Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The emperor is dressed in fluffy Clouds

After reading too many tweets, tweetups, events, papers and products about Cloud Integration, I decided to rant blog on this phenomenon. In my very first post on this blog, How Cloud computing will drive Enterprise Integration, I talked about a similar thing, and fortunately that was May 2009 but now applications are appearing and it's time to put an end to it, especially after I released my Perfect Integration eBook last week

Here's what I said back then:

So, I think it's good news. The real EDI experts are somewhat left alone in solving this riddle, unlike SOA where people claimed to have 20 years experience in something that was invented only months before

Bad news: the Cloud Integration experts are surrounding and assimilating us at warp speed - that is, the same ones as in the quote above. When you check, you'll notice they're VP's of Marketing or Sales, Analysts, Heads of Research and other areas showing their utter lack of experience and verifiable content in this area. I even spoke to someone from Marketing who believed what "the tech guys" were saying - even if they had been tech guys, I find that a poor excuse

SOA is another dead horse that's been flogged back into life -that is, attempts are made- and I'm sure XML and WSDL, it's cripple and blind friends, will join him.
The result? Clueless people hooking the attention of gullible people and locking them in with truly crap solutions, rubbish products and incompetent consultants to implement it all.
In other words, IT as usual, so why do I bother?

I bother, because this is my gazillionth Through of Disillusionment I see coming, persisting, lagging and vanishing in thin air. I care, because last time that happened to my professional area was around 2000, when script kiddies flooded enterprises replacing experienced, mature and very capable backoffice COBOL programmers by unexperienced, immature and too-arrogant-too-learn pimpled frontoffice adolescents.
I care, because it left the Integration field in ruins and everyone now thinks it's so very hard to integrate applications, businesses, consumers, and what not - and that's just a lie.
I worry, because phrases like

Browser-based data integration: the best way to manage and integrate your data in and out of the cloud

are a dead give-away of the fact that you have no idea about integration, well maybe from your Word document into your Excel spreadsheet, but certainly not company-size, let alone enterprise-size

It was to be expected of course. Now E2.0 has lost its charm, and Soical Business is getting redefined and embraced by everyone, where is the path into the Enterprise? Well there's Cloud of course, but you'd have to compete with already very big guys, or bend your own products, label them Private Cloud and give a good discount on them.
Social software then? Way too much of that out there too, ranging from community-creating forum fans to companies who actually get it.
So, only one unclaimed territory left to possess: Integration!

Now if you'd understand Integration, you'd know that nothing changes, really. Integration will move from a private party to a public party, that's basically it. In stead of inventing your own "standards" and playing in your WSDL-shaped sandbox, you'll have to get out and face existing standards in the industries and market. In stead of making your internal applications adopt whatever your Enterprise Architects cooked up in their ivory tower, you'll have to adapt yourself - and that will financially hurt beyond belief if you continue your old ways.
Will these new-kids-on-the-block tell you? No, but they'll make sure the contract covers their butts

My advice? It's tough to find a controller to control the controller, and I can be your centre of the Universe of Integration if you like but I wouldn't put my money on one guy - that's simply high-risk.
So ask these nitwits when they can give a live demonstration in your IT backyard, and promise them a contract if they do a Proof of Concept - on your very well documented terms - for free

If they stare at you with that blank gaze, pull out your agenda and ask: "So when does that suit you?" - and observe them suddenly realising they're starch naked

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