I had an interesting conversation recently with an IT executive who outlined the importance of “breadth” when it comes to choosing a data integration platform. As he explained his multiple use cases beyond traditional ETL and data warehousing, he stressed the need to avoid point solutions and instead look for a true platform that will grow with you as your requirements evolve and more and more computing inevitably moves to the cloud.
Here is what made his data integration “breadth” so good:
- Breadth of connectivity (said he could just about connect to smoke signals!)
- Breadth of projects (data synch, migration, replication, quality, etc.)
- Breadth of users (metadata-driven graphical UI for developers, non-technical interface for SaaS admins in the cloud, etc.)
Speaking of good data hygiene, are you ready for the big launch? As of Tuesday November 10th:
- Business and IT will finally be on the same page.
- Data quality issues will be a thing of the past.
- The promise of SOA will finally be realized.
Now that’s seriously good data integration breadth! Be sure to register here.
I wrote a post on the Perspectives blog today about the importance of a comprehensive data integration strategy to cloud success: “What’s In A Data Integration Cloud?” The post cites IDC research from earlier in the year that notes that “by the end of 2009, 76% of U.S. organizations will use at least one SaaS-delivered application for business use” and that “the percentage of U.S. firms which plan to spend at least 25% of their IT budgets on SaaS applications will increase from 23% in 2008 to nearly 45% in 2010.”
Great news, right? But is your organization ready?
I broke the data integration cloud down into the three generally accepted categories:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – Don’t be fooled by hosted enterprise software running on Amazon (IaaS). See this concise post by Roman Stanek on this topic: Please Don’t Let the Cloud Ruin SaaS. A true integration as a service solution must be designed for non-technical users and must be built on a multitenant framework. In other words, “Think Outside the Box!”
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Targeted at developers, SIs and ISVs a cloud integration platform should go beyond purpose-built services and allow custom integration tasks to be developed and published to the cloud leveraging existing investments and sharing common metadata. In my opinion, this is where things really get interesting.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – As both public and private clouds become a more widely accepted IT infrastructure deployment model, look to see traditional powerful and complex integration services available “in the cloud” as a “hosted” option to keep costs down, as well as improve IT productivity and agility.
The bottom line: As I’ve said before, whatever you do, don’t wait to integrate. According to this article:
65 percent of IT managers recognize integration issues as the top barrier for SaaS adoption.”
Now that I’ve got your attention, instead of simply thinking about integration in terms of end-points and business processes (which are important, don’t get me wrong), be sure to develop a comprehensive cloud integration strategy that also takes into account:
Check out this comprehensive demonstration of integrating Oracle E-Business Suite with Salesforce in the cloud:
Great post on the ebizQ site today: “Why Data Integration is Critical to Cloud Computing.”
Put quite bluntly:
“…without data integration cloud-based systems won’t provide the value you’re seeking, indeed they may not be cost effective at all. “
Just back from my sister’s wedding – rain and clouds unfortunately, but a good time was had by all. Not surprisingly, my inbox is also filled with clouds. Here are a couple of articles I thought were worth sharing:
Of course this cloud momentum bodes well for data integration as an on-demand service. One of the vendors in this space recently published a quote from Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing which sums it up nicely:
“The rapid adoption of cloud computing and SaaS-based functionality during the past few years, combined with increasing demand from end users for improved integration of business data and processes between the cloud and their on-premise applications, has created an acute need for solutions to address cloud computing/SaaS integration…Companies across all industries and geographies that use cloud-computing based business software functionality will…want to integrate that functionality with on-premise applications and data to improve multi-enterprise process integrity. Doing so can save money (e.g., by reducing manual data entry using a browser) and generate revenue (e.g., by improving customer satisfaction and competitive advantage by ensuring that master customer data is automatically synchronized between cloud-based and on-premise business software).”