What is Hybrid Data Integration (HIP)?

Updated on by Hayley Brown

Business leaders are constantly looking for ways to develop and transform establishments with technology and data to help drive innovation and business intelligence. In doing so they get the desired business results organisations need to connect and standardise processes for data across their entire application landscape/stack with integrations. 

Whether on-premise or cloud technology data integration is an important step in an organisation’s digital transformation. According to IBM “over the last several years the demand for new integrations has far surpassed the capacity most enterprises can handle.” They argue that traditional integration approaches can no longer keep up with requests.  

What is hybrid data integration? 

Hybrid data integration or HIP, coined by Gartner, is the process of orchestrating Cloud and on-premise data. In other words, they provide an organisation with tools to simplify data and app integration across their deployment model(s). 

On-premise tends to refer to physical hardware, containers or a virtual private cloud. When referred to in terms of integration it means that the user has control over the maintenance of the app. 

On the other hand, Cloud refers to systems which are running on a public or a shared Cloud. These are run by vendors who own data centres and include Amazon, Azure and Google Cloud. This option is fully managed by the vendor and they are responsible for the maintenance of the system.

Therefore a hybrid integration platform can interconnect both on-premise and cloud-based systems, and orchestrate data communication between them. As a result, an organisation that isn’t completely modern can start acting like they are. This means becoming more agile, innovative, connected and digitally transformative. 

Hybrid data integration diagram features a breakdown of how cloud and on-premise combine.

Hybrid Integration Platform

A HIP is also known as an iPaaS (integration platform as a service). It facilitates rapid API development and management, as well as secure data integration flows across an ecosystem of data streams. This additional integration functionality is made available via the cloud. 

A more traditional iPaaS provides users with “plug and play” integrations between SaaS systems. An embedded iPaaS system on the other hand can provide extra functionality as it can connect to hundreds of SaaS applications in the cloud or on-premise systems natively.

Many embedded iPaaS solutions are white-labelled applications with hundreds of pre-built APIs for popular SaaS apps. This means users can embed the platform, and build data workflows to share information across systems to their chosen deployment model. 

Hybrid integration enables access and communication to all types of applications. This means mapping and orchestrating data to implement data logic to a range of out-of-the-box apps, SaaS systems and customisable applications. As a result, users are able to deliver information and services in a method that can be understood. 

Broader Spectrum of Integration

The complete concept of hybrid integration is very broad and addresses integration across different domains, endpoints and deployment models. 

For instance, integration development is no longer for IT specialists or developers, Citizen Integrators are increasingly being used to develop integrations via low-code data tools to save time and reduce support backlog. 

As well as change in users, integration has expanded from just helping apps communicate, as it now crosses B2B partners for data analytics and processes for automation and orchestration. 

Due to rapid expansion from on-premise, to the cloud, mobile and now IoT devices, endpoints and sources that need to be integrated at an enterprise level are moving further and further away from the centre of enterprise business. 

Finally, deployment models are expanding to include embedded models as requirements for SaaS apps need underlying integrations to satisfy end-users needs. 

Key Components of HIP

A hybrid integration platform caters to a range of integration needs, such as:

On-premise data integration
Cloud data integration
Messaging
Event Streaming
Prebuilt APIs
Rapid API creation and lifecycle management
B2B/EDI integration
Mobile application/back-end integration
Big data transfer
Deployment flexibility (on-premise and cloud)

There are a number of key integration platform capabilities, including: 

  • User productivity tools and deployment flexibility are key characteristics of a hybrid integration solution which helps enterprises respond faster to evolving digital business requirements.
  • A platform that can manage API lifecycles as they are the most common and modern way to do integration. Therefore, organisations need the ability to create, secure, manage and share APIs across systems efficiently. 
  • The hybrid integration platform needs to provide app and data integration which removes the threat of data silos. Synchronising data across applications can tackle a number of issues, including formatting and standardisation. 
  • Users, especially enterprise users want the ability to react to things in real-time, such as building engaging customer experiences this means they’ll need to have the ability to securely exchange information across their ecosystem and from any cloud-based to the on-premise system. 
  • There is a huge volume of data being exchanged in modern environments, therefore high-speed data transfer is a must for any hybrid integration platform. 

Finally, a fastly increasing requirement or key factor of hybrid data integration tools is the user experience and the concept of citizen developers and integrators. These are individuals who understand the business needs and data flows but aren’t technically minded. Rather than having to write lines of code citizen integrators can use visual tools to achieve integrations. 

Hybrid data integration image features visual drag and drop tools for citizen integrators to build workflows.

Why does Hybrid Data Integration matter?

As mentioned in an earlier paragraph hybrid integration platform is important because it can interconnect both on-premise and cloud-based systems. As a result, it’ll orchestrate data communication between them. 

As a result, an organisation that isn’t completely modern can start acting like they are. This means becoming more agile, innovative, connected and digitally transformative. As Gartner mentions, HIP is “the “home” for all functionalities that ensure the smooth integration of multiple digital transformation initiatives in an organisation.” 

This is reiterated in Ovum’s report, which mentions “hybrid integration is a key business imperative for most enterprises, as digitalization has led to a proliferation of applications, services, APIs, and data stores that need to be connected to realize end-to-end functionality and, in many cases, an entirely new digital business proposition.”

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Hayley Brown

Joined Cyclr in 2020 after working in marketing teams in the eCommerce and education industries. She graduated from Sussex University and has a keen interest in graphic design and content writing.

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