Cloud integration is often a pre-built, highly scalable platform that connects multiple source data, applications, and tools under centralized view so that organizations can make use of their data for analytics.

Cloud integration allows local data to work seamlessly with information and applications in the cloud. As more businesses migrate their on-site data centers to the cloud, cloud integration plays a growing role in the ability of organizations to migrate to the cloud or build cloud-based business intelligence, etc.

A successful cloud integration approach takes thorough inventory of existing environments, carefully plans for a specific solution state, and leverages the right creation and management tools.

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Six benefits of a cloud integration tool

Cloud integration tools ease the management of — and/or transition to — a simple but comprehensive approach to cloud operations. The right platform will save time, money, and customers/businesses lost to missed opportunities by helping organizations achieve the following.

  1. Lower total cost of ownership — Melting the hand-coding iceberg is just one way the right cloud integration tool can reduce the total cost of cloud operations. Pay-as-you-use pricing models allow companies to pay for only the compute, network, and storage they actually use, eliminating hardware expense and excessive bandwidth provisions. The top cloud integration tools on today’s market support ETL/ELT tasking, so companies can ensure the most bang for their big data dollar.
  2. Shorter time-to-delivery cycles — Because developers who interact with live markets rely on clean, fast, and current information about the environment, a cloud integration tool is a powerful addition to the development arsenal. It breaks down silos and allows all phases of the delivery cycle to work from trusted data.
  3. Instant, easy, and highly scalable — Just as an integration tool can save money by lowering total cost of ownership, its instant, high scalability ensures that business will never be lost because operational infrastructure can’t support activity spikes.
  4. Easier compliance — The growing complexity of national and international compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR have created daunting compliance waters, and many organizations lack the internal expertise to navigate them.

    A cloud integration tool automates compliance procedures and ensures data complies with current standards, protecting businesses and shielding them from vulnerability and potential millions in fines.

  5. Actionable business intelligence — Knowledge has never been more powerful, or more potentially profitable. A cloud solution can be the cornerstone of turning terabytes of raw, meaningless data into usable information. Actionable business intelligence that more closely connects companies and customers will power business in the 21st century, and a cloud integration solution can be an engine that creates it.
  6. Reduced hand-coding — Working manually through an entire enterprise to hand-change APIs and connectors with every major data change proves a major resource sink for organizations without cloud integration tools.

    What begins as an attempt to cut costs and manually keep track of application and data dependencies devolves over time to a patchwork approach to integrating across the cloud. This trap is referred to as the hand-coding iceberg, because only a small fraction of the time and costs of the approach is immediately visible, and actual maintenance costs can be almost 200 percent higher than with a cloud integration tool, which automates the update process.

With these major benefits — and other, more subtle ones—the right cloud integration tool can have a game-changing impact on an organization, greatly reduce the workload on IT staff, and produce faster, better business intelligence on even a spartan budget.

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Three keys to selecting the right tool for cloud integration

When it comes to any IT project, especially one as important as data integration, the right tools are the keys to a successful job. Here are the most important considerations for realizing immediate benefits from cloud integration:

  • Fast, easy integration — With support for hundreds of connectors and simple integration with data storage and services on the various cloud providers (Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, …) and on premise, a cloud integration tool should be out-of-the-box and operating in a live environment with as little tweaking and customization as possible.
  • Absolute security and compliance — Organizations face enough business pressure without constantly worrying whether the environment is operating within the latest compliance standards. A cloud integration tool should greatly simplify this effort, taking the sting out of mandatory reporting and audits.
  • Better operations — The goals of big data integration in the cloud are better business intelligence, improved customer connections, and enhanced operational performance. A cloud integration tool with holistic, visualized insights into the environment gives executives the tools they need to trim waste and streamline operations.

These are perhaps the biggest considerations in choosing a cloud integration tool, but the right one will customize to precise business needs regardless of the size or scale of the deployment.

Industry-leading cloud integration tools

For more than 15 years Talend has been providing integration tools and services to the some of the world’s largest corporations and small businesses around the globe. Built on an open-source platform and supported by a worldwide development community, Talend provides fast and seamless integration without hand-coding, and simplified paths for improving business operations through cloud integration and business intelligence.

Start exploring today with a free trial of Talend Cloud or a data lake quick start on AWS

The right cloud integration tool is a vital asset to any modern, growing company that relies on data. Incorporating a tool early often makes the transition easier and smoother, so don’t wait until the dev team is already stretched too thin. Check with the team today, get some reasonable projections for the amount of data the company will be using in the near future (and how it will be used), and start looking for the perfect tool before it’s an emergency.