Legacy integration challenges create several value traps for enterprises. These IT challenges in the form of continual rebooting errors, scale-related outages, delays, etc. have steep cost overheads that negatively impact the bottom line.
Point-to-point connectivity approach for legacy system integration can be a major cost center and it cannot keep up with rapidly changing technology landscape. Maintaining a status quo on P2P legacy IT integration can have many more adverse effects.
Enterprises can move past these challenges and drive great value by migrating to an enterprise IT integration solution. Here’s how end-to-end integration addresses top 3 legacy integration challenges in an organization:
Legacy and stove-piped applications are bulwarks of stability and reliability for many enterprises, but they offer limited modes of integration with other applications.
Over time, many enterprises have relied upon proprietary and open source platforms for integrating applications. These platforms work fine till the time applications within an enterprise and firewall need to be connected. However, teams face problems when several cloud-based applications in a multi-dimensional environment need to be connected with stove-piped applications. This method demands heavy coding to define business rules and business logic. Enterprises deploy additional resources and purchase new licenses to deal with new code base and support worst case scenarios. Several issues prevent teams from improving the new trading partner onboarding time. Services are delayed till the time trading partners are onboarded. As a result, enterprises miss out in leveraging applications that exist in cloud.
Legacy systems are not entirely outmoded, they continue to be in use in many enterprises across different verticals. They also hold business critical data which can provide new opportunities to enterprises. The right solution to beat the legacy integration challenge is enterprise integration. It provides opportunity to integrate legacy systems with next-generation platforms, unlock processes, extend IT capabilities, and expose services.
Enterprise integration enables centralized management of all IT and information assets, enabling technology integration without heavy coding involved. In addition, it delivers the following advantages to teams:
Reduced computational force and CPU intensive workloads for technology integration.
Minimized CPU cost, software licenses and maintenance fees.
Improved agility as new services can be continuously developed and tested in parallel.
Increased efficiency as new services can be implemented with the latest open source technologies which were previously not accessible via legacy systems.
Accelerated time to revenue as business users and end users share tech workloads.
Improved SOA as all applications are decoupled through Hub & Spoke that enables services to be published across multi-dimensional environment.
Enterprise integration provides a simple route map to build workflows and build new functionalities outside the core of legacy applications. These functionalities can be used to build new business logic with humanized workflows for exception or error handling. Business teams get the unique ability to deliver messages from new processes to legacy applications or vice versa. Enterprises can define whether a legacy or new functionality should be used for a specific case at hand. These advantages help in packaging legacy applications into web services and exposing them to other relevant processes without complex coding. Enterprises can enable a digital strategy that helps creating new revenue models for operational excellence.
Latency issues and heavy workloads are two immediate barriers to successful system integration and that’s why exclusive concerns for enterprises. Inflexible nature of policy servers, on-premise databases, policies, customizations and encryption are big blocks in the pathway.
Many legacy applications are fused with bespoke infrastructure that is difficult to maintain. These subsystems don’t provision direct data loads and that’s why data transmission is obstructed by heavy API layering.
The toughest challenge is moving workloads and data residing in these systems to cloud-based environment. Enterprises throw an army of developers for programming manual steps to move these workloads and bringing data from legacy systems. Developers perform brute JAVA coding for setting-up custom validations, triggers, workflows, duplication detection rules, etc.
Programmers perform several steps and navigate through several interfaces for each workload. This entire process requires 15 to 20 minutes of developer time per interface. Each set of data needs to be manually fed into systems. All this leads to data loss during data migration.
Scale and workloads issues are relatively bigger for enterprises with thousands of enterprise applications on-premise. These systems don’t support 'concept of sessions' and conversation approaches of modern-day applications. Also, legacy applications are mounted on outdated hardware built to run only on a single server. Due to these architectural differences and design models, legacy integration consumes more network bandwidth and slog. That’s why the cost to replace business logic quadruples over a period of time.
It is no longer feasible to rely on APIs for dealing with applications workloads. They solve less than half of the application workload problem and suffer from a number of drawbacks:
One change in the API links can break other downstream integrations
APIs don’t scale to deal with unexpected loads
Lack of visibility to who owns the data
These roadblocks hold back multi-cloud deployments, making transitioning an expensive and cumbersome initiative. VMware and MIT Technology Review’s report reveals that 62% of IT leaders believe that legacy systems integration is a painful undertaking. This report also reveals that 26% of IT leaders noticed an impact on data governance.
The impact is disruptive, and organizations should prepare a strategy beforehand for start-to-end hybrid integration. Enterprise IT integration enables a range of design practices to support applications in a high-latency environment. It helps teams to respond to projects without IT and vendor involvement. Special purpose monitoring tools and dashboards allow teams to monitor application health and avoid network breakdowns.
Enterprise IT integration ensures scalability and redundancy of applications. It allows teams to integrate with different types of protocols, formats, workloads, etc. It packs pre-built connectors provide robust support to connect applications and technologies. On-premise applications can be connected with cloud-based repositories, protocols, and data formats and hosted in any environment.
Integration workflows which took months of time can now be completed in few minutes. Orchestration across complex network of APIs becomes fast and easy with the help of centralized authentication. Moreover, same APIs can be reused across any ecosystem.
With enterprise integration, teams get a real-time engine that can be scaled easily. They get fast access to systems they are integrating without unnecessary hammering or customizations. Teams can queue up change requests & message queues and manage them in a controlled manner with the help of a buffering mechanism.
Network downtimes are extremely damaging and they mostly come from IT complexity, human errors, and incompatible changes. They have a significant impact on an enterprise’s image as partners or customers cannot place orders, business processes cannot be updated, and employees miss-out on business data exchange.
Agility, innovation, and efficiency are some of the factors driving new technology adoption across enterprises. Haphazard adoption of technologies with less focus on integration is making their enterprise IT ecosystem complex and heterogeneous. Enterprises are left with multiple hardware systems, shadow IT applications, IaaS, and data center infrastructure that doesn’t get absorbed in the ecosystem.
While integrating a complex ecosystem, teams unintentionally set up multiple single points of failure. They use spaghetti squash coding to connect multiple components. Multiple instances of interface are set up to manage these components. As a result, failure of one component automatically leads to failure of other components. Even with a High Availability (HA) architecture or monitoring system, teams cannot predict that when a downtime can impact the entire setup. Undetected issues gradually snowball, lower efficiency and increase operational cost.
Enterprises integration packs a single monitoring solution to oversee the performance of information systems in an ecosystem it alerts IT teams about potential breakdowns much ahead of time. Teams can take preventive actions accordingly and avoid downtimes before they outbreak.
The right integration solution enables an Application Performance Management (APM) strategy to help business applications run seamlessly. APM functionalities identify and isolate performance issues in advance, and diagnose them for early problem resolution. Its pattern-based workflow management ensures redundancy of all services, maintenance of systems, and rehydration of runtimes in data centers.