Cloud without integration is a data brick wall

brickwallIs that surprising? To anyone who’s using Software as a Service (SaaS), data silos are just as much of a problem as they were for applications a decade ago. Ironic, isn’t it, that we’ve come so far and yet are recreating the data silos of the last generation? A survey published in Integration Developer News shows that 92% of CIO’s see the benefit of Cloud solutions but are concerned that data will be trapped in one vendor’s service, unavailable to the remainder of the organization. They’re right.

That concern makes perfect sense when you consider the rapid rise of business-friendly analytics that rely on access to data across the enterprise. If we save money and add functionality quickly through SaaS apps, but in the process reduce end-to-end visibility for the business, we’ve gained nothing.

Despite silos, strong expectations

Integration Developer News SurveyOn the positive side, SaaS is viewed favorably by most CIO’s despite the silo problem. The same survey showed:

  • 92% said the adoption of cloud technologies is good for business
  • 67% said cloud technologies help IT deliver better systems for less money
  • 62% said SaaS applications give business stakeholders more ownership of key applications
  • Cloud is gaining a foothold across many corporate departments, including IT (67%), sales (36%), and customer support (35%)

Having your cake and integrating it, too

So what will it take for CIO’s to have their SaaS cake and integrate it too? More than many folks realize, there’s a need to invest in products that access Saas data through the many API’s that are available but at the same time a challenge to manage without automation around access, security and performance. And don’t think about going backward to data warehouses. Simply applying business intelligence (BI) front ends to provide SaaS dashboarding won’t solve the problems of needing real-time intelligence and likely won’t scale as quickly as the sources and volumes of data required by the organization. This problem is too complex to be an afterthought.

If we want Cloud success, we need to make integration a significant focus of the effort. Without it, Cloud doesn’t make much sense and is very short-term thinking.

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Categories: Cloud / SaaS / PaaS

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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One Comment on “Cloud without integration is a data brick wall”

  1. September 3, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Great article and I completely agree! We did an article similar a few weeks ago discussing the same survey. This is the very reason why Kevy (Kevy.com) exists. To break down the brick wall and integrate cloud apps to end siloed data.

    Integration has massive impacts on cloud apps, big data and business automation. Kevy’s goal is to give people back their time and investments through making integration fast and simple.

    Here is the article we did a few weeks ago and even talks about how integration is possible: http://bit.ly/12vWUpK

    Thanks for writing on this subject – it is clearly a pain point in the world of business but has exciting implications for the future.

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