There’s no doubt the world is enthralled by the promises of cloud computing. What’s not to like about freeing up enormous capital expenditures in favor of subscription-based services for functionality that someone else has to worry about? Well, the fact is that most SaaS applications are merely silos of their own, not significantly improved from the legacy systems they were designed to replace.
What about APIs, you ask? David Linthicum dispels the API warm and fuzzy when he talks about early attempts to organize cloud APIs: “…while it makes an interesting conversation, consumer concerns still surround vendor lock-in and portability issues.” He’s absolutely right. Most companies are already using several cloud applications and are being forced to choose standards that could be a big problem down the road if they decide to change vendors or add new applications. APIs can and do change with unnerving frequency, creating points of failure and headache.
For all of the great things cloud can deliver, unless a business has a way to quickly integrate cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise software, it’s just replacing today’s problems while creating tomorrow’s.
The Promise of Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
There is good news in the midst of what could be considered dark clouds (pun intended): There is a cure for the woes of silo’d cloud. On Tuesday, TIBCO announced the launch of Cloud Bus, putting down a significant marker in the iPaaS arena.
They’re not the first vendor into this new market, but they certainly enter the ring with a reputation as the integration heavyweight champion, with nearly 20 years of bringing together enterprise information through their enterprise service bus technology. Their iPaaS offering will allow companies at different stages in their cloud evolution, be it early or late, the “…freedom to choose and move across a set of cloud infrastructure partners.”
This is the real future of cloud computing: the ability to create business value and solve problems without the need for investment in hardware and software. By choosing ready-made connectors to common cloud applications like Salesforce, or adapting templates for their own business context, innovation can accelerate without the downside of vendor lock-in and limits to portability. By offering flexibility to its customers, iPaaS platforms like Cloud Bus stimulate innovation and competition, that can only be a good thing for cloud as a relatively new and immature marketplace.
TIBCO’s Cloud Bus promises what every enterprise cloud strategy is looking to achieve: drastically shorten time to market while lowering costs as they migrate applications and workloads to the cloud