5 Secrets of Cloud Application Integration Success

by October 6, 2015 0 comments

– Ajay Gandhi – VP Product Marketing, Informatica

Cloud computing has crossed the chasm, mobile devices are ubiquitous and social networks constantly stream masses of data into the ether. Sensor technology continues to advance and herald a new “The Internet of Things” era. Each new technology redefines the velocity of innovation and changes the expectations for an acceptable speed. Today, people demand answers to their questions within seconds and expect problems to be resolved within minutes. If companies are expected to survive in this new age, they must be able to answer questions like how to transform enterprises to deliver answers in real time and how to do so without additional IT complexity.
Here are five secrets to help deliver actionable data in real time to exceed customers’ expectations:
Secret #1: Liberate the data
IT departments across the globe are discovering that many cloud applications are failing to meet expectations, despite the rapid time-to-market and easy adoption. As a result, many IT practitioners struggle to realize the return on their cloud application investments, and many don’t know why. This is because despite each cloud application working well in isolation, it operates in a vacuum that creates a walled garden of inaccessible data. So whenever the need for data from multiple applications or systems arises, there is just no clean way to get answers. That’s unacceptable in today’s hyper-connected world and wipes out many of the benefits of moving to cloