29 Mar, 2018

451 Research Reveals What Trends To Look Out For In 2018


With our Digital Enterprise Transformation Day taking place in NYC next week, we had the pleasure to sit down with 451 Research to gain an exclusive look into the potential of blockchain and the most disruptive trends to keep an eye out for in 2018.

Thank you to Carl F. Lehmann,  Principal Analyst: Architecture, Integration & Process Automation at 451 Research for providing us with such great insight.

Blockchain’s potential requires that leaders make an investment in understanding the technology and necessary outcomes. What does this mean for decision-makers considering the future of their data or transaction architecture?

Blockchain technology has many practical uses beyond cryptocurrency, but it still confuses many business and IT leaders. To dispel any confusion try thinking about blockchain technology as a distributed business process execution network. It enables known or unknown parties to do business with one another using shared business processes codified in a common shared software application that is used to buy, track, and pay for goods and services.

Here’s what makes it unique – its distributed ledger design can minimize or eliminate costs associated with processing transactions, maintaining security and controlling risk. Blockchain’s consensus protocols do what now requires massive IT infrastructure that is costly, efficient and time-consuming. This is why the financial services industry is so concerned and enamored with blockchain. It takes days to process an automated clearing house (ACH) transaction that can be done in minutes using blockchain. Right now blockchain would struggle to handle the transaction volume of an ACH scale network. But most business processes transacted across known business parties (customers, suppliers, and partners) don’t operate on this scale and don’t share this problem.

The next question many ask about is – “where’s the data?” A blockchain implementation used for business does not typically store business data. It stores data about data like the state of a business process, proofs of work enabling consensus to process transactions, and permissions to do so. The data needed by a shared business process application (often also called a ‘Smart Contract’ used for things like global trade or health care records), is stored elsewhere; either in a blockchain hosting sponsor (like a consortium) or in a private enterprise system of record.

All this now requires means to integrate a blockchain with consortia-based or enterprise systems of record and systems (back-end database and repositories) and systems of engagement like e-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management systems (SCM) platforms.

Herein lies a considerable opportunity for integration technology and services that heretofore have been largely overlooked in the integration markets. But many integration vendors haven’t quite figured this out yet. This should change perhaps later in to 2018 or early 2019.

What trends are you keeping your eye on in 2018?

Next-generation digital automation platforms emerge

In recent years business process management (BPM) and enterprise content management (ECM) software have converged and transformed into process- and content-oriented application development and runtime platforms. They now enable a low-code approach that uses graphical drag-and-drop tooling and templates to configure or compose, rather than code, applications. Vendors are positioning their new offerings as the means to enable digital business automaton – creating next-generation development environments we now refer to as digital automation platforms.

A digital automation platform (DAP) is a set of tools and resources structured within a uniform framework to enable developers to rapidly design, prototype, develop, deploy, manage and monitor process-oriented applications – from simple task-related workflows to dynamic unstructured collaborative activity streams and even highly structured cross-functional enterprise applications. To do so, DAPs are equipped with a range of new capabilities that go beyond those of their BPM, ECM, and other applications development predecessors.

DAPs include new means to assist in user interface and application design; synthesize the use of new and emerging technologies found in next-generation devices; and simplify the means for collaboration among business and IT professionals to jointly design, prototype and develop applications. They can make applications ‘smarter’ using machine-learning and AI technologies that can learn from process execution to improve automation of tasks and decisions and extract insight from data payloads.

Hybrid Integration Platforms Extend Their Depth and Reach

Integration PaaS (iPaaS) offerings are now a staple in enterprise integration toolkits as the means to integrate SaaS applications with on-premises systems of record and other SaaS offerings. They have been evolving to include API management and enable various types of data quality management to become hybrid integration platforms. Going forward their capabilities will include means to orchestrate microservices and drive deeply into the data they exchange by managing and gaining insights from metadata. Moreover, their reach will extend to virtually all types of enterprise data regardless of its point of origin or persistence, and even into the systems of customers, partners and suppliers to enable new means for self-service B2B inter-enterprise integration.

As cloud services bear the burden of more workloads, integration challenges with enterprise systems emerge that require easier, faster and smarter solutions (see Figure 1). IPaaS offerings are now staples in enterprise integration toolkits as the means to assimilate clouds, big data, devices, and things into a new hybrid enterprise IT architecture. Moreover, enterprises have been accelerating investment in API lifecycle management technology and services. APIs link to – and exchange data across – all IT infrastructure, software, and devices. They are now viewed as assets and products and are being managed strategically. The iPaaS and API management (APIM) markets have been converging and transformation to become hybrid integration platforms.

You can meet 451 Research at our upcoming Digital Enterprise Transformation Day in NYC. Use #MillenniumLive to be involved in the conversation. 


451 Research will be attending Digital Enterprise Transformation Day NY as an Analysist Partner for our information sessions surrounding topics including:

  • The Correct Way To think About Blockchain In Business
  •  Questioning containers: Considerations for Container Implementations

Digital Enterprise Transformation Day NY is your chance to meet with experts from across the Tri-State area in an intimate setting. With high-level content, disruptive solution providers, and enhanced networking opportunities, this one-day event promises to provide you with the knowledge you need to take advantage of new technology in 2018 and beyond.

For more information about the Assembly and details on how to get involved, please download the brochure here >>

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