The evolution of Cloud integration technologies over the past several years has been impressive. Adoption and use of Cloud-based IT and business services continue to grow globally at a remarkable rate. Cloud integration providers now offer toolkits and solution packs for the most commonly-requested Cloud and on-premises applications. Cloud ISVs are delivering managed integration services alongside their core Cloud business solutions.

Cloud First

Over the past several years Cloud business solutions have evolved from narrow and experimental to robust and reliable and have now become mainstream. “Cloud First” is a business mandate in many organizations across industry, geography and size. Not only are there verifiable economic advantages, the innovative functionality of Cloud solutions commands the attention of line-of-business leaders. As Saugatuck recently noted in 1258SSR Saugatuck’s 2013 Global Cloud IT Adoption, Use, and Benefits Survey (29 August 2013), both business and IT leadership now have fewer concerns over the security and integration of Cloud solutions. In fact, IT executives report significantly lower levels of concern than their line-of-business counterparts, moreover, who understand the technology risks far less well. For IT, Cloud integration is fast becoming a non-issue.

As the data in Figure 1 indicate, concerns about the integration capability itself have fallen sharply in recent years. Today it is a second level issue, with less than half the percentage of respondents as concerned about security and privacy.


Figure 1 – Enterprise Cloud Concerns – Integration Falling Lower in the List in 2013

The Demand for Integration

The demand for integration in today’s business environment is greater than ever before and, fortunately, the tools are far more capable.  Not only do enterprises need to link their Cloud solutions to on-premises assets, but Cloud-to-Cloud integration is on the rapid rise.  In the near term, through 2015, enterprise buyers indicate a need for integrating Cloud to on-premises software, though the preference for pure-play Cloud solutions continues to grow. By 2017, our surveys indicate the demand for Cloud pureplay solutions will have risen significantly and will drive the need for Cloud-to-Cloud integration. Whether it is Cloud to on-premises today or Cloud to pure-play Cloud tomorrow, the need for integration is clearly mandated.

And it’s not just linking Cloud to Cloud or Cloud to on-premises business solutions. As the Boundary-free Enterprise evolves, the linkages are including Mobile, Social and Data Analytics capabilities. Today integration is the most critical competency we have discovered to leverage Cloud business solutions in the Boundary-free Enterprise.

Increasingly businesses are learning how to accommodate and benefit from Mobile, Social and Data Analytics capabilities and link their on-premises IT portfolios to the Cloud. Integration between Cloud solutions and on-premises IT assets delivers new value in the synergy, largely because of the potential for business innovation.

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This blog originally appeared at Saugatuck Lens360. Published with permission.