How Cloud Integration Platforms Can Benefit Business

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    Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Cloud Platform Solution

    What’s one of the major pain points in cloud computing?

    If you guessed integration, give yourself a miniature candy bar. 451 Research surveyed IT decision makers and found that integration, combined with data migration, ranked as the second largest complaint, according to TechTarget

    If you’ve followed my blog recently, you’re probably not surprised, since earlier this week, an Information Week survey uncovered similar findings about integration and cloud computing.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, some integration tools and platforms address the problem of cloud integration. TechTarget does a great rundown of specifics on such tools.

    The site interviewed Carl Lehmann of 451 Research, Jeff Kaplan of THINKStrategies, and representatives from cloud enterprise vendors, such as Dell and MuleSoft.

    Though the full article is worth a read, I’ll discuss a few highlights to help you understand how these integration cloud platforms differ from your run-of-the-mill connectors or APIs:

    • Integration cloud platforms are more programmable than connectors, which are a sort of plug-and-play integration that works with specific applications. While they typically include pre-built connectors, the platform can also be used to build customized integrations for in-house applications.
    • These platforms are useful if you have more than one app to connect to the cloud or vice versa. MuleSoft’s VP for CloudHub Chris Purpura says the average customer uses the platform to connect at least 10 SaaS applications to existing systems.
    • Beyond the basic integration, cloud integration platforms let you form an integration process, which means you can build a process that outlines a series of activities and tasks based on rules or conditions.
    • The “value proposition” for cloud integration platforms is their ease of use, from development to deployment.
    • Cloud integration platforms are becoming more affordable, which may help explain why their adoption is a growing trend.

    The TechTarget article also provides useful information about choosing and running a cloud integration platform. For my money, what’s even more helpful is the partial, but lengthy, list of cloud integration platform vendors.

    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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