While waiting for a delayed flight I gave some thought to how the app on my phone came to know so much about my situation, and how integration can pull together disparate information and enable digital innovation.
Integration in the real world
Recently I was sat in the airport waiting for a flight, which was delayed due to 'an earlier maintenance issue'. The delay was going to be about 90 minutes whilst another plane was made ready, and the gate had also been moved B23. All of this information was ready to me on my phone via the airline's app, along with my boarding pass and details of my future flights with the airline.
I was patiently waiting for my flight I started to think about the app on my phone and how it came to know so much about my predicament. At some point an engineer will have found a problem with the original plane and reported it, possibly via a mobile device into a maintenance system - or maybe via a sharp intake of breath to a worried looking flight manager (I'm hypothesizing here). From here this information may well have been integrated into a flight schedule system to flag the possible delay. Once an alternative plane was found the schedule would have been updated with the delay and via the magic of APIs and 4G my phone pings with a notification. But that isn't all, the airport will have assigned a gate to the airline for the flight - with the details of this allocation being sent via an interface to the airline's systems and from there again to the app on my phone.
Again the story doesn't end there, when I checked in for my flight, integration between the app on my phone, the airlines systems and the airports boarding pass system have enabled me to check in from my phone and use the generated Q-Code to pass through security. Looking at the app in more detail I book hotels and hire cars along with flights (enabled by B2B integration with the booking systems of hotels and car hire companies).
My delayed flight shows how much integration is required in these scenarios, some of which will have been handled via APIs but a reasonable amount will have been good old fashion system-to-system integration. This is good example of the sorts of hybrid landscapes that the next generation of integration platforms in the cloud can excel in.