The New Integration Workers – Citizen Integrators

Laptop 300x240 The New Integration Workers – Citizen IntegratorsI had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration (AADI) Summit in Las Vegas two weeks ago, and one of the messages I heard loud and clear was that there’s a new force in integration: the Citizen Integrator.

For those of you who follow this blog, that term probably isn’t new to you. But this is the first time we are hearing so much about this seismic change in the integration market.

Who are these Citizen Integrators and How are they Changing the IT Landscape in your Organization?

Although the label makes me think of community activists in the hallways of corporations around the world, these new integration workers are simply the people who have depended on IT to deliver their integration projects for many years. They are people like you and me, not working within the IT organization but working directly for the line of business, either in sales, HR, finance or any other department. Sometimes these people are in business analyst roles, and sometimes they might have some practical technical skills, even making up a shadow IT organization within the line of business (LOB).

The difference now, though, is that these people are becoming both more challenged to deliver projects in a timely way, as well as empowered to do so with lighter-weight, consumer-like tools that make it easier to synchronize their data across their personal systems and their corporate systems of data.

How are Their Use Cases Different?

The types of projects (and they are typically projects, not department-wide systems) that Citizen Integrators take on are typically not that complicated, requiring fast time to completion. Most of these projects are in support of cloud service adoption, where departmental cloud services need data from existing systems such as ERP and CRM systems.

Since these projects are not complex, the tooling required to create integrations should be easier to use that typical application suite tooling, and is often light weight. This has given rise to a new market of integration services typically labeled iPaaS, or Integration Platform as a Service.

iPaaS solutions are typically viewed as complementary to on-premises integration platforms since they provide for more flexible integration scenarios that involve cloud services, especially in cloud-to-cloud integration use cases, but also in cloud-to-on-premises scenarios.

What are the Implications for Your Business?

The biggest challenges for organizations today, especially for those that are adopting lots of cloud services, is that the number of cloud integration projects will continue to proliferate. By some estimates, the purchasing of business technology spending by people in the organization outside of IT will rise to about half of all business technology in the next 3-4 years.

With that reality taking shape, it’s no wonder that your current integration team, for example Integration Competency Centers or Integration Centers of Excellence, can keep up with demand. Especially with IT budgets continuing to tighten.

That’s why we will see the role of traditional IT integration specialists transforming to facilitate the Citizen Integrators, often providing the tooling such as an iPaaS as well as pre-defined assets such as services and templates, to ease the job of the non-IT integrators.

Next Steps

Clearly, this trend is on the rise. Gartner’s analysts are talking about it because their clients are asking them about it. And that means that people within your organization are probably already seeing these changes. What about you? Do you see these changes in your organization today?

At Software AG, we have been tracking this trend for the past couple of years, and that’s the vision that has been driving our newest release, webMethods Integration Cloud. You can find out more about our new iPaaS, and even sign up for a free trial, by visiting www.webMethodsCloud.com.

 The New Integration Workers – Citizen Integrators

About David Overos

David Overos has written 12 posts in this blog.

David Overos is Director of Product Marketing at Software AG with responsibilities for webMethods Integration Cloud. With over 20 years of enterprise software experience, David has specialized in product marketing and product management roles for application, B2B, and cloud integration technologies.

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