Technology is moving toward the cloud. The prospect of buying software as a service rather than a large expenditure is attractive to financial officials and has made great inroads into various areas of business. According to Business Cloud 9 contributor Saurabh Sharma, companies need to have a strong plan in place to prepare for the cloud-based future of B2B integration.
Sharma, an analyst with researcher Ovum, stated that the drawbacks of traditional integration methods have become clear, forcing supply chain firms to undergo a change. While an old-fashioned integration system may be able to combine data from on-site apps to those hosted in the cloud, companies now have a wide variety of needs. Networks of apps of every description and model exist at different companies, and there is a constant need to move information between them as quickly as possible.
In the current climate, Sharma stated, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps contain a number of advantages for IT departments. SaaS is typically easy to install and upgrade, meaning that as requirements change, the solution will be ready to handle the new needs of the industry. B2B integration in the modern world is complicated, meaning that the simplicity of a SaaS deployment could be ideal, according to Sharma. He mentioned that firms can purchase packages of SaaS systems for each of their needs.
InfoWorld contributor David Linthicum found that companies are, in general, becoming more serious in their cloud adoption. He stated that the process has come on the back of two major developments - the changing allegiance of software creators and an opinion shift among executives. He stated that developers of new software moved to the cloud to secure higher-paying positions and have found the architecture ripe for new applications. In addition, executives who once saw the cloud as dangerous have now decided to support it.
The cloud and integration have strong thematic links. The cloud is always "on," carrying information around the world in an instant. The single view of information conveyed by storing documents in the architecture speaks to firms' needs to move data quickly across international borders and their own organizational structures. The amount of data hosted remotely can be nearly limitless and there are no restrictions on the format of those files. No matter how companies collaborated in the past, there is likely to be a matching method in the cloud.