THE INVENTION OF THE WHEEL
This world is about data, connectivity and integration as far back as cave times. This need to communicate, to be a part of something bigger is a real social phenomenon. As far as history goes, this world has been filled with data, connectivity, and integrations really since the beginning.
Simply put, modern integration is about two software programs communicating, how humanity views integration is a lot more generalized. Some people consider stitching a wheel and a gas pedal together as a primitive example of an integration. It’s absolutely true. But what’s missed is that “integration” is really a programming style in the world of new technology. Integrations are really evolving from wheels-and-gas-pedals to distributed and decentralized computing. And ultimately, it’s enabling companies to do more with less.
Integration is the act of bringing together smaller components into a single system that functions as one. 
The nature of integrations have been changing throughout the years, and with the development of new technologies (especially the internet), changes have been expedited. 20-30 years ago, everybody was interested in simple integrations and what complex networks enable as a platform from a business perspective (i.e. social networks nowadays have a huge effect on business value). Fast-forward to today, the business cases on which those integrations are supporting are far more complex. We’re talking about way more connections involved in the process. Not only from the perspective of connecting complex systems, but connecting millions of users worldwide through those connections!
FROM THE SIMPLE TO THE COMPLEX
The real power in new technologies isn’t that they’re stand-alone technologies, the real power is in the convergence. And how do we get that convergence? We got to connect the pieces together.
– Brice Ominski, Chief Architect, DeepDive Technology Group
When we look at integration at the simplest level, it’s about connecting systems. We have evolved to the point where we are today through a series of steps, that go in lockstep from the business and the technology. And the current approach to integrations has evolved ultimately to the point where it enables business and business needs. It’s evolved to support the agile introduction of bringing in different players into a business model. Its evolved to being able to handle a vast set of consumers and provide products & services to those consumers, explaining some of the unprecedented scalability we see today. These technologies have to evolve to handle that. Many things that we considered as simple, stand-alone hardware devices are now being connected. And by setting up those connections, we’re creating an environment where we are even more connected as people.
The value of new technologies is no longer in a single integration. The real value is created by building an integration ecosystem. And even presenting business ideas that were previously not possible! One great example is 5G technologies which enable greater ability to integrate products and data, in real-time, into situations previously disconnected & previously not possible. Due to the increased bandwidth, this networks will not exclusively serve cellphones like existing cellular networks, but also be used as general internet service providers for laptops and desktop computers, competing with cable internet, and also will make possible new applications in the internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine areas.
What’s really happening now is we’re going into a world that is really connected in ways that we never even dreamed of. And this is good for both regular citizens, and large enterprises!
Everything holds data, and these connections help us to share it. The power of upcoming technologies such as IoT is that they collect a lot of information and make it all accessible at once regardless of time, location, or even language. In reality, integrations are catering to inputs and outputs. Things like “IoT” are inputs, and things like “augmented reality” are outputs. Being able to do integrations over 5g networks, for instance, we come up with productive ideas as a result of having access to data which we never even thought of, such as for artificial intelligence and machine recognition. From simple messaging Input and Output we came up with merging these incoming and outcoming streams of information, creating the ability to share information and make it accessible in completely new ways.
If you’re not integrating, you still need to connect. Sending emails, picking up the phone, or even walking to see your clients are all time-consuming tasks. Perhaps it’s not scalable. Perhaps it’s not even practical. But when you start integrating, these connections become much denser, greater volumes of connectivity appears, and we’re moving from an idea of connecting systems to actually a decentralized way of programming.
A DECENTRALIZED FUTURE
Most likely, in the next five years, we’re going to see integrations evolve into decentralized computing. No more boundaries for companies choosing to work with one vendor, one system or 1 product. We’re going to see a whole ecosystem of connected vendors, systems and products being leveraged simultaneously by business.
Business ecosystems will provide more products and tools to be leveraged, supporting enterprises outside their own core competencies especially. It will bring the need for companies to integrate with somebody. While simple integrations are easy, building something like an integration platform is much more complex. But it provides advantages such as social networking. The platforms like Amazon, or the internet, enables social networking.
We should expect to see a huge increase in decentralized business, enabled by this technology, which really goes in the face of what we’ve seen traditionally. Historically, business itself has been seen as pushing most of these changes. Going forward, we’re now seeing technology is pushing businesses into new business ideas. A great example is blockchain, where you have different users that are sharing a ledger, and they’re building out a distributed trust model that would simply not be realized without that type of integration.
Having this capability to connect things that are decentralized, that are in different places, instantly, autonomously, and with scale means we are able to consider new business models that we have never imagined.
The way to think about it, is by looking at the technology itself, and how it’s evolving. We started years ago, where this thing called the internet changed the world. And we started to get this idea that we could connect things together. But perhaps we didn’t have the models for good connections. And so we didn’t think about it. We just started off by building a series of stand-alone applications and products. Perhaps those architectures were not ready for sharing, connectivity, and integrations. Today we can leverage the trust ideas that blockchain enables to create trusted supply chains.
We began by first connecting the simplest systems, to today’s approach which is moving away to a more distributed, decentralized model of computing. In the near future, perhaps in 3-5 years, we won’t talk about “integration” anymore. Our environment will simply become part of our computing reality, which our computing models will ultimately handle.
PIECE OF ADVICE (CONCLUSION)
Any digital activity is based on integration. Understand that integrations are a business and technology process. Find people that know those two worlds, and can actually bring them together, to further the process of actually BEING Digital. And that really means taking an architectural-first approach, finding architects that help with the transition and start to build a business technology roadmap. Start the transition, don’t wait. Just get in there and start making it happen. Understand what you’re going to do. Again, it’s not just about business or technology, it’s both together, at the same time. Moreover, it’s about people that can envision new business from the technologies we have and what they are swiftly evolving into. Don’t just adopt vendor technology blindly. Adopt what you’re going to need to support your business models now and as you go forward. The matter is not about being digital; if you want to do business, “being digital” is a must. The key for enterprise executives is to harness the benefits and advantages that Digital provides, and use these benefits wisely.
Brice Ominski, Chief Architect @DeepDive Technology Group
 What is integration? – Definition from Whatls https://searchcustomerexperience.techtarget.com/definition/integration#:~:text=Integration%20is%20the%20act%20of,system%20that%20functions%20as%20one.&text=These%20links%20usually%20are%20established,flow%20of%20data%20across%20systems
 5G – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5G