Many enterprises utilize middleware as the “glue” linking their application infrastructure together. This application fabric is usually comprised of bespoke and commercial applications, some of which are sourced within the company and others obtained through acquisition. For these enterprises, middleware lets it all work together. Unfortunately, the middleware solutions are often used on a department or division basis with a box of overlapping tools to monitor and manage them. As IT is still for the most part organized in silos (see Silos of Shame), this can be costly at best providing a technology-specific view of status and with little overall visibility of the application, itself.
But, we can take another approach and get past this. Utilizing a single point of control to view and manage all of your middleware solutions can be just the answer we need. As companies face greater competitive pressures in the marketplace and need to reduce costs they often look to deduplicate tools, processes and roles. This approach can help.
A unified middleware management strategy can be beneficial in removing some of the duplicate tools or at least funneling their events into a single view and analysis engine and thus reduce both cost and error. This strategy can also reduce some of the redundant processes that are tool specific.
This approach can also help in terms of staff efficiency. Many of the challenges in sustainable cost reduction are exacerbated by location strategies that implement off shoring and out sourcing. While initially reducing costs, they can end up being more expensive as the center of expertise is not off shore and there are different tools and levels of staff efficiency in each location. This can be helped by avoiding “eyes-on-screen” monitoring. There shouldn’t be any reason why operators need to watch a screen for problems – that is just so 1990’s. Avoiding this through automation and through the reduction in the number of consoles by utilizing the unified approach can be an essential component in improving IT resource utilization; another important factor in delivering sustainable cost reduction.
Furthermore, a single view across all middleware is just the ticket for the vital insight into compliance that enterprises need to stay on track with the ever increasing set of regulatory standards applied to business. This is especially helpful when there is also a way to control segregation of duties across all middleware solutions as opposed to a separate process for each solution.
Messaging middleware has made it possible for applications never designed to work together to pass information between them without requiring them to be rebuilt. However, the infrastructure around them has become too complex and costly and in today’s world of “doing more with less,” this is unhelpful. On the other hand, taking the “unified view” can help you deliver on your CIO’s plan to handle competitive pressures, reduce costs and meet regulatory challenges.