The rise of self-service data integration

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Circuity integrationIT service providers have made billions of dollars integrating applications inside and outside the cloud, but a new category of data integration platforms in the cloud has the potential to cut into those profits. The transformation of data integration into a self-service offering that requires no programming expertise whatsoever is threatening the need for IT experts. For IT services providers, the rise of these services represents something of a double-edged sword.

Two examples of these new classes of data integration services are Bedrock Data and Adeptia, which interestingly have taken different approaches to solving a similar problem.

Merging dissimilar data

This week, Bedrock Data launched a namesake service that ingests data and converts it into a proprietary data format that resides in the cloud. The data can then be exported in any data format that an end user desires. That means, for example, a report generated in a Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) application can automatically be converted into a document that can plug directly into an instance of the Marketo marketing automation platform.

Adeptia, meanwhile, uses the cloud to open connections between end users, allowing them to share data in real time. An end user simply sends an invite to connect with someone, and they can both share any type of data they please.

Neither vendor has any kind of a channel program designed to engage IT service providers, though. Instead, they are both counting on viral marketing to raise awareness among end users about the potential business value of services that cost next to nothing per user per month and can be fired up in a matter of minutes.

The value of self-service data integration services

Naturally, IT service providers will be among the end users who eventually discover these services, so it’s only a matter of time before some of them begin to use these services on behalf of their clients. The fact is there are thousands of data integration projects that are never undertaken because no one has the time to manage them or the resources needed to fund them. For many solution providers, self-service data integration services in the cloud can quickly solve data integration headaches that often leave customers feeling frustrated.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, are IT service providers that profit handsomely from delivering point-to-point integration between applications using programming talent that is both expensive and often hard to come by. While the advent of REST application programming interfaces (APIs) and JavaScript have made it simpler and faster to accomplish those tasks, they still require some level of programming expertise. But Bedrock Data and Adeptia are making the case that the ultimate “citizen integrator” is the end user themselves.

It might take a while for self-service data integration to become the general rule rather than the exception, but it’s unlikely that this type of integration will eliminate the need for every professional services engagement. One thing that is certain is that when it comes to adding value to data integration, IT services firms will need to significantly up their game in the months and years ahead.

Photo Credit: yellowcloud on Flikr. Used under CC 2.0 license. 

  

Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Trends

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