Cloud computing is hanging over the heads of chief information officers, as the technology continues to gain in popularity and work its way toward widespread adoption. Despite the hype, the process of integrating hosted applications and services is not at all cut-and-dry, and sooner or later, IT departments will be forced to meet the challenges head on.
As the technology continues to mature, it's becoming evident that many organizations favor the hybrid cloud model, where hosted applications and run alongside existing legacy systems. It can also refer to the practice of running both public and private cloud environments, the latter of which those with data security concerns tend to favor.
Business integration is extremely important in either scenario. Whether it's between cloud and on-premise solutions or different models of hosted services, new and old applications must be able to work together. Here's what to consider:
The deployment of a new cloud computing solution will be doomed from the start if it is unable to connect and communicate with existing applications. Data must be able to pass freely between new and old systems to avoid the dreaded silo – an application that stands on its own, outside the business process.
Here's where a business integration solution comes into play. Instead of blindly implementing a new app, focusing on A2A integration ensures that the cloud, no matter in what form, is properly added to the organization.
After all, no CIO wants to be responsible for investing in the cloud only to have the application fall flat.
This may be the most difficult aspect of the hybrid cloud approach. When using both public and private cloud models, an organization must determine which system handles which workloads.
The whole point of a hybrid approach is to run specific sets of data on certain cloud computing systems. It's up to the IT department to keep it that way.
Now we come to security, the thorn in the side of cloud computing adoption for all companies. Ask CIOs what concerns them the most about the cloud and nine times out of 10, maybe more, they will cringe and say something about data security.
However, these executives have nothing to fear, so long as the integration process is completed. The data stored on and used by any application, cloud or on premise, is more likely to remain protected when an effective integration strategy is put to use.
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