Until relatively recently, only large enterprises had the budgets and resources to implement enterprise-wide integration and reap its many benefits, such as eliminating redundant systems and applications, time-consuming manual entry, and error-prone infrastructure complexity.
SMBs, often left struggling with patchwork integration, expensive custom-coding, and siloed business units, had no real options until the cloud came along. While data integration in the cloud has long since matured, the concept of seamlessly integrating apps across the enterprise has only recently gained traction. Still, it’s recent enough to give many organizations pause when considering a cloud integration strategy in an effort to find a way to cost-efficiently tie everything together in a comprehensive, enterprise-wide infrastructure.
So how do you know if it’s time to invest in a cloud integration strategy? Here are 7 signs:
1. Traditional integration tools no longer work
Until recently, legacy systems were relatively easy to integrate on-premise with some form of middleware. Today’s sophisticated and complex IT ecosystems render old-school integration tools less-than-agile in the face of a mobile workforce and cloud-based initiatives.
2. SaaS apps defy integration
Most SaaS applications are single point solutions and aren’t built with enterprise-wide integration in mind. As a result, many organizations have to create inefficient work-arounds to compensate for the lack of easy sharing.
3. Scalability is an issue
If your organization has trouble managing bandwidth and scaling IT services to meet the evolving needs of a mobile workforce, it’s time to look at cloud-based integration.
4. Security is a concern
Siloed business units, unintegrated SaaS apps, and complex data transfer processes from firewalled on-premise systems to the cloud all create security nightmares for IT managers. A cloud integration strategy enables IT systems to be streamlined and simplified for more robust and secure data flow.
5. Current APIs are inadequate
At one time, APIs seemed to be the answer to virtually any integration issue, but today API management can be part of the problem, especially for SaaS where API standardization is spotty at best. As a result, organizations can end up spending too much time and money figuring out how to get APIs and SaaS apps to play well together.
6. Integration requires multiple log-ins
Complex IT infrastructures suffering from piecemeal traditional integration often force end-users to log into multiple apps and databases to create the comprehensive digital picture necessary to work on projects.
7. Too many resources are being consumed
Organizations – especially budget-conscious SMBs – that find themselves throwing more money and workforce resources at integration in an effort to meet evolving operational requirements need to consider a cloud integration strategy.
You could likely benefit from a cloud integration strategy if any or all of these 7 signs apply to your organization. An ideal cloud integration strategy enables an organization to utilize a single, comprehensive solution that securely and reliably links on-premise legacy systems with newer, cloud-based ones for seamless, end-to-end infrastructure connectivity. An integration platform such as Flowgear dramatically streamlines and automates integration across multiple geographic locations and a variety of on-premise and cloud-based apps and datacenters, minimizing the risk and cost of a cloud integration strategy.