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Ross Mason, founder and VP of product strategy at MuleSoft, spoke to ITProPortal about how the newly fragmented enterprise environment has ensured that hybrid is the new normal for IT.
We believe that connectivity is going to be the competitive advantage going into the future. If you think about integration, up until about four years ago, it was all done on-premise. A lot of what went on was done through packaged apps and custom apps. Then, about four years ago, SaaS started coming in – the cloud arrived, and customer expectations changed. Today, mobility and SaaS are two of the biggest drivers behind the change in business.
Integration is now the way businesses get their competitive advantage. The problem with this landscape is that it's highly fragmented. In the past there might have been tens of endpoints, but now there are thousands. The changes these companies are going through is that customers aren't just going through a couple of channels – they're going through many more.
SaaS is a new breed of applications inside the enterprise. That's because it doesn't live within the data centre, and that can feel very strange for traditional IT. The idea that you don't have a database anymore – you simply use database as a service – is something that we're starting to take for granted, but in some industries, like banking for instance, businesses are still very cautious.
Companies are used to buying a suite of products and then having to hire a whole team of people to implement and manage that suite. Middleware has become very complicated over the last few years.
But now you have the demand to deliver more and more outside the firewall, in the form of mobile applications and so on. Hybrid is becoming the new normal. In a few years, everyone will call themselves hybrid.
It's no longer about connecting one thing o another, but connecting many things on-premise and off-premise, across the firewall and in a hybrid environment. It adds a new level of complexity for the vendors, but a new level of freedom to the person doing the integration.