As enterprise adoption of cloud-based applications gains traction globally and in Asia, IT teams have to manage the conundrum of connecting new technology and existing, legacy systems.
This particular challenge, also referred to as hybrid IT, spotlights the integration of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that are being adopted at a rapid pace. While the cloud and SaaS benefits are numerous and obvious, especially in a capricious, erratic, and dynamic post-pandemic environment, the challenges and suitability for hybrid IT integration remains misunderstood.
According to IDC’s 2021 report on Public Cloud Services Spending in Asia-Pacific, the estimated spending on public cloud services in the region is expected to hit US$124 billion by 2025. Similarly, IDC expects cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to grow by 32.7% in 2021, while SaaS will be the second largest expenditure item (41%) for organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. Platform as a service (PaaS) follows with a 12% share.
Hybrid IT brings benefits and challenges
Organisations are adopting new applications as SaaS instead of on-premises, and they are migrating a significant number of on-premises applications to the cloud. The many advantages here include not only business agility and time to value, but also ease of use, predictable costs, and scalability. However, IT teams are left to monitor and manage this sometimes complex, mixed environment of decentralised applications and data silos. This decentralised, heterogeneous environment characterises hybrid IT.
The challenge of merging new business-specific SaaS applications with disparate legacy systems are significant for IT and business leaders. They are, however, finding ways to integrate data and reap the many benefits. Integrating disparate applications enables companies to truly benefit by aggregating operational data, automating and accelerating business processes, and making informed critical business decisions. The key to success from a decentralised infrastructure is integrating applications and data, regardless of where they reside.
Determining your integration strategy for hybrid IT
According to Gartner, to determine the best integration strategy for the business and IT environment, “integration managers must systematically address the challenge of integrating any combination of in-the-cloud and on-premises applications and services.”
One strategy for addressing these challenges is to continually reconsider the enhancement of services and products with new technologies, while another is to investigate the challenges in managing the IT environment. Organisations can consider the following steps to determine the right hybrid IT integration strategy:
- Take inventory of your cloud services requirements, as well as cloud applications already implemented across your organisation to determine ways that IT and the business can benefit from having centralised infrastructure through integration.
- Evaluate if your existing integration strategy can address the growing needs of hybrid IT.
- Work with integration platform as a service (iPaaS) vendors to develop a proof-of-concept project for iPaaS and your hybrid IT environment. This would enable you to complement your existing infrastructure and align your integration needs.
The above aspects become significantly important as organisations adopt hybrid IT to take advantage of the speed, agility, and economics of the cloud. Therefore, there is an increasingly critical need to look at integration in a new way.
Today, IT leaders are charged with integrating disparate systems, applications, devices, and infrastructure solutions with emerging business needs, including real-time integration to support on-demand information requests, B2B integrations to support business partner trading, and a single environment in which to monitor and manage integrations across their organisation.
iPaaS is purpose-built to handle such complex requirements with agility, scale, and flexibility in today’s rapidly developing IT landscape, while future-proofing organisations’ investments and subsequently increasing the value of their IT investment.