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​Middleware-as-a-service turns enterprise integration on its head

​Middleware-as-a-service turns enterprise integration on its head

Digitalisation, cloud, Internet of Things, microservices and APIs dominating enterprise integration agenda.

“Middleware-as-a-service” will continue to disrupt the market for traditional middleware in 2016, with digitalisation expected to force an almost unrelenting need for cloud, mobile, and API-led tactical integration.

Global analyst firm Ovum forecasts the global spend on middleware software is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8 percent between 2014 and 2019, amounting to $US22.8 billion by end of 2019.

Looking ahead, Ovum has identified six key trends that will impact the integration and middleware landscape in 2016, including:

  • iPaaS is firmly placed as a key enabler to agile hybrid integration
  • Development and adoption of middleware-as-a-service suites will continue to rise
  • Interest in micro services architecture will drive emergence of lightweight API management
  • IoT middleware will follow a cloud-centric evolution
  • API-led tactical integration will play an important role in digital business initiatives
  • Cloud-based B2B integration services will gain prominence

“The success of integration PaaS (iPaaS) is driving the emergence of ‘enterprise integration-as-a-service’, a new middleware-as-a-service paradigm arising from the need to support rapid cloud service, mobile application, B2B and data integration,” says Saurabh Sharma, Senior Analyst, Ovum.

“Integration is no longer a ‘luxury’ and enterprises are now more open to adopt agile approaches to integration for meeting time and cost-sensitive requirements of digital business initiatives.”

Consrquently, Sharma expects lightweight API management to emerge as a middleware layer for micro services architecture implementations, similar to the role of an enterprise service bus (ESB) in an service-oriented architecture (SOA) implementation.

However, it will not be surprising if the new products are marketed as a combination of “micro service/micro API” gateways and a management layer enabling service discovery, lifecycle management, community management, and operational monitoring and analytics.

While interest in micro services and enterprise APIs will drive API management adoption, Sharma believes APIs will continue to play an equally important role as flexible interfaces to digital services and enablers to the Internet of Things and new application development initiatives.

However, enterprise interest will shift toward monetisation and development of new API-enabled business and engagement models.

“Integration is key to realising value from IoT and enterprises will continue to use a range of middleware components for IoT integration, with some progress being made in terms of IoT interoperability,” Sharma adds.

“Cloud-based infrastructure and platform services will continue to play a key role in lowering the barriers to experimentation and enterprise IoT adoption.

“However, we expect hybrid middleware paradigms to be the norm for enterprise IoT initiatives.”

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