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Most medium to large size businesses run their organizations on numerous business and IT systems. The IT systems have very often been developed and grown over the years and consist of different technologies and provided by different vendors. It is the job of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) to tie together these systems so that they can productively work together.
Successful integration of systems with EAI is not an easy task, and it’s one that businesses have IT groups have been struggling with for a long time. And it’s a task that’s only now grown more complex and difficult with the popularity of SaaS solutions.
Ovum estimates that globally organizations will be spending $14.4 billion annually on EAI solutions by 2016, based on their estimated annual growth rate of 8.3 percent. Ovum also sees an ever greater percentage of integration dollars going towards integrating SaaS solutions.
Another trend happening too is that more integration dollars are being spent on integration-platform as a service (iPaaS) solution. iPaaS provides services that run in the cloud that are used to integrate and govern both cloud and on-premise systems. iPaaS allows users to avoid having to deploy and manage their own hardware and application infrastructure for integrations. iPaaS vendors provide a solution that is secure and well tested, and one which follows the cloud model so that usage levels can be scaled up or down, as needed.
But despite the benefits, Ovum has declared that iPaaS isn’t a ‘silver bullet’, at least no just yet. iPaaS systems lack maturity and generally not able to fully address the complexity of integrations that many companies seek to accomplish. Saurabh Sharma, senior Ovum analyst for software, said that “While traditional integration approaches may enable interaction between SaaS and other on-premise and SaaS applications, the associated expenditure and implementation times are not always in line with IT budgets and project plans… Cloud-based integration solutions do align well and provide many sought-after benefits, but the solutions are not yet completely mature and offer less functionality than what is provided by traditional integration solutions.”