Cloud integration is the process of connecting separate data repositories and/or applications into one central platform. These repositories and applications could reside on different cloud platforms or a combination of cloud and on-premise environments.
Why Do I Need Cloud Integration?
Modern organizations, increasingly, use several different applications for their everyday tasks. According to a 2017 Gartner study, even a small business deploys, on average, 22 applications, which are distributed across on-premise and cloud platforms. Data formats differ among applications and platforms, which leads to data silos.
Businesses need cloud integration so that different applications within an enterprise can talk to each other and ultimately, improve business processes.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Integration?
With the help of cloud integration, businesses can streamline their processes and adopt more agile workflows. Some of the key benefits of cloud integration are:
- More scalability: Since applications are integrated into one central hub, it becomes easier to deploy newer solutions without disrupting the entire architecture.
- Improved customer experience: Cloud integration allows applications to share data between them. This streamlines businesses processes and can result in improved customer experience.
- Less overheads: Modern cloud integration relies on cloud integration platforms, which are low-code solutions. This allows businesses to employ leaner IT teams. Integration also removes data redundancy, which makes compliance a lot easier.
Are There Different Types of Cloud Integration?
Broadly speaking, there are two different types of cloud integration:
- Cloud data integration, which synchronizes data between warehouses for the purpose of data analysis, among other tasks.
- Cloud application integration, which makes different applications work in tandem with one another. It goes beyond data integration and handles tasks such as application requests for interoperability.
How is Cloud Integration Carried Out?
Enterprises have two options for carrying out the task of cloud integration: build a bespoke integration solution in-house or use integration platforms. As the number of applications in a business stack rise, building or managing an in-house solution can be cumbersome and resource-intensive.
Integration platforms, on the other hand, offer easy scalability. They also come with pre-built templates that minimize the need for coding and make integration easier.
Broadly speaking, the process of cloud integration is broken down into the following steps. Enterprises might have to go through one or all of these steps, depending on their requirements:
- Network integration
- Resource integration
- Elasticity integration
- Control integration
What are the Challenges of Cloud Integration?
Some of the common challenges of cloud integration are:
- Data security: Cloud integration involves data transmission between cloud platforms, or between cloud and on-premises platforms. This exchange can pose a security risk if vulnerabilities of a system aren't carefully addressed.
- Network efficiency: Frequent transfer of data can overburden Wide Area Networks (WAN), especially since they can suffer from latency issues. Optimizing network resources is a related challenge in the process of cloud integration.
- Efficiency of operational systems: Monitoring and handling changes to data at the source can overburden source systems and lead to operational inefficiencies.