To start with, let us define what “Hybrid” actually means in this context.
The word “Hybrid” means according to Oxford Languages “of mixed character; composed of different elements” and in the world of enterprise integration the term Hybrid Integration Platform was initially developed by Gartner and describes four dimensions where “different elements” come into play.
1. Deployment models
Systems residing or data being generated in different deployment settings.
- Edge: systems/data in distributed locations
- On-Premises: systems/data on site
- Cloud: systems/data in Cloud Platforms
- SaaS: systems/data in SaaS Applications
2. Integration models
It’s not only data that the Digital Enterprise needs to Integrate and Automate.
- Data: data in one or more locations need to be transformed, integrated and acted upon
- Applications: applications that need to communicate with each other
- Processes: business and operation processes
- B2B: systems across different companies
All data types
- IoT: machines, cameras, sensors. Legacy and new
- On premises systems: all your legacy and modern systems on site
- Cloud Providers: Cloud platforms like Azure, AWS, Google Cloud etc
- SaaS: any internet based application like Salesforce and ServiceNow
- Mobile: systems and applications available on mobile platforms
4. Constituents - or stakeholders
- Integration specialists & developers: people with technical knowledge involved in integration projects. Typically from central IT and R&D teams.
- Citizen super-users: technical savvy people in different departments
- Citizen integrators: people that are not technically strong. Managers and normal departmental users.
- Cross functional management: leadership in different parts of the business
New requirements have made older integration solutions obsolete
The Hybrid Integration Platforms of tomorrow need to meet some key new requirements. Most importantly they need to be:
Smart - with Intelligent Workflows for Automations
Older integration platforms like Enterprise Service Buses and iPaaS platforms in principle were designed to move and sync data between different systems.
Including Intelligent Workflows in the middle that can analyze and act on advanced conditions, including AI/ML opens up for adding automations faster and easier than ever before.
Edge enabled - for Horizontal Integration completely on-premise, inside the firewall
If the integration and automations are between data endpoints that all are on-premise or inside the firewall then it makes sense to run the automations locally on local integration nodes, without exposing them to the internet.
Some solutions allow for connecting to on-premise systems with simple gateways but then all the data is sent to a cloud service where the data is processed before it is being sent back to another on-premise system. This type of architecture has a lot of disadvantages, including security, data latency, cost and processing performance. It just doesn't make any sense. Processing in the cloud makes sense primarily for SaaS-to-SaaS integrations.
IoT data and new sensors like vision cameras also hugely benefit from local intelligent processing, at the edge - close to the origin of the data.
Event driven - real-time actions on new or changed data
Older platforms were designed for syncing data in batch at specific intervals. As the world is becoming more real-time oriented this is no longer accepted. Actions need to be instant.
Any streaming data, changed data or new data should be collected and acted upon in real time.
IoT enabled - bridging the Physical and Digital world
When companies start to look closer on how they could move faster, lower cost and innovate if they could bridge the gap between the physical world and their IT infrastructure they will uncover enormous opportunities. Very few companies will be without opportunities here when taken the following into consideration:
- Production sites
- Machines and devices
- Supply Chain
The intersection of the physical and digital worlds sits with amazing opportunities and Hybrid Integration Platforms that have native capabilities to deal with all types of data will give most companies clear advantages. What could you do, when Machines Talk?
The Crosser Platform - built for the the future
We designed the platform for all these requirements and more. We strongly believe that digital transformation is not a project but thousands of mini-projects and use cases that needs to be implemented. In order for this to happen, the power to innovate needs to be delegated and distributed within organizations.
The companies that empower more people to be part of the solution will be the winners of tomorrow. The rest will continue to have IT departments that are bottlenecks resulting in a much lower pace of progress.
Read more about Hybrid Integration here →