Fixing cloud integration by Andrew Bell

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Today, most companies are still overwhelmingly on-premise. However, enterprises are turning more and more to the cloud in an effort to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT architectures.

Many hope to offload non-value adding processes and applications to the cloud, whilst others are looking to migrate fully to the cloud as part of their digital transformation journey. For SaaS applications to provide real value to businesses however, they need to integrate with other SaaS or on-premise applications in order to prevent the creation of data silos.

During the first wave of SaaS implementations, lines of business have typically introduced SaaS applications without regard for the overall IT strategy. Equally, they have built their own point-to-point integrations with other applications. This results in a non-architected integration landscape which is difficult to maintain and build upon.

In such scenarios, different and often incompatible standards and software are used to provide data integration, meaning that the cost of ownership has actually increased and cross divisional integration is more complex than ever. Security holes can also result in potential risks to organizations.

This piecemeal approach leads to a mass of point-to-point integrations done haphazardly and without real thought to common standards, community management, security, scalability, visibility or agility. Furthermore, because integration is point to point, companies face real difficulties upgrading when endpoints change.

Many enterprises that attempt cloud integrations end up in this state, which is why more than half of SaaS applications fail to live up to expectations. The cloud introduces a whole new dimension of complexity including:

§ IT is no longer fully central and controlled. Cloud applications do not run in an organization’s data center, and availability, reliability, security policies etc. are governed by the SaaS vendor.

§ Tooling is often inconsistent. Cloud providers may provide unique integration toolkits and APIs. An integration tool from one vendor may not be compatible with another cloud vendor. As the number of cloud providers increase, so does the number of integration toolkits. This can lead to a spaghetti of complex integrations between various SaaS and on-premise applications. Read the complete article here.

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About Jürgen Kress
As a middleware expert Jürgen works at Oracle EMEA Alliances and Channels, responsible for Oracle’s EMEA Fusion Middleware partner business. He is the founder of the Oracle SOA & BPM and the WebLogic Partner Communities and the global Oracle Partner Advisory Councils. With more than 5000 members from all over the world the Middleware Partner Community is the most successful and active community at Oracle. Jürgen manages the community with monthly newsletters, webcasts and conferences. He hosts his annual Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forums and the Fusion Middleware Summer Camps, where more than 200 partners get product updates, roadmap insights and hands-on trainings. Supplemented by many web 2.0 tools like twitter, discussion forums, online communities, blogs and wikis. For the SOA & Cloud Symposium by Thomas Erl, Jürgen is a member of the steering board. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences like the SOA & BPM Integration Days, JAX, UKOUG, OUGN, or OOP.

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