On May 21, 2018, Informatica held the first day of their annual Informatica World conference in Las Vegas. As is usually the case, the first day covers general market trends rather than providing information on upcoming product releases. The goal of the day is to provide the attendees with an overview of the current issues facing IT departments and companies.

From my perspective the highlight of the day was a presentation called, TITLE, on the need for integration platforms by NAME. During the presentation NAME drew an analogy between the early days of email and the current situation with integration. In the 1980’s companies had to build a business case to deploy email. Things like paper and postage cost savings were calculated in an attempt to demonstrate the need for the new technology. 20 years later it is simply assumed that companies will have an email system. NAME believes that we are in a similar place with regard to integration platforms. Currently companies need to build a business case to deploy an integration platform. He believes that in less than 10 years, no one will have to justify investment in integration platforms.

In many ways this analogy is spot on. Companies will need to invest in integration and that need will only increase in the coming years. Integration provides agility and agility enables companies to respond to changing market pressures faster. So, just as email enabled faster communications and thus greater agility, data integration will speed analytics and provide deeper insight and thus greater agility. However, unlike email, data integration platforms will never get to the point where companies do not need to build business cases for their deployment. The main reason for this is that data, unlike email, is a rapidly evolving space. So, over the coming 5 years, there will be an increase not only in the amount of data that companies are collecting, but also there will be new types of data that can be collected. So, while email provided an upgrade to existing communications (interoffice memos and postal mail), the increases in the amount and type of data is a deeper and more complicated problem. Because of this the need to continue to justify increases in the integration budget will continue to be required.