Application Integration Trends in 2019

Enterprise Application Integration is the science of connecting software applications and hardware systems within a complex enterprise IT environment. It also entails seamless integration with external entities like customers and vendors, adopting a strategic collaborative approach. The integration enables free access and flow of information across devices in a secure and agile manner while overcoming the barriers without any data transfer.

Middleware technology and APIs are used for app integration at functional levels, regardless of app types and service provider domains. App integration enables the power of simplifying the complex on-premise and cloud server’s ecosystem, an integral part of technology deployment for an agile IT infrastructure to function consistently and in a unified manner across various business units.   

Let’s explore the latest Data Integration trends governing the enterprise apps this year.

Data-Centric Integration

Although all the data is not important, yet huge bulk of data is produced daily across various systems, applications and services. However, enterprises have woken up to the criticality of useful data and its gravity for their business in long term.

Businesseshave started deploying latest data integration and data management solutions, such asdPaaS (Data Platform as a Service) to manage and secure their data from the boundaries of applications. Application integration solutions will be accommodating data integration solutions even furtherfor a streamlined and better centralized platform.

DevOps will be Highlight

DevOps stands for “development” and “operations”, the concept that stresses on the significance of communication and collaboration among product management, software development and operating team.

DevOps has already been ruling the roost and will continue to do so in 2019 too, since it enables enterprises to follow an agile and lean approach to deliver a successful finer final product to the users while meeting their expectations.

Cloud-based Solutions

Modern business enterprises employa variety of cloud-based applications and services in tandem with on-premise systems; although, the free flow of information across applications and services can be a daunting task.

Cloud-based Integrated Solutions are already in vogue among major organizations to integrate back-office systems while shift their SCM systems from on-premise to cloud servers.

These agile solutions will be embraced with open arms by many more businesses, given the cost-effective cloud elements, effectiveness of cloud API and flexibility and rapid connectivity while efficiently running numerous business-critical applications.

Adoption of Hybrid Integration

An amalgamation of on-premise systems and cloud integration of applications, hybrid integration employ secure technology like Transport Layer Security (TLS), to patch the gap between enterprise systems and SaaS/PaaS/iPaaS services.

Following the cloud integration trends, many more clients are embracing hybrid integration technology as it enables users to access both on-premise data and cloud application-based data in addition to incorporating new systems within the business enterprise. Such advanced and robust solutions are cost-effective and efficiently transfer data while giving a competitive edge and drive innovation.

Focus on Mobile and Real-Time Integration

Application integration is not mere connection of two or more applications to enable data flow, it must be result oriented and value-add to end-users. Modern users expect a seamless experience across various devices – be it for shopping, data storage or data access.

By mid-2019, integration solutions in e-commerce landscape will steer focus towards ensuring real-time data synchronization between systems across various POS (Point of Sale) – desktop PCs, laptops, handheld devices or store purchase for an enhanced shopping experience to buyers.

Focus on IoT, Mobile and Cloud

Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming ubiquitous. The cutthroat competition among enterprises in big data space where the sheer volume, variation and velocity of data are overwhelming. The world of IoTis flooded with new applications and devices against rising demand of real-time data analytics and insights.

Integration solutions will make moolah by incorporating IoT technology in a full-sizematured infrastructure to bring together all the connected and next-gen devices and applications within the existing IT system.

iPaaS, Latest Golden Standard

Enterprise operate in quite a complex environment, mainly with advent of cloud solutions and Pass/Saas. Integrating various platforms and applications is not an easy task for vendors. SaaS integration will not suffice to meet the requirements of increasingly complex IT infrastructure.

iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) is a cloud integration solution that can be deployed for a cohesive IT environment. iPaaS will witness an incredible demand among businesses due to its ability to deliver simplified point-to-point integrations along with developer tools to design and implement customized integrations.

Integration of Chatbots with Mobile

Chatbots, a common name in customer support, primarily in the e-commerce landscape, heavily depend on written or spoken messages to interpret what shoppers want and based on that communicate with them, the function that heavily relies on the robustness of the message platform.

Seeking assistance from integration middleware, chatbots can be integrated with company’s mobile applications and databases to draw the desired information spread all over the organization with just a click of a button. Such development will provide umpteen business opportunity in understanding the customer needs much better and grow the e-commerce on different devices.

