In part I of this two-part post, we learned why the IT architecture supporting modern business feels bloated when cloud computing was supposed to be a liberating, game-changing paradigm instead, and why it is critical to address this issue as soon as possible.
Solutions for Cloud Integration
Cloud Service Integration solutions, also known as iPaaS (for integration Platform-as-a-Service), are a new generation of native Cloud offerings at the intersection where data integration and application integration converge that bring the best of both worlds with Hybrid integration across Cloud and On-Premises data sources and applications.
Cloud Service Integration solutions will typically be articulated around connectors and actions. The former are used to connect to applications and data sources, in the cloud and on-premises, implementing the service call and processing the input / output content. Most solutions provide pre-built connectors, as well as a development environment to build native connectors to applications, instead of having to implement custom web services. The integration actions provide additional control over the data: check data quality, convert to different formats, and offer additional activities for managing, merging or cleansing your data.
Enterprise offerings will include additional key functionality such as administration and monitoring, to check for data loss, errors, schedule job execution or assist the set-up of environments and templates.
4 tips for selecting your Cloud Service Integration solution
As with all Cloud solutions, it can be daunting to sift through all the different offerings and identify which is right for you. The following tips will help you pick the right future-proof, cost-effective solution.
- Future-proof support of Data Quality and Big Data Integration: Connecting without improving quality is a waste of time, but many vendors do not provide out-of-the-box data quality actions. Likewise, your top priorities most definitely should include the roll out of Data Warehousing, Analytics or Big Data, meaning you will need support for MapReduce and Hadoop integration;
- User interfaces adapted to different needs: Your successful deployment will require adoption by multiple categories of users, each with different needs and expectations. For instance, developers will want a powerful IDE, while business user (“citizen integrators”) might prefer a simplified Web interface;
- Avoid lock-in with proprietary technologies and languages: prioritize solutions built on open source projects with existing communities (Apache Software Foundation projects are a great starting point), and using popular technologies such as Java (making it easier to find development and support resources). If the components that are developed can be reused across your other top initiatives (Big Data, Master Data Management…) this would of course be a major boost.
- Check for hidden costs: beware of packages that seem attractive but don’t include the actual connectors and actions! Having to pay extra for “premium connectors” (SAP, Salesforce…) will significantly increase your total cost of ownership as your architecture grows over time, hurt your ability to evolve with agility, punish success, or even stall the project as extra budget isn’t available to fuel your growth.
Cloud Service Integration might just be your recipe for success, turning your Spaghetti alla Cloud into the fuel for your organization’s future success. It can enable you to realize the full benefits of Cloud & SaaS while successfully implementing your top priority projects, such as Big Data integration, data warehousing, business intelligence and enterprise reporting.
One such option to consider is…prepare for shameless plug…Talend Integration Cloud. Affectionately referred to as “TIC” internally, Talend Integration Cloud is a secure and managed cloud integration platform that we believe will make it easy for you to connect, cleanse and share cloud and on-premises data. As a service managed by Talend, the platform provides rapid, elastic and secure capacity so you can easily shift workloads between the ground and cloud, helping increase your agility and lower operational costs. Or, in other words, it’s like going beyond a solid shot of Pepto-Bismol to sooth your IT indigestion and making sure you are fueling your organization’s performance like an elite athlete.