Apps, messaging and APIs – the three pillars of integration

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Cloud computing used to be the answer for complexity, but in a multi-cloud world, it now presents another set of questions. In the first post of this series, I talked about this very issue: tackling digital transformation in a multi-cloud world. Integration complexity isn’t an easy fix, but let’s talk about some of the biggest challenges businesses are facing and parse out some answers – apps, messaging and APIs.

 The ultimate app is dead

Ten years ago, many of us talked about what would make a first-rate app. Now, we’ve realized there is no such thing as the ‘ultimate’ app. Apps have taken over cloud computing to the point that large organizations have hundreds of apps running at any given moment across multiple clouds.

This need to craft custom connectors creates a need for developers to quickly connect apps without creating a bottleneck. IBM Cloud Integration’s App Connect is designed to allow developers to automate workflows and create connectors between apps without requiring any specialized training. This means line-of-business stakeholders no longer have to wait so long for IT to build connectors, and IT teams aren’t as bogged down.

App Connect helps integrate an app environment, including cloud, mobile and on-premises applications. It comes with pre-built connectors and templates to make most common integration challenges immediately solvable, for example marketing automation integration.

The backbone of your IT environment may be broken

Messaging is something you count on at the deepest levels of your infrastructure, almost like a utility that is assumed to always work. However, different clouds make it hard to run the same messaging architecture universally. In today’s world, security requirements are critical and no more so than end-to-end encryption across your messaging environment. Beyond security, if a messaging queue breaks, you could easily end up with redundancy issues that have messages backing up, being delivered more than once, out of order, or not at all, causing transactions to fail at potentially mission-critical business timing.

IBM MQ handles billions of messaging transactions daily, and with each message delivered one-time only. It can also provide end-to-end encryption on every message. You might be running IBM MQ right now in your data center, but are you getting the most out of your investment?  It’s important to note that MQ is a multi-cloud solution, allowing you to exchange messages across IBM Cloud (Public or Private), AWS, or Google.

APIs are a big deal

In a multi-cloud world, the continuous give-and-take of data is increasing at an astronomical rate. In the process, it is possible that sensitive data might be exposed to other departments within your organization, and outside as well. APIs are the engine by which these data transactions take place, and we have seen that modernizing how to handle APIs has become  important in IT.

IBM API Connect can simplify the way you handle APIs. First, API Connect creates the API automatically. Then, it exposes that data by using role-based permissions, API packaging constructs, and subscription and community management to be leveraged by developers working on an array of platforms, including IoT, mobile and web applications. From there, it provides insights that show which APIs provide the biggest impact in your organization, and options to monetize that data and create new revenue streams.

For example, using API Connect and API Management, Walmart created an API-driven cloud platform to solve a key business challenge –supporting their developers in a unique agile development environment. The solution allowed Walmart to decrease the time needed to deliver resources to developers by 99.9%, from five days to mere seconds. That’s the impact of APIs and API Connect.

I hope you will take away my three recommendations for simplifying some of the toughest issues plaguing today’s hybrid cloud environments: application management, messaging and APIs. To learn more, download the IDC Report, The Urgent Need for Hybrid Integration, or go to the IBM Cloud Integration website to learn more about IBM’s view on multi-cloud integration.

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