BYOD Policy

With expanding businesses, rising workforce and struggle for office space and physical devices, many organisations encourage employees to use their own devices, bring your own device (BYOD) to perform multiple business functions in a securely fashionusingbusiness applications. Mostly the applications are connected with company cloud server, accessed via a security code. BYOD policy empowers employees from anywhere anytime in a cost-efficient and flexible manner thus encourage cloud adoption and increase efficiency. Therefore, businesses are pushing for BYOD-focused integration in the existing IT infrastructure. Focus on BYOD driven policies will be a priority.

Outsourcing Application Integration

With increasing IT complexities, often, in-house IT teams struggle due to lack of expertise and time to facilitate business workflow and data exchange between multiple applications and software packages. Data security becomes a key concern that CIOs cannot forsake their integration solutions nor experiment with it.

Enterprises are turning to third party and IT partners to outsource app integration services. Outsourcing companies efficiently leverage evolving technology, integration maintenance and provide secure and scalable solutions while performing event exchange, routing and workflow implementation.

Conclusion

Companies must ensure they are effectively implementing app integration in order to bring about a successful digital transformation before their competitors do. Application integration offers best of service providers to cater to varying integration requirements. There is a rapid adoption of cloud-based integration, in lieu with key elements like mobile, ecommerce, and real-time synchronization.

IoT-focused and data-centric integration have gained the center stage in the integration network to counter the big data challenges. Apart from that DevOps, iPaaS, chatbots and integration outsourcing will be the trends to watch out for into 2019, showcasing an intriguing phenomenon against the rapid evolution of application integration.

References
https://www.appseconnect.com/app-integration-trends-2018/
https://www.information-age.com/6-critical-trends-integration-apis-12347064
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Benifits of Hiring Managed Services Providers

INTRODUCTION

Managed IT services enable enterprises to entrust their IT operations to a third-party who are called as Managed Service Providers (MSPs). MSPs are entirely or partly responsible for the business’ IT systems, as per the Service Level Agreement (SLA), providing round-the-clock monitoring, issue resolution and reporting, and more.

MSPs adopt a holistic approach to IT services, that result in much more efficient standard of operations as opposed to in-house IT management. Competent managed service providers support in management and maintenance of the overall infrastructure besides giving end-user support.

Evidently, in 2014 merely 30% of companies used MSPs. However, in a year’s span the number doubled with reduced IT costs by 40% and higher efficiency. The number of enterprises embracing the managed service outsourcing doesn’t seem to stop since then.

MANAGED IT SERVICES MODEL

MSPs employ extensive IT expertise to resolve issues efficiently, keep systems up-to-date and prevent issues before they arise. MSP services are typically offered in tiered levels, deploying thesophistication of automation and enhanced degree of management at higher levels based on SLAs. End users generally pay for the services they need and are offered tailored services based on the business requirements and demands.

There are other important business functions such as utilities that the end users pay for all the services provided offsite, like remote monitoring and management, help desk solutions, backup and disaster recovery, and beyond.

Slowly yet steadily Managed IT services has become an important operating expense to maintain core functionality, as opposed to additional expense incurred during one-off issue resolutions with break/fix models.

BENEFITS OF MANAGED IT SERVICES

MSPs offer a virtue of experience in abundance by proactively managing multiple clients for each of the organization that is otherwise nearly an impossible task for the in-house team. In addition, while using the MSP services, businesses can efficiently plan and forecast their IT spend and free-up their core team from focusing on operational readiness. Which also empowers small businesses to completely shift their focus towards growing their reach and achieve organic growth without wrecking their brains on routine IT issues. MSPs are always equipped with compliance to individual organization security policies, thereby impart maximum security expertise to the entire IT infrastructure.

Let’s discuss some of the key benefits of having a third-party IT partners for IT managed services a bit further:

Free-Up In-house IT team

Often the IT team in an organization is stretched thin. By outsourcing back-end functions or complex and rapidly evolving technology solutions, organizations develop the capacity to free-up their core IT team in-house and deploy their technology expertise to critical projects. This endeavor further enables businesses to achieve core objectives via focused innovation.

Geared -Up with evolving IT demands & keeping pace

Organizations both in India and globally face a major challenge of finding the right resource for their IT requirement, mainly for cyber security and mobile application services. By outsourcing these functions to a technically robust IT partner, the pressure of hiring specialized engineers frequently is quelled to a great extent.

Higher Scalability

IT infrastructure requires exhaustive time and cost which can stretch from months to few years to set-up an agile, streamlined and secure massive systems. Under volatile market dynamics, it is huge risk take for organizations. Therefore, organizationsprefer a more viable option to start on a smaller scale, move rapidly and dwell on expansion based on growth.

IT partners such as CMS IT Services enables enterprises to fulfil their business goals while adopting a modular approach to advanced managed services. This further makes is easier for enterprises to scale their operations based on demand.

