Integration – The Key Cloud Battleground

Integration has been discussed quite a lot on DAM News before.  This article by William Vambenepe describes how integration will be an important competitive battleground as more traditional larger enterprise application vendors need to replace their on-premise based integration components with ones that can work on a Cloud platform:

Enterprise software integration is hard and risky. Once you’ve invested in integrating your enterprise applications with one another (and/or with your partners’ applications), that integration becomes the #1 reason why you don’t want to change your applications. Or even upgrade them. That’s because the integration is an extension of the application being integrated. You can’t change the app and keep the integration.” [Read More]

William continues later with this:

For all intents and purposes, the integration is subservient to the applications. The opportunity (or risk, depending on which side you’re on) is if that model flips over as part of the move to Cloud Computing. If the integration become central and the applications become peripheral. The integration is the application. Which is really just pushing “the network is the computer” up the stack.” [Read More]

This is touching on a few different themes that we examined in the past, notably:

  • Specific applications become less significant and just points where a digital asset (or any other digital object) might pass through or interact with.
  • End users will want (or more likely demand) that they can mix and match between different applications and combine them in ways that suit the task they want to do.  They won’t accept or buy into monolithic multi-purpose enterprise packages any longer.
  • Control of the Cloud integration infrastructure will be immensely significant and give you the upper-hand over other platform competitors and also anyone who has to use it too (i.e. drive trains on the track you own).  If you decide you like their margins, you can create a lot of problems for them and hand yourself some big advantages too.  See Apple’s near single-handed destruction of Flash for an example.

If you take the view (as I do) that ‘The Cloud’ is essentially just a poetic description for outsourcing via the Internet then it makes sense that there will be a lot of attention applied to industrialising the mechanisms of it.  As William points out, existing big players won’t want to see the wheels come off their gravy train just because the delivery model is changing.

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