Cloud Architect: Integration Is No Reason to Avoid SaaS

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    Looking Ahead at the 2015 Business Intelligence Landscape

    Integration isn’t an excuse to avoid trying SaaS enterprise applications, argues principal cloud architect Mike Kavis.

    “Sometimes enterprise IT executives think their requirements are so different than those of other companies that they cannot be met by a SaaS provider. This thought process is often nothing more than a poor excuse …” Kavis writes.

    Kavis is also now a vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, but I’ve followed his writings for years. Kavis is an industry veteran with extensive experience as an architect and IT analyst.

    In the early days, integration with legacy IT systems was a problem for SaaS, he acknowledges. Now, APIs have largely resolved integration.

    “In fact, many SaaS solutions come with out-of-the-box connectors to leading vendor solutions while also providing simple ways for enterprises to quickly build custom connectors to their proprietary solutions,” Kavis states. “Furthermore, application integration and data integration vendors offer shrink-wrapped solutions for integrating hundreds of legacy and SaaS applications as well as extension capabilities for custom in-house applications.”

    Surveys certainly show that integration is less of a concern for SaaS than in the early days, when nearly 88 percent of SaaS companies said integration concerns would slow down adoption and more than 88 percent said it’s an important or extremely important factor in winning new customers.

    While integration may not be a reason to rule out SaaS enterprise solutions, I wouldn’t assume it’s no big deal. A Dimensional Research survey of 350 IT executives showed that 67 percent cited data integration problems as a challenge with SaaS business applications. And as with traditional systems, integration can add hidden costs to your project if you ignore it.

    If you’d like to learn more about your options for cloud/SaaS integration, check out my previous post, “Five Resources to Help IT Solve Cloud Integration.”

    Cloud Computing

    Help with R

    Hadoop and Big Data have created a lot of interest in the open source programming language R, which is used for statistical software and data analysis. In fact, it’s so popular that Revolutions Analytics has published a whitepaper on the topic called “R is Still Hot — and Getting Hotter.”

    The company’s recent newsletter is a great resource for learning R. It includes links to free training videos, archived webinars, news items and user groups. It’s also available online, so you can check it out without adding to your inbox clutter.

    Upcoming Webinars

    Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m., the Briefing Room will present “Crawl, Walk, Run: How to Get Started with Hadoop.” The president of McKnight Consulting, William McKnight, will be briefed by Rich Reimer of Splice Machine, which helps clients build operational data lakes.

    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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