Benoit Lheureux

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Benoit J. Lheureux
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
31 years IT industry

Benoit Lheureux is a research VP in Gartner Research and agenda manager for the Application Infrastructure group. He focuses on three areas: application integration, middleware and B2B e-commerce, with the emphasis on the latter. Read Full Bio

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2011 Predictions for Integration, B2B and Cloud Services Brokerage

by Benoit Lheureux  |  January 10, 2011  |  4 Comments

In the run-up to Year-End 2010 my colleagues and I published our annual 2011 Predicts reports, featuring a wide range of predictions related to integration, B2B and cloud computing.

These Predicts 2011 Reports include (subscription required):

These reports are chock full of predictions and detailed analysis — I hope you saw them. But in case you were a bit too busy with your own year-end activities to see these reports I’ve summarized a few choice bits here that underscore some of the fundamental changes in IT that are affecting companies that do B2B integration and are adopting Cloud services.

Select Strategic Planning Assumptions:

By 2014, the CSB vendor landscape will have grown from dozens to hundreds of providers.

Daryl Plummer and I have already identified a few dozen providers that deliver some form of CSB offering, but we believe that the proliferation of cloud adoption, combined with challenges of consuming cloud services for their IT users, will create demand for more CSB offerings to help facilitate consumption. In case the concept of CSB is new to you, we just recently published a bunch of research on CSB in our Special Report on Cloud Service Brokerages.

By 2015, 40% of integration projects involving A2A, B2B, MFT and cloud services will be implementing with one IT solution.

My colleagues and I predict that over time companies increasingly will use just one integration product or service to address all forms of application integration. This is because users increasingly wish to single-source their product or service to address various integration problems. In response, IT providers are doing substantial R&D and mergers and acquisitions, such that they can increasingly offer consolidated integration solutions that address A2A, B2B, MFT, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and cloud integration project requirements.

By 2015, 50% of “Integration as a Service” (IaaS) will be consumed as an embedded feature of other IT offerings.

Today, we estimate that over 90% of IaaS functionality is consumed directly by IT users or IT services providers as a stand-alone solution for traditional e-commerce or cloud integration requirements. But we believe that over time, IaaS will increasingly be embedded and consumed in conjunction with other IT solutions — for example, as an embedded feature of ERP, SaaS, PaaS, Integration Brokerage, iPaaS or cloud services brokerages (CSBs).

What All This Means

As companies do more ecommerce B2B integration and consume more cloud services they will be looking for more complete and more highly evolved forms of B2B products and services to help them achieve their IT and business goals. Consolidated integration solutions, embedded integration, and Cloud services brokerage are examples of how IT solutions are evolving to meet more demanding IT user requirements.

In 2011 my colleagues and I are substantially evolving our B2B research agenda which, amongst other things, will increase our emphasis on these areas of innovation. What can you expect from us in 2011?

  • Look for research on “integration brokerage”, an evolved form of managed services for B2B/EDI that is relevant to both traditional ecommerce and cloud computing projects. I am putting the final touches on a 2011 research plan for my colleagues and I to address how the market is evolving, how to choose vendors, etc.
  • Look for research on “integration platform as a service” (iPaaS), an evolved form of integration as a service (IaaS) that delivers a hybrid combination of integration, governance, security and other interoperability capabilities delivered in the Cloud to link applications, SOA services and Cloud services. in 2011 Massimo Pezzini will lead a group of analysts including myself in an active 2011 research agenda on this concept.
  • Look for more research on Cloud services brokerage, a form of Cloud-enabled IT services offering specifically designed to aggregate and add value to proliferating Cloud services. Besides individual research throughout the year Daryl Plummer and I and other contributors will publish another special report later in the year.

I’ve been covering B2B integration with Gartner for over 10 years and its been a good run (you can find abstracts for most of my research online here — yeah I know it ain’t pretty, but its efficient). I’ve helped users and vendors navigate and adapt to fundamental changes in B2B before, e.g., when B2B software emerged and when the EDI VANs evolved into Integration Service Providers. But the changes to B2B occurring now — driven by Cloud computing, IT consolidation, outsourcing and vendor M&A activity — are having a higher impact on B2B than anything I’ve ever seen before.

Which is why we’re making so many changes to our research. You’ve gotta adapt. We’ve gotta adapt. That’s the consequence of perpetual innovation. But in the end we’ll get through these changes — too — together. :-)

Cheers and Happy New Year!

- bjl

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Category: B2B Cloud Cloud Computing Cloud Services Cloud Services Brokerage Cloud Services Integration CSB Ecommerce EDI IaaS Integration SaaS Integration Uncategorized     Tags:

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