Integration Holiday Gift Guide

Loraine Lawson
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7 Steps to Smarter Integration

Sometimes, change can be worthwhile. The key is knowing what's worth pursuing and what's not.

IT leaders are busy, particularly at the end of the year, with all the pressing year-end reports and holiday brunches. Who has time to shop for that perfect gift for the integration team?


Don't worry - I've got you covered. No matter what type of IT shop you run, there's an integration gift for you. On the cutting edge? Find out what to get your integration hipsters. An old-fashioned shop? No problem, I've found just the thing. Here's my pick for the best integration gifts for 2011's holiday seasons.


The Hottest Hipster Gift of 2011: When it comes to the hottest integration gift for 2011, there's just no contest. The hip gift is a shiny new Hadoop connector. Nearly every big vendor offers one, making Hadoop connectors the perfect new accessory for your favorite data management platform and/or data warehouse.


The Perfect Gift for the Hard to Buy For: For the big players and the savvy small shops, the perfect gift for all is an Integration Competency Center. It's the best practice that companies always seem to neglect, but if you've got a smart integration team, an ICC could be just the thing to bump up their integration IQ. Out of 130 Forrester clients surveyed, 60 percent of enterprises of $5 billion or more had an ICC, making this a no-brainer for large IT shops.


But don't forget - ICCs come in many sizes, from basic to expert, making this an ideal gift for the small integration shops that like to think big and smart. If you're not sure what to get, an ICC is this year's safest bet and is sure to give the recipient years of joyful integration best practices.


For the Budget-Minded Team: A data integration solution. You've been told for years that hand coding makes integration cost more in the long run. The tides have finally shifted, and long-time hand-coding shops are giving up the hard work, turning instead to integration solutions and platforms. From a simple ETL tool to a full-fledged data management platform, there's something for everyone, no matter what your budget. To get the most bang for your buck, be sure to spring for the elf who can show your team how to use all its capabilities.


For the Stylish: There's just nothing more in vogue right now than cloud and SaaS solutions. And what's the perfect integration accessory for all-things cloud? A cloud integration solution, of course. Again, there's a range of options in this category, from vendors that provide on-premise solutions that connect you with the cloud to full-service iPaaS solutions (integration platform as a service).

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