24×7 Availability

A 9-10 hours of service provisioning is as obsolete as searching for a phone booth to make a phone call. When users work throughout day and night, the network support must be equally efficient. MSPs make that possible by offering 24x7x365 help, irrespective of weekends and holidays to provide seamless and secure IT infrastructure support to their users.

Offload the Compliance burden

Besides theroutine audits, often enterprises have to go through the rigor of meeting various excruciating standards and requirements while implementing their IT initiatives. There are numerous stringent Acts of Privacy and Compliance that organisationsmust abide by as per the government instructed directives, regardless of the sector they operate in.

A smart and efficient MSP partner understands all the IT regulations their clients must fulfil and clearly specify their bounds while managing the IT infrastructure with due diligence. There are systems, processes and reports set in place by MSPs to vouch for compliance without burdening the in-house team.

Planned Expenses

Every IT investment entails certain peripheral costs. Organizations require plentiful networks, storage, and security. They are obligated to periodic hiring and training, deploy systems and manage equipments to suffice those requirements, resulting in unforeseen sudden surge in IT spend.

MSPs charge a flat fee for delivery of their services as per the SLAs over a set period of time. The SLA clearly marks out what services will be provided and to what extent they will be provided, and they also furnish the metrics to measure the performance and output.

By outsourcing the IT managed services to a third party, organizations become efficient in breaking down their costs into fixed periodic payments, as opposed to the huge expenses resulting from managing systems in-house.

CONCLUSION

While new technologies and evolving IT landscape provides outstanding opportunities for enterprises, in parallel they pose unique challenges. For many organizations, those challenges spiral into uncontrolled enormousexpenses – starting from cost of hiring, training to regular maintenance and update of the IT infrastructure.

To circumvent the struggle and keep pace with technology, modern enterprises turn to managed services providers with advanced capabilities for help. Choosing a trusted IT partner offers a cost efficient and streamlined approach towards robust managed IT services without having to deploy in-house resources.

Data Center and Cloud Predictions 2019

It’s that time of the year to look back and ponder on the highlights in 2018, hits and misses, and what can be done better in 2019. In this article we will focus on data center and cloud, trying to strike an equilibrium between the cloud and on-premises implementations.

A lot has already been discussed and researched about the emerging trends, here’s a brief recap through logical assumptions with predictions into 2019 for data centers and cloud.

Edge Computing is smarter than before, needs the right business model

Every IT based company prefers edge computing. Data center operators find it as an opportunity and easier to lighten the burden on central servers, and businesses also find it as an opportunity to achieve minimum response time. Leading vendors are coming up with various models for placing edge computing at base station, with 5G in the tow with national roll out. 

Since edge computing is highly priced, it requires right owners who will be bearing the cost burden of it. Will that be the IT vendors or the client enterprise?

We will see more AI mitigating human errors

Data centers have umpteen functionalities that have moving parts – individual servers, cooling system, power system and a robust network that can connect all of these parts seamlessly. Until now, all these parts have been manually configured, monitored and optimized to operate seamlessly.  

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there is all together a new class of AI that has been entrusted with taking a lead of optimizing the equipment leveraging 24×7 monitoring and adjustments. There have been other examples wherein AI have been implemented constantly, without room for human error element with tireless monitoring and instant system adjustments.

There will be more efforts into leveraging AI for highly efficient data centers in the year 2019.

Growth of Data-Center will Continue

The data center is here to stay. The demand of computers has been exponential and will rise further so. Mainly with the advent of AI and cloud has proven to show high cost as side-effects.

What does that mean for Data center operators?

Data center has been repurposed. Though a certain amount of workload will be allocated to the public cloud service providers, the remaining critical percentage of workload will be taken over by the data centers. This entails anywhere massive data sets like BI, analytics, AI and ML because moving all these platforms to cloud will be quite an expensive affair.

Against the backdrop of all these changing trends, data centers have taken the center stage, versatile and powerful than before.

Microservices and Serverless Computing more in-vogue

Virtualization needs a complete range of operating system which can also limit the number of virtual machines on server, with huge memory. The most appropriate solution to that is containers or to say microservices and at advanced levels aim at serverless computing.

Containers are small elements with 10MB memory space, whereas a virtual machine has more GB of memory and serverless functionality has single function app which is smaller. While the apps are transforming to smaller modular pieces from the monolithic setup, containers and serverless will become more in demand – both on-premise and on cloud.

The underlying principle to rising demand of containers or serverless is that these technologies were created to work both on premise and on cloud and facilitate easy migration, and as a result become a part of the rising demand.

