, MES and CRM to be quickly pushed to analytical engines that support customer-facing systems of experience. These, in turn, create insights, decisions (see Figure 1) and contextual and personalized engagement for customers in industries as wide ranging as retail and banking, travel and education; deliver real-time lifesaving interventions for users of mobile medical devices; generate reports, insights and send alerts for business decision-making; manage energy consumption on plant floors; complete real-time reconciliation of transactions; detect and prevent intrusions into physical and non-physical systems, etc.