IT’s Groundhog Day: Don’t Make the Same Integration Mistakes in the Cloud

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    Four Ways to Solve Cloud Integration, for Better or Worse

    It’s the CIO’s version of Groundhog Day: Business units want a solution, but do not want to wait on IT. So the division leaders bypass IT by funding the solution from their own budget. Eventually, it all comes out and IT has to solve the ensuing integration problems.

    The cloud has only multiplied the problem and added one more complication: Now, business users aren’t willing to put up with IT taking its sweet time on solving the integration problem, even if the business caused it, Gartner VP and Research Fellow Massimo Pezzini told Information Age.

    And yet, as InformationWeek’s State of Cloud Computing Survey revealed, many companies are still trying to solve integration with manual coding.

    Another revealing statistic: Companies have abandoned roughly one cloud application a year due to integration problems, according to Rex Wang, vice president of Oracle’s Product Marketing, who cited this Oracle survey (registration required for download) of business managers from across the world.

    It all suggests IT is in denial about the realities of the cloud, business needs and integration.

    Maybe it’s time to stop the denial and embrace cloud, Alastair McAuley, an IT expert with the PA Consulting Group, told Information Age’s Ben Rossi.

    Rossi interviewed a number of high-level analysts and several end-user organizations for his article, “Cloud Brings Application Integration Out of the Shadows.”

    It’s one of the most straightforward assessments of the situation I’ve seen in a long time. To highlight two of my favorite parts, IT has two options:

    1. Stay in denial and try to force the business to use only cloud solutions that you know you can integrate easily.
    2. Wave the white flag on IT control and focus on simplifying integration.

    If you’re struggling with that one, here’s a hint: You’ve already lost the IT control battle, anyway. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2016, half of new integration projects will involve on-premise applications, cloud services and e-commerce trading partners.

    The article offers a look at how three companies have solved some of their cloud-based integration challenges. Two of them I found pretty specific to the situation, so if this is a pervasive problem with multiple cloud and on-premise applications, the best option is to focus on an integration platform that supports cloud-to-on-premise.

    One thing is clear: If your current integration platform isn’t helping you solve cloud integration quickly and without a lot of tears, it’s time to reassess, as Ovum Senior Analyst Laurent Lachal told Rossi:

    “Should I stick to the integration technology I have, or adapt it so that I can cater for new applications as they spring up behind my back? Some companies will try to stop this happening but the most intelligent will try to adapt.”

    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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