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Cloud Expo: Article

Hybrid Clouds and Data Liberation

A snapshot of what’s to come in 2013

Despite the immense potential for efficiency offered by the proliferation of cloud and SaaS solutions, integration of these solutions into often disparate enterprise IT frameworks continues to be a challenge for many businesses. Even traditional B2B integration faces greater complexity with the growing adoption of cloud and SaaS applications. Building on this complexity are things such as changes to privacy regulations that have occurred over the past decade - particularly in relation to healthcare and financial data - as well as the speed of data demands from distributed supply chains.

Over the next year, I anticipate that businesses will increasingly look to managed services that offer industry expertise, proven processes and in-depth technology to streamline cloud integration and data management initiatives that have been implemented over the past several years. With data volume, variety, velocity and therefore complexity increasing, companies are beginning to realize that integration and data management must be at the core of their IT architecture.

There are four key areas in which I expect to see significant advances related to cloud and managed services in 2013:

Managed services remain the "secret sauce" of successful integration
It's no secret that the complexity of integration is increasing with more regulations, security considerations, and burgeoning diversification and federation of data. This year, I expect to see renewed focus on adopting managed services solutions that combine technology, people, and processes, particularly when it comes to the marriage of integration and data management. The reality is that technology alone cannot solve the challenge of integrating disparate systems. Despite the rise of automation in integration projects, in 2013 I believe that companies will look to trusted managed services experts to obtain the human expertise that can drive the greatest efficiency in integration projects.

When it comes to cloud, services companies deliver the knock-out punch to their software brethren
Mounting pressure in the race to the cloud will be a major driving force in the technology industry in 2013, with players across diverse sectors looking to flesh out existing solutions and offer new ones through mergers and acquisitions. The reality is that solutions cannot remain static and expect to be competitive in the long term. Change and complexity is constantly growing and evolving, and solutions must dynamically grow with it - a growth often achieved through M&A.

As this convergence continues to take shape, I believe that Cloud Integration Brokers and service companies like IBM and Accenture will become the solutions du jour for enterprises making the move to the Cloud. According to a recent Gartner report, "Competitive Landscape: Integration Brokerage," over the past few years adoption of IB services SaaS integration and cloud services brokerage has rapidly accelerated, driving the overall IB market to $1.5 billion in 2012. I expect to see this trend continue as Cloud Integration Brokers offer more scalable, diverse, and dynamic solutions that streamline the move to the cloud and offer long-term scalability and adaptability.

Cloud adoption will drive a convergence across previously distinct integration solutions
Companies moving to the cloud will increasingly seek complete data integration solutions, moving away from the old models that distinguished between silos of integration "features," such as Application to Application (A2A), Business to Business (B2B), Managed File Transfer (MFT) and Business Process Management (BPM). The repercussions of this convergence in the integration market will have profound implications across IT organizations, impacting everything from internal Centers of Excellences, to the broader vendor landscape, and even the overall sourcing and deployment strategies for IT. I anticipate that, as a natural result of this shift across the industry, we can expect to see much more comprehensive and "data aware" integration architectures emerge over the next few years. I also believe that this shift will fundamentally change the way we think of integration and data management.

Vertical markets will turn to the private sector for data integration solutions that can scale
Over the next year, I expect to see a surge in demand for proven (private sector) data integration networks among healthcare organizations and government-funded Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). As it stands today, these organizations and HIEs continue to struggle to achieve a sustainable business model. In fact, don't be surprised to see up to 90% of all government-funded HIEs fail to reach sustainability by 2016. With minimal returns to show from initial grants, which in many cases were exhausted on implementation and maintenance of basic infrastructure integration, the HIEs that do manage to survive the next few years will seek out established private sector data networks and even managed services to provide the streamlined, efficient integration required for long-term viability. Furthermore, I believe that vertical markets will seek an integration solution that liberates and empowers data to become actionable as organizations continue to shift their focus toward providing a unique value to their constituency with this data in 2013.

More Stories By Bob Renner

Bob Renner is the President and CEO of Liaison Technologies. He has been in this role since 2002 and has successfully executed nine corporate acquisitions in the US and Europe. He acted as Liaison’s Chief Technology Officer in the company’s startup phase from 2000 – 2002.

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