Bare Metal will continue to Grow

Bare metal means operations without software. You rent or own CPUs, hard drives for data storage, then you offer your own software stack. Bare metal works on ‘lift and shift’ principle wherein you move your entire computed bulk from data center to your cloud provider unaltered, putting the OS, apps and data in third party’s data center.

Major enterprise software vendors would naturally want their customers to increase the usage of their software and operate within their data center than shift to SaaS vendors. However, there is a likelihood of these trends to change and get into bare-metal scenario.

Cloud Providers in race for Desktops

There are major cloud vendors who have entered the race of leading the virtual desktop market. With Windows 7 at its penultimate stage, 2019 will be a watchful year to lookout for transitions. However, an impending question is will users directly take a plunge to Windows 10 and continue to reinstate the market hold of brand Microsoft, or will they experiment with AWS Workspaces and Google Chromebooks.

Conclusion

As the cloud and data centers continue to evolve and work on more digital strategies, your business operations will heavily rely on the robustness and seamless integration of your IT ecosystem for new platforms and support new initiatives.

Let us know your thoughts, opinion on emerging trends and feedback on our blogs. Please leave a comment below.

References

https://www.networkworld.com/article/3324050/data-center/10-predictions-for-the-data-center-and-the-cloud-in-2019.html

https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/manage/be-aware-these-5-data-center-trends-2018

Payroll Automation: Game Changer

Major organizations come across the challenges of managing growing complexity of HR and payroll requirements, let alone the necessity to have stable and adept resources to manage those tasks. Manually processing such painstaking data and information is both time and cost consuming and of course prone to human errors that has further legal implications.
Enterprises need to automate every aspect of their payroll and HR to cost-optimize, streamline and enhance the quality of their functioning to deliver timely and invoke better experience for their employees.
One of the most common reasons for businesses shifting towards payroll automation is the criticality of complaints with strict financial regulations, crucial for future payroll, making it tougher for businesses.
Here’s some key advantages of payroll automation:
Data Collection made easier
Collecting all the important data for payroll process and setting the right format is conventionally the most time-intensive task with multiple reiterations for various departments in varied formats with repeated changes. With automated system in place to update the payroll sheet, the interface is more systematic and seamless.
Payment Calculation
Automated payroll platform makes use of automation software that calculates the salaries and other payments electronically. The results are mostly accurate depending on the validity and correctness of the given inputs.
The automated payroll system performs every type of simple and complex payments – be it hourly, overtime, salaries, commissions, bonuses, pay raises, wage deductions, auto payments and more. Remarkably, automation payroll system has made the manual cheque writing a story of tomorrow. The automated system generates paychecks for direct account debit.
Precise Data Validation
The traditional payroll process requires hours to be spent on for proper validation for manually checking all the spreadsheets and verification of individual data, followed by checking the outcome of it. On the other hand, using an automated validation process, the set-up of payroll system is adjusted as per the organization and departments specific and unique parameters along with tolerance factors such as pay hikes and net costs.
The algorithm takes the instructions and performs the validation as per process requirements and the protocol is triggered in easy steps. Your precious resources can be freed of their repetitive and time-consuming tasks of spending hours and rather focus on amending the errors and work towards improvising the process of correction of errors.
Smooth Task Management
Similar to automated validation of data, the repetitive tasks can be scheduled and accomplished in short span through automation. The effort ensures a quick, smooth and error-free execution of simple repetitive tasks on-time. In addition, those tasks that previously needed data transfer can be immediately triggered once the previous task is completed. In case of other tasks, the payroll team receives notification for the pending errands.
An important example is of processing pay slips to the HR system after the payroll process is completed. Instead of completing the payroll, initiate payments and take a PDF copy of each pay slip, send them to HR team to be uploaded to the HR program, the automated payroll platform can automatically populate the pay slips to the automated HR information system (HRIS) the minute they are ready. This also leverages the employees to access their pay slips online.
Brief Process Window
Every payroll action of automated system saves time and result in uptime, thus minimizing each payroll cycle time – reducing them to shorter cycles. This further translates into processing more data in less time with fewer amends since most of the data delivered is accurate and complete, upping the payroll team cost savings per cycle besides saving the time and resources.
Conclusion
A manual input and management of payroll system entails the payroll to be processed by a resource and thus can be error prone and a slower procedure than an automated system. Automating payroll processes save payroll team a lot of time and effort.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
References
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-automating-payroll-system-2126.html
https://www.cloudpay.net/resources/5-ways-automation-is-changing-payroll
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Employee Experience Trends in Human Capital Management

