Four Mistakes Enterprise IT Makes with Cloud Data Integration

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    Six Big Business Intelligence Mistakes

    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is nice and all, according to 92 percent of the 350 IT executives surveyed by Dimensional Research, but it would be much better if integration weren’t such a concern, the respondents said, according to an Integration Developer News report.

    “The ability to avoid SaaS silos and easily obtain consistent data integration and data quality across on-premise and cloud-based data is definitely a top concern among those IT decision makers we surveyed,” Richard Broome, CIO of Host Analytics, told IDN.

    Overall, 88 percent reported “challenges” with SaaS business applications and 67 percent specifically cited data integration problems.

    Host Analytics, a BI vendor, sponsored the survey so IT leaders were also asked about BI’s potential role in solving the integration pain points. Most, 74 percent, said they thought having SaaS application data in a common BI solution would add value.

    Host Analytics partners with several cloud integration vendors, including Informatica. David Linthicum, SVP at Cloud Technology Partners and integration expert, recently featured the survey in a post for Informatica’s blog.

    Most enterprise IT shops don’t understand the value of integration, Linthicum says. It’s a long-standing issue, but the cloud exacerbates the problem, he writes.

    “The shame of it all is that, with a bit of work and some investment, the value should come back to the enterprises 10 to 20 times over,” Linthicum writes.

    He identifies three facts about the situation, but what stood out to me was a list of four common mistakes.

    • Mistake one: Companies focus too much on the immediate costs of data integration platforms without calculating the long-term gains, he says.
    • Mistake two: Companies believe their integration needs are unique. Linthicum runs the calculations, but the “patterns of value typically remain the same,” he finds.
    • Mistake three: People assume data integration tools are only for moving data. Data integration platforms offer more capabilities, including tools for managing the data and metadata.  “This means understanding, protecting, governing, and leveraging the enterprise data, both locally and within public cloud providers,” he adds.
    • Mistake four: Enterprise IT too often takes an all or nothing approach to the cloud. The correct approach would be much more balanced.  IT should consider the data’s use, compliance and other business requirements.

    “Those in enterprise IT have either pushed back on cloud computing, stating that data outside the firewall is a bad idea due to security, performance, legal issues…you name it.  Others try to move all data to the cloud,” Linthicum writes. “The point of value is somewhere in between.”

    Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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