What will you do if you’ve chosen the wrong middleware solution? Will you look to replace it right away, or just live with it and suffer the costly consequences?
This has been Chris’ dilemma ever since he realized the shortcomings of the traditional integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) model. They decided to implement it because several expert technology reviews painted the picture that iPaaS is the silver bullet to all data integration problems. At first, the integration process ran perfectly well. But as they went along, the disadvantages of iPaaS surfaced one after another.
As the CTO and the one who proposed the iPaaS implementation, Chris knew that he must do something to save their company from its costly consequences.
The middleware modernization was mainly for their Supply Chain 360 project, which aims to enable greater transparency and visibility across their supply web. They wanted to modernize their integration infrastructure because their legacy ESB middleware solution could not keep up anymore with their changing business landscape. Since they migrated their key business processes to the Cloud, data integration has become more complex and challenging, particularly in the supply chain arena. They hoped that iPaaS could help them overcome this challenge and enable them to become a truly digital business.
They were dazzled by the “self-service” integration approach of iPaaS. They thought that it could help them keep costs to a minimum because they can simply leverage citizen integrators instead of hiring expensive IT specialists. As soon as iPaaS was rolled out, they looked for talents to spearhead the integration. Unfortunately, talents were very scarce, so they resorted to a professional services engagement with the same vendor that offered them the iPaaS solution.
The third-party team was able to support the initial stages of the integration. But as they moved forward, the team could not keep up anymore because of the growing complexities of the integration process and dynamic supply chain events. The number of required integrations increased as more and more applications were woven into their supply chain infrastructure.
But all this was just the tip of the iceberg. When the European Union announced its new data regulation standard, they had to band-aid their iPaaS solution with bolted-on features and fixes to keep up with the new data standard. These changes resulted in added costs and complexities.
“I think this is the end of my career here,” Chris murmured to himself as he was preparing a status report.
“Why?” Laurent, the CDO, asked him.
“You have sharp ears, man. iPaaS is giving me a headache.”
“Giving us a headache,” clarified Laurent. “Actually, that’s the reason I dropped by your office. There’s something I’d like to discuss with you. Do you have a moment?”
“Yeah, sure. Go ahead,” he replied.
“I had a short meeting with our CRO about our GDPR preparation. We agreed that relying on iPaaS is really a bad idea from a compliance perspective. No offense, Chris, but I think we are just building another incarnation of middleware that cannot enable us to become fully compliant. iPaaS can’t help us ensure that the data coming in and out of the integrated systems is secure, compliant, and protected. We need a middleware solution that can also cater to our data compliance needs.”
“That’s exactly my thought, Laurent,” said Chris. “I understand that we process different kinds of data that are subject to different data regulations and standards. Actually I saw that our iPaaS solution cannot make us fully compliant with various standards –– and now that the GDPR is upon us, I’m looking at how to ensure that our integration efforts are aligned with our data compliance initiatives.”
“We badly need a platform that can enable us to sustain privacy and security compliance for all major regulations –– one that can help us ensure compliance across the entire data lifecycle,” added Chris.
“Chris, I’ve been in contact with a vendor and I believe they can provide us a better solution –– a holistic and more sustainable solution,” said Laurent.
“I don’t think the Board will gamble on another middleware solution,” said Chris.
“I know, I know. But I am confident that they will if they learn about Liaison’s ALLOY® Platform,” said Laurent.
“ALLOY? That rings a bell, but isn’t that just another kind of iPaaS? Not sure, though. Enlighten me, please. Tell me why implementing Liaison’s ALLOY Platform is a more sustainable approach and what makes it different from traditional middleware solutions,” asked Chris.
“It’s not an iPaaS, Chris. It’s better –– a lot better –– than iPaaS,” replied Laurent.
“The ALLOY Platform is a data Platform-as-a-Service or dPaaS, which means it is focused on all aspects of data and not just on integration alone. It is a cloud-based platform that unifies the processes of integration, data management, and data persistence in a fully managed, fully compliant environment,” added Laurent.
“It’s good in terms of integration because it can tackle all patterns of data unification –– A2A, B2B/EDI, cloud services, ETL, hybrid… you name it! It can also seamlessly connect any two application end points such as cloud, mobile, device, and on-premise apps.”
“On top of that, the ALLOY Platform can provide us not just integration solutions but also data management and data storage capabilities –– all as managed services on a hosted platform. We can be protected from the complexities of explosive data growth.”
“Interesting. But what about data compliance? You mentioned ‘fully compliant environment’; how fully compliant is that?” asked Chris.
“Great that you asked. Liaison’s ALLOY Platform provides built-in, end-to-end security and compliance. It can cater to various data compliance standards and regulations including those that we need to comply with such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, PII, and of course, the EU GDPR.” explained Laurent.
“That really sounds good. But you know that we had a hard time hiring and training talents for our iPaaS integration, right?” said Chris.
“I know what you’re implying, Chris. But for ALLOY integration, Liaison can provide us a professional services team. We don’t need to build an in-house team for this –– they assure us that their team can really support us throughout the entire integration –– and take note, not only in terms of data and systems integration but also in terms of data management, data compliance, and so on.
“In short, Liaison can provide us not only the right solution for our data integration, data management, and data compliance needs, but also the right talent pool to help us maximize value and minimize disruptions.
“Ha! That sounds like a real silver bullet to our data problems. How I wish we learned about Liaison’s solution and program before we tried iPaaS,” said Chris.
“Sure!” replied Chris.
The growing complexities of integration, data compliance, and data management should be approached holistically; otherwise, it will outstrip your organization’s ability to keep pace. Request a demo by our data experts and learn how Liaison can help you overcome the shortcomings of the traditional iPaaS model by leveraging its ALLOY® Platform.