Do you remember the “good old days” of IT, when an entire enterprise could run on a single LAN, with all their business-critical applications and infrastructure hosted in a closet down the hall? Now, the hundreds of systems, data sources, and platforms most organizations rely on are dispersed throughout the world. Getting all these systems to communicate and work together is critical to achieving digital transformation.
That’s likely a factor in why, according to Gartner, at least 65% of organizations will implement a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) by 2022. But what exactly is a Hybrid Integration Platform, and how can it enhance efficiencies in your systems? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP)?
A Hybrid Integration Platform, or HIP, is a system integration framework first popularized by Gartner. It enables real-time information sharing by connecting all business-critical applications across on-premises, cloud, mobile, and IoT infrastructure. A HIP is what’s known as an integration platform as a service, or iPaaS, the functionality of which is made available as a cloud-based platform. However, a traditional iPaaS typically only handles plug-and-play integrations between SaaS applications. By comparison, a Hybrid Integration Platform can connect hundreds of applications, including your on-premises business software.
A HIP facilitates rapid API creation and lifecycle management and allows users (or constituents) to create and secure data integration flows across diverse data streams. The foundation of a Hybrid Integration Platform includes the following four dimensions:
A Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) enables the formation of a “facilitation team” that includes any new and existing stakeholders (or constituents) in the integration project. The HIP breaks the facilitation team up into roles and assigns integration tasks according to those roles, which include:
Integration Specialists: The engineers who perform the technical tasks involved in integration.
Citizen Integrators: The department managers, marketing specialists, and other people who are critical to the integration project but handle non-technical tasks.
“Ad Hoc” Integrators: People who handle one or two individual integration tasks but don’t have a specific role in the project.
Smart Machines: The automation and machine-learning tools or smart devices that perform integration tasks without a human behind the wheel.
The endpoints are the devices (physical or virtual) where the systems reside. Remember that an HIP improves upon iPaaS by including endpoints in all possible hosting locations, such as:
On-Premises: The systems residing in your offices or data centers. This allows you to integrate legacy and custom applications.
Cloud: Your SaaS (software as a service) and cloud-hosted systems.
Mobile: Your mobile platforms and applications that are used on smartphones and tablets.
Internet of Things (IoT): The systems you use to manage and control IoT devices, such as security cameras and manufacturing equipment.
In an HIP, “integration models” refer to the actual entities you’re integrating, which include applications, data, and business processes.
Finally, the HIP analyzes your overall deployment model. For example, you might have a hybrid cloud deployment that includes both public and private clouds, or a mix of cloud and on-premises systems. Your deployment model is the big-picture overview of your systems that the HIP will use to create integrations.
Essentially, a Hybrid Integration Platform uses these four dimensions to provide the solutions you need to integrate data and applications across your on-premises and cloud environments.
How Can a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) Enhance Efficiencies in Your Systems?
An HIP provides the framework of methodologies, tools, and solutions you need to develop your data integration and digital transformation strategy. An HIP enhances efficiencies in your systems by:
Simplifying cloud migrations – An HIP allows you to take advantage of the flexibility, agility, and scalability of the cloud for certain applications while maintaining integrations with your legacy and custom systems on-premises.
Increasing agility – An HIP facilitates dynamic integrations, so you can easily add or remove endpoints and integration models as your business requirements change.
Supporting business growth – HIPs use role-based constituent access, which makes it easy to add new users as your integration team grows. Plus, the HIP’s dynamic integrations and self-service management capabilities mean it can scale with your business as your data requirements and user base grow.
Implement a Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) to Power Your Digital Transformation
A Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) makes it possible to achieve digital transformation on your terms without throwing out your legacy systems and on-premises enterprise technology. Maybe you need to keep some systems on-premises for security or compliance purposes, or maybe you plan to eventually transition to an entirely cloud- and SaaS-based infrastructure. Either way, the HIP facilitates seamless connections and communications across your entire environment.