Sooner or later, every company has to deal with digital transformation and modernization of corporate IT. Cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular for these initiatives. In our iPaaS series so far, you have learned four good reasons why iPaaS should be the heart of your cloud strategy. The fifth and final reason shows how you can continue to get maximum use of your existing systems in the modernization process.
In Part I of our blog series, we introduce the hybrid integration platform (HIP) approach and explain how an iPaaS solution can complement your cloud strategy. In Part II, we discuss the benefits of an iPaaS solution in terms of your business continuity management. Part III deals with application integration and explains how it can be orchestrated quickly and easily. In Part IV, we cover multi-tenancy and scalability and Part V tells you how iPaaS can help you expand automation. Now, here is the last reason why iPaaS should be the heart of your cloud strategy:
With iPaaS, legacy systems stay in use longer
Today, many companies still run expensive inventory systems to map complex business processes. A partial or complete change to SaaS approaches would likely not be an economical solution for these companies. However, a hybrid platform approach offers the opportunity to reassess the importance of the existing systems in the company, and to integrate them into a comprehensive transformation strategy. This can be done, for example, with a strengths-weaknesses analysis. With the results, a decision can be made as to which legacy systems should be replaced or supplemented with resources from the public cloud.
Most companies are guided by economic considerations for IT. They ask questions like: Can the existing system be made future-ready with moderate effort and can it continue to operate profitably, or would it be better to invest in a new solution? Keep in mind, resources such as functionality, storage space or computing power from the cloud can often make up for anything you might lose with the existing systems.
Often, due to a lack of developers familiar with the old technology, legacy systems are packaged behind a modern Web API facade. This allows the core of the legacy system to be used by modern applications. But whatever your company decides, hybrid integration approaches are the link between the old world of legacy systems and the new world of cloud services.
Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP): iPaaS maximizes the life of existing systems
Older proprietary applications can be connected relatively quickly and easily with each other or with the applications of (SaaS) third-party providers via iPaaS. Then, existing IT solutions and modern IoT solutions can be integrated. For example, say you’re collecting sensor data on one of your products to help you predict inventory needs. You have an IoT gateway that combines and pre-processes sensor data from embedded devices and transfers the data to a public cloud. From there, the data is processed and forwarded to your legacy inventory systems. Thanks to your expanded functionality, the IT legacy systems can now play in the industrial digitization space – despite their age-related limitations.
The service life of legacy systems is extended if modern technologies are used to support them. Premature investment costs are then saved. An important point here is that many existing systems have not been prepared for connectivity. This makes them particularly vulnerable to security risks and opens the door to cyber-attacks. This is where carefully selected components from the HIP arsenal can be of great help and shield them from external dangers.
HIP allows for more secure data exchange between an older legacy IT system (such as an aging, highly customized on-premises ERP system) and a modern, cloud-based CRM system with iPaaS technology in between. And even the APIs of the API façade retrofitted in the above example of an inventory system can be easily protected using API management integrated in iPaaS.
HIP: Strengths of the SEEBURGER integration approach
The SEEBURGER iPaaS solution is based on SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS). Here is one way to protect your investments with BIS. Integration tasks that have been outsourced to a SEEBURGER iPaaS solution can be migrated to a self-operated BIS integration platform at any time with moderate effort.
The BIS integration platform combines all the protocols, formats and technologies required in the B2B environment in a single product. SEEBURGER’s middleware stack is optimally integrated and contains only solutions developed in-house. Individual modules can therefore work together smoothly. This increases the overall stability and availability of the integration platform, which helps process automation.
Further advantages of the SEEBURGER iPaaS solution:
- all integration requirements are met with a single platform
- all monitoring is centralized,
- the operation is safe and highly available,
- the pricing model is simple.
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Written by: Dr. Martin KuntzDr. Martin Kuntz has worked for SEEBURGER AG since 2000, and is a member of the Board of Directors since 2015. His strengths lie in the Cloud, business applications, and the digitalization of specialty and technical business processes. He has degrees in physics and business administration. Earlier, he worked for several years in the Simulation department of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and for Airbus subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space.