Application Development Plus Data Integration Equals Business Value

Application Development Plus Data Integration Equals Business Value

July 17, 2014 0 Comments

Data and applications are inextricably linked. While you’re probably not thinking about that when you touch a phone number displayed in Google Maps and start ordering the lunch you’ll pick up in another 15 minutes, almost every app sits on top of data.

Businesses that win leverage data. They leverage data to make smarter decisions faster than their competitors do. By understanding potential customers so well that they can deliver on their desires before prospects even speak them. Or by being there before the worst happens. Today businesses that win deliver compelling apps. So your application development and data integration needs must be considered together.

Moving Business Application Development to the Cloud

Now application development is moving to the cloud so that organizations can take advantage of the benefits of cloud economics, of which there are many:

  • Decreased capital expenditures (CAPEX)
  • Freedom from data center management
  • Decreased upfront infrastructure investment
  • Lowered risk from starting small and scaling upwards as necessary

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a natural way to accomplish this. You can rely on a PaaS solution provider who provides you all the benefits of the cloud, instead of building out your own application development and data integration infrastructure. You should select a high productivity PaaS to rapidly assemble, deploy and manage apps. And your selection should carefully consider data. Why?

A simple graph illustrating the lag time between exploding data volumes and the pace of business

Business data is exploding while organizations fall behind

The Data Integration Challenge

Progress researched the data integration challenges organizations of all sizes face as part of our recent PaaS survey. Not surprisingly, we found that:

  • Just 10% of all respondents ever require just a single data source for each new application created.
  • Over two thirds (68%) report that they require multiple sources to be integrated on half or more of these applications,
  • For an average application, 81% require two or more data sources
  • Despite this clear requirement, three in five (61%) do not have full access to each required data source. Why is this the case?*

These results are not surprising given the heterogeneity that exists in many organizations, even small ones. And it’s not surprising given the explosion of data – volume, variety, velocity and complexity. This challenge leads to application development efforts relating to integration taking too long to complete, leading to unanticipated costs and involving too many manual steps. All of these inefficiencies were problems suffered by our survey respondents as well.

The Progress Pacific Approach

A graphic demonstrating the five tenets of the Progress Pacific PaaS approach as a staircase moving upward.

Application Development + Data Integration = Business Value

Your PaaS choice should provide the flexibility to deploy apps in the public or private cloud. Since your data and apps live both inside and outside the firewall, your PaaS must include the ability to connect to data sources on-premise and in the cloud. Simply put, if you run your app on-premise, you should be able to get to data in the cloud. And if you run your app in the public cloud you should be able to get to data in other clouds or data on-premise. You should be able to do this without punching a hole in your firewall using standards based connectivity.

So, when you consider your next generation platform approach, make sure that your application development PaaS provides strong data connectivity support. Progress® Pacific™  provides industry-leading data connectivity as a service with Progress® DataDirect Cloud™ so that your business applications provide true business value to any user, in any application, anywhere, on any device, platform or cloud.

*Source: Platform-as-a-Service: Powering the development and deployment of new applications, Vanson Bourne, August, 2014. 


Mark Troester

Mark Troester is the Vice President of Strategy at Progress. He guides the strategic go-to-market efforts for the Progress cognitive-first strategy. Mark has extensive experience in bringing application development and big data products to market. Previously, he led product marketing efforts at Sonatype, SAS and Progress DataDirect. Before these positions, Mark worked as a developer and developer manager for start-ups and enterprises alike. You can find him on LinkedIn or @mtroester on Twitter.

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