Is SaaS/Cloud Adoption Too Easy?

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

Is Your Cloud Provider Enterprise-Ready?

10 questions that IT organizations should be asking cloud computing providers before signing on the dotted line.

A recent customer survey by TrackVia, a cloud-based application development platform, found it's not cost savings that attract non-technical users to their solution. Fifty percent cited functionality and 30 percent cited ease-of-use, making these the two most popular reasons for moving development to the cloud.


Cost is the primary driver for SaaS and cloud adoption, according to 2010 surveys. Still, I have to say I'm not surprised that a company targeting non-technical users would find functionality and ease-of-use topped their list.


In fact, it may be that cloud and SaaS adoption are too easy-at least for the long-term good of the organization's information. It seems business units are using cloud and SaaS as a "backdoor" to sneak in applications without IT's knowledge, Darren Cunningham, VP of Cloud Integration at Informatica, says in a recent Processor.com article. Cunningham has nicknamed this trend "SaaS sprawl."


And, as with any sprawl, the lack of planning leads to problems-in this case, it's creating data silos that aren't sharing information with on-premise applications. The article mentioned four "essential" SaaS data integration problems that companies encounter when trying to integrate SaaS systems with back-end legacy systems:

  • Migration of data from the legacy systems to the SaaS solution
  • Replication of data, which basically means changed data is copied between the on-site systems and cloud-based solution
  • Synchronization, which means each system shares information in real time
  • Data quality, which is the problem of ensuring the data is consistent, standardized and isn't duplicated


If you regularly read this blog, you probably won't find a lot new in this article. However, if you're new to the issues of SaaS/cloud integration, this is a great introduction to the problem.


What's still unclear, however, is how these issues will ultimately be addressed: By vendors offering point-to-point integrations between their product and your on-site applications, or by a complete integration out of the stack, according to David Linthicum, who is quoted in the article and regularly writes about SaaS/cloud, SOA and data integration.


One thing's for certain: Right now, this "backdoor" adoption isn't working, at least not from a data sharing and integration standpoint.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.


Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 17, 2010 4:47 PM Paul Danek Paul Danek  says:

Great post, Loraine. I think that the great unrecognized irony of SaaS applications is that while organizations are making the move due to ease-of-use and quick time-to-live, in all reality, SaaS applications still possess the same complexity and pitfalls of traditional on-site solutions--In particular, at the Enterprise level and relative to integration and data migration/replication/synchronization. If an organization isn't equipped to handle integration, or if those within the organization that are aren't involved in the process, the end result, as you so aptly describe, can be data silos. One of the biggest problems  SaaS should address in the first place!

I believe that this conundrum speaks to the continued viability and importance of an organization's IT department, and deployment services provided by the application provider or a 3rd party consultant.

The way so many SaaS applications are marketed, it's no wonder why organizations under-estimate the complexity of implementation and deployment. But even with SaaS, it's not easy.

Aug 24, 2011 5:51 PM Hollis Tibbetts Hollis Tibbetts  says:

Excellent post.  I've linked to it from http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/integrationedge/2011/08/saas-cloud-changing-the-face-of-applications-data-integration.php

In my article, I talk how a survey of IT execs seriously understate the upcoming growth in SaaS/Cloud deployments.  IT execs "plan" for the deployment of applications.  SaaS/Cloud enables "rogue" deployment.

You really help me make my point.  Thank you.


Post a comment





(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.




Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Daily Edge Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.