#AgileIntegration was the hashtag for the conference WSO2Con 2018 that was hosted in San Francisco in a great hotel close to the Moscone Center. WSO2 is one of the most successful open source middleware businesses, but at its core, it is basically a group of excellent software architects using open source tools to build platforms for integration projects. This was the second consecutive time that I’ve attended the event, and it was great to see the evolution of these tools and platforms.
It’s tempting to think about these guys as a bunch of techies talking with techies about technology. But this year I could see how much closer they have become to people and teams, not just technology.
Last year everything was around digital transformation, but this year the leitmotiv was agility. This means that everything is about how people can run complex integration projects, just like programers develop software. This is reflected by the tweet that Massimo Pezzini, VP & Fellow at Gartner Research sent:
“#Integration, the un-coolest IT discipline, is getting really, really hot!”
Tyler Jewell, CEO of WSO2, headlined his keynote: “Integration is Sexy!”, and the reason is because of Agile, and how effective integration enables companies to innovate. He mentioned that software development is “becoming integration”.
As he points out in a related blog post, there are three core drivers behind the growing importance of integration. Firstly, with enterprises using so many SaaS applications today, integration ensures these different apps work effectively together. Secondly, as enterprises use recommendation engines to provide customized services, they need effective data to power the machine learning algorithms – integration ensures they receive this data. And finally, as today’s apps need to scale, we’re seeing increased componentization. As Jewell writes, “integration [is] the glue that brings our APIs and microservices together as a whole”.
We can see in the image above, how digital native demand is being solved with cells-based architectures (moving on from traditional layered architectures). And below, we zoom in on independent cells, where we see self-contained units of architecture. This is the foundation of Agile, where “Agility = People + Process + Tech”.
Finally, what is important here, is that WSO2 has been thinking about people and methodologies to create a new maturity model for agility. As they pointed out, agility is a journey, and they define 5 phases: “monolithic”, “fast waterfall”, “API-driven”, “early agility”, and finally “integration agile”. This maturity model makes it easy for teams and organizations to assess their maturity. This is very much in line with our thinking and approach here at Belatrix.I’m excited attend next year’s conference to see the next evolution. I really envision WSO2 focusing deeper on new business cases and customer experiences which are being enabled by effective integration, and that are ultimately the reason that organizations run complex integration projects. I will leave the final word to WSO2’s CEO, who states: “Integration is not just hot — it’s the foundation of how any digitally-driven organization will innovate in the future.”