Publication: BW BUSINESSWORLD
The cloud is transforming how businesses approach data integration and assisting them in winning the age-old war against information silos. Cloud integration and cloud data integration solutions have opened up whole new possibilities for enterprises looking to integrate different systems, and manage their business as well as IT holistically. Businesses gain more scalability and flexibility as they bring together—over cloud—their various cloud applications, platforms, and infrastructure and on-premises systems.
Despite its benefits, one of the primary challenges that businesses encounter when embracing cloud is that they end up selecting numerous platforms, infrastructure, and PaaS & SaaS providers. As a result, businesses wind up with various storage, computing infrastructures, services and applications – all hosted by different cloud providers. Despite growth of a few common standards, these systems typically involve proprietary protocols, schemas and APIs, making their integration difficult but extremely necessary.
Organisations need their data unified across their operations, business units, locations, etc. This, in turn, adds expense and time to the management's workload. Cloud integration strategies thus become important. Cloud integration consolidates data from numerous sources and presents it as a single, cohesive, and relevant information that aids in making better and more informed judgments.
Cloud integration strategies would involve the following:
1. Common manageability:
Organisations’ applications and infrastructure have proliferated across numerous platforms. Managing multiple platforms—including their costs, usage, security, etc.—can be a tangled mess. Effective governance of enterprise IT now demands that multiple cloud instances, platforms, etc., are managed in a unified manner covering aspects of provisioning, chargebacks, policies, etc. Organisations have a choice of highly reliable and capable management suites, which can help.
2. Process integration:
Another concern would be that a business process is distributed across numerous cloud applications, causing the procedures to be slow and repetitious, all while increasing resource burn. This is when process orchestration enters the picture. The method of combining those distinct jobs into end-to-end processes saves time, money, and resources while yielding significant data outputs. This enables teams to manage the entire process lifecycle, including development, testing, monitoring, and management in an integrated manner. Services like Azure Service bus and the lightweight yet powerful Microsoft PowerApps etc., can be quite relevant.
3. Data and insights integration:
It is critical to have consolidated data with deep insights that provides an overview of the complete business while making business decisions. Any cloud integration strategy, thus must provide for aggregating and integrating data. Thus unified data warehouses and data lakes which seamlessly connect to various cloud (and on-premise) data stores and applications, while allowing for secure discoverability, must be part of overall IT strategy. Another important aspect is to initiate building a unified data store, which establishes a common data model and a set of standards which allow integrated applications and easier communication across.
With cloud integration, businesses have experienced scalability and flexibility by integrating their numerous cloud applications, platforms, infrastructure, and on-premises systems. They also gain the functionality to manage the full process lifecycle in an integrated manner.