Who's Afraid of Cloud Integration? Not SMBs, It Seems

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Top Ten Best Practices for Data Integration

Use these guidelines to help you achieve more modern, high-value and diverse uses of DI tools and techniques.

Small and midsize businesses aren't just embracing they cloud; they're also embracing the challenge of integrating with the cloud, according to a recent survey of 450 U.S. companies of 50-999 employees.

The survey, conducted by Dell Cloud Business Applications and Techaisle, found that:

  • Up to 74 percent of SMBs are using in-house IT staff to integrate new cloud apps with on-premise technology.
  • Up to 61 percent are writing software code to integrate applications.
  • 64 percent also want to modify the integration based on business process changes.


Actually, tackling cloud integration doesn't have to be a big deal - if you cover all your bases. InfoTech recently outlined a simple action plan for creating a cloud integration strategy, no matter what the size of your business:

  1. Understand your data integration needs and resources. Be sure to study the data flows and data sources within the organizations and the cloud while gathering requirements.
  2. Document the data integration requirements that your data integration solution will need by mapping data flows, noting data sources and data types. Your options will include on-premise, integration as a service or a hybrid approach, InfoTech notes. Of course, there's always hand-coding, but the article notes that data integration tools can free up developer resources and reduce the time it takes to roll out integrations.
  3. Make sure you're supporting your data integration with the right staff and resources. This means deploying integration within a holistic framework and making sure you've assigned rights and responsibilities to data stewards and data integration specialists.

So if SMBs aren't afraid of integration, what does give them pause?

  • Up to 50 percent cited problems keeping up with service level agreements.
  • 48 percent said it's cumbersome to explain their business to each cloud vendor.


Not surprisingly, the Dell survey also revealed that SMBs tend to embrace cloud by first trying out CRM (ahem, Salesforce, anyone?), making CRM the "gateway" application for the cloud. CRM adoption rose 34 percent from 2010, and enjoys the most adopted cloud app of all.