Now, in 2015, I believe in 2 major future trends becoming reality in the next 10 years:
- Cars will be mainly electric
- Software will be mainly running in the cloud (outside of companies own data centers)
To get there, it will be sometimes by selling your beloved Diesel-Car and buying a Tesla. This is a really big change as the infrastructure for chargers is not as good as with classic gas-stations. So doing this in Germany/Europe means you are an early adopter and sacrifice some luxury to be innovative.
Same applies for software managed in the cloud. No company is interested in driving projects to replace their existing IT systems running in a server room / data center and let them be hosted and managed by another company… Also, the question of hosting your current IT landscape at some provider does not provide the benefits you might be looking for. You still have to buy the license, and decide which hardware/database you might want to use. If you are lucky, updates will be managed by the hosting provider, but thats usually it.
But the future is clear: You pay for your software subscription-based, it is very up-to date (no headache about release changes and versioning), it is fully scalable, you do not worry about hardware, security and so on….
To get there over the time, a pragmatic approach could be to replace your “old” applications by looking for a cloud alternative. Instead installing a new release and/or migrating to a newer version, you make the paradigm change into cloud step by step.
Of course there will be questions about security, availability, performance, SLAs, change management and support, but that´s why you have an IT-department. They should be working those things out (with some help of good partners).
So instead replacing everything in one shot, a hybrid model seems to be first choice: some applications are running on premise, and some are running (already) in the cloud. I guess this concept also applies to cars for the time being. Plug-In hybrid cars offer a good mix of gas-station infrastructure and pointing to the right direction with electric-only driving modes.
The next question will then be: How can I INTEGRATE my on-premise with my cloud applications in a smart way?
- Option 1: You have a (on premise) middleware already (SAP PI/PO, Microsoft BizTalk, …)
This works well if you connect OP (on premise) – OD (on demand/cloud)
- Option 2: You decide for a cloud middleware
This does not mean you can get rid of the OP middleware, but if you connect OD – OD it would be bad to go through a OP component (same applies for OP-OP connectivity).
So you keep your OD middleware and enhance it with a CLOUD (OD) middleware.
For SAP customers using SAP NetWeaver PI or PO (PRO), it seems logical to use SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) as the concepts are quite similar (although more flexible) and OP mappings can be reused… Moreover, there will be a hybrid option in the future where runtime elements from HCI will be running on your PRO installation in runtime containers.
If you do not want to narrow your possibilities to one single platform, you can be quite relaxed. There are many great solutions out there, including Dell Boomi or elastic.io, so the reality might be to integrate through multiple cloud middleware solutions, depending on what they are able to provide (existing content for plug-and-play connectivity) or based on the business app you want to integrate.