CHROs (Chief HR Officer) want to stay ahead in their game, adopting the latest trends in their efforts to nurture talent, retain employees and achieve enhanced employee development. The human capital management (HCM) field is evolving at a fast pace, laden with innovation, changes and wonderful ideas for team development.
As per noted experts from the field, here’s an extract of latest trends in HCM landscape:
Give a more human semblance to HR platform through technology
Jeanne Meister, workplace futurist, opines that technology should be the tool in augmenting the role of people than replacing them, bringing back the human factor to workplace. It might sound rather counter-intuitive, yet going by emerging trends, technology undoubtedly has entrenched in every aspect of enterprise workplace.
For instance, Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is the most discussed and touted advanced science has definitely changed the way we work. According to Meister, in order to change our viewpoint on AI, we should clearly profess the language shift for AI to IA, intelligent augmentation. In the latter the emphasis is rather on human approach than the hovering thought of machines replacing the humans at workplace. For a simple groundbreaking fact that it’s the humans who still partake in decision-making although technology has surely changed the way decision are taken and strategies are made and implemented.
As CHROs, the HR leaders, the task should be to measure how technology can bring back the quality in jobs and look for new skillsets and roles that are further created as a result of ever-changing technological implementation to enhance the resource quality and output.
Compassion as a key Leadership Quality
The word Compassion has been an oversell lately. As per a HR survey conducted by a consulting firm, from the analyzed responses of over 35,000 leaders, more than 90% of participants agreed that compassion is a key composite characteristic leadership attribute and 80% would want to enhance that but are unaware of the exact way of how to do it. This aspect being so significant is still ignored in most of the leadership training too.
Leading enterprises are making a conscious effort as a part of the HR strategy to highlight compassion as one of key skills in job descriptions too. HCM platform integrates disparate HR initiative and roles yet happiness is the key that holds contention for employees, clients and all the stakeholders. And there is no better way than compassion.
Personalization of Learning and Development
Training is no more confined to technical and soft skill requirements or team based. Employees expect to have a seamless interface at work too that reverberates their technology personalized experience in personal space. These expectations mirror in their learning and development (L&D) path too. Therefore, nominating to trainings by HR or reporting manager is no more the criteria.
The business workforce now has the option to drive their learning path through an access to learning and development channel. The path will further be a hybrid playlist curated by employees alongside the formal list of programs developed by the L&D unit. The approach can be a dynamic approach paving way to user-generated programs, developed by professional leaders who impart humanly compassion leveraging the technology.
However, the challenge for leaders is to sift through the gamut of learnings and choose the vendors who are the best fit for their rapidly evolving needs and capable of aligning that with the company’s existing LMS systems.
Harness Design Thinking in HCM development
Design thinking is the latest methodology embraced by CHROs globally in problem solving that focuses on creating solutions through a user centric approach. It has achieved a great breakthrough in HR and L&D landscape. The concept of design thinking operates beyond the thought process of what employees want, shifting to the latest technology driven approach of how to design an overall experience that aligns the employees’ and business needs.
Right from the 1st step of recruitment to last of exit interviews, every facet of employee life cycle is customized and exposed to design tweaking that helps reboot business performance management process. Leading enterprises have made an earnest effort of embracing the design thinking as one of core business offerings as a multi-step methodology for better employee management and resource enhancement.
The key element is the second step wherein ideas are sketched in before the final decision-making process. This step is critical since it clearly defines the company’s design principles for making the most appropriate decision focusing on the overall design thinking methodology of HR framework.
DIY Team Creation
As per research, 70% of employees want to be the part of decision-making process while forming their own work teams. Trust among colleagues is the most important factor that helps cement the team work and keeps them intact while working together. In that case it’s a no brainer to fragment a well-formed team.
Lot of firms are embracing this approach, keeping a strong DIY team intact and moving them around in the organization without breaking them. Many enterprises are embracing the evolving trend and working towards providing a platform for leaders initiating to empower employees to assemble their ‘dream team’.
Conclusion
These five trends are a downstream of HCM platform leveraging technology to reinstate the human factor in the business. The trends illustrate that new models are emerging while enhancing the employee engagement and talent management, departing from the traditional form of fragmented HR platforms, thereby also developing new models and frontiers in employee growth and people development, and encouraging CHRO to exercise creativity and personal discretion of compassion.
Please post your thoughts in the comments section.
References
https://inpowercoaching.com/5-employee-development-trends-human-capital-management/
https://www.managementstudyguide.com/human-capital-management-benefits.htm

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