12 Jan 2011

Five Key Business Integration Predictions for 2011

Find out why 2011 is being called “the year of integration” by some top business integration analysts.

While a great deal of hype surrounded SOA governance and cloud computing in 2010, the business integration community continued to develop further into the business and IT mainstream.  As a result of continuing market volatility, many tech and business analysts are now predicting that 2011 will focus on less abstract IT concepts like the Cloud, and instead will look toward business integration and business process management (BPM) as a pragmatic and cost-effective means of making business operations leaner, more efficient, and more flexible.

We predict the following key business integration trends will be high on the CIO agenda in 2011:

Business Intelligence Meets Business Integration

Querying historical data to answer questions is no longer going to cut it for effective business intelligence.  In the future we will first ask the question and then throw data at it, enabling businesses to react to intelligence in real-time.  In order to do this we will need to combine business intelligence with business integration, making way for complex event processing (CEP).

Both business intelligence and business integration have been growing alongside one another for several years now, and many analysts feel that the two are now poised to work together. As Rajani Baburajan recently stated in her column on InfoTech Spotlight, “BI tools that were once deployed as standalone products will acquire bundle form in 2011. That includes business intelligence as a [value-added] necessity as part of integration solutions.”

Be sure to read our article about predictive business intelligence here.

IT as a Revenue Driver

2010 was a year of reducing cost reduction and raising net income or the bottom line.   While this will remain a key focus, organisations are now looking at how they can increase their top line revenue.  Ultimately this translates to how to create and keep customers.

IT offers many opportunities to improve customer experience, cross sell new products and services based on an individual customers buying habits, and reducing customer churn.

IT executives and leaders will need to grasp this opportunity in order to represent themselves as a change enabler and maintain a seat at the top table.

Business Integration Weather Report: A Dissipating Cloud Leads Companies Back to Solutions

There’s no doubt that while the old application service provider model, or the cloud has been immensely successful for many organisations.  However cloud computing was over hyped in 2010 along with SOA Governance which never really took off and the continuing market trends are pushing IT focuses back towards being more pragmatic.

The world is becoming increasingly connected and in 2011, analysts believe that business solutions are going to be sought out that can solve new challenges faced by businesses operating in volatile market conditions.

Business integration will undoubtedly play a key role in this trend for 2011, particularly in the realm of B2B integration, where partners will need streamlined data sharing and creative ways to serve customers’ increased expectations.

Read our article about how business integration can tighten up disparate systems here.

The Banking world will need to prepare for Basel III

Basel III will be a key focus for financially focused business integration professionals in 2011. All major G-20 financial leaders have committed to adopting the Basel III Capital Framework by 2011, which means that this year will be spent ramping up for Basel III implementation by the end of 2012.

As we have covered in a previous article, while Basel III will undoubtedly bring with it stronger and more reliable financial regulations, the new requirements are bound to put a great deal of pressure on financial institutions, since the implementation of the new rules needs to happen relatively quickly. Thus, business integration specialists who have a strong grasp of the new Basel III regulations will be well positioned in the marketplace.

Read about our article on Basel III requirements here.

An Agile Resurgence

Companies will continue to increase their commitment to Agile methodologies.  The lightweight incremental software development methodology welcomes changing requirements, self-organising teams, daily co-operation between businesspeople and developers and responsible pair programming.

To date, most Agile deliveries are driven from specialist projects, without much involvement from the enterprise integration community.  In 2011 we expect more organisations to mandate Agile across the enterprise, particularly those that have a successful track record of Agile project delivery.  This will drastically impact the way large IT integration projects are delivered.

To be sure, no one can ever fully predict the arc of IT trends in a given year, especially since business remains tumultuous. However, because business integration is rooted firmly in IT and business practices that lead to flexibility and efficiency, it seems logical that it will lead the way as a popular focus in 2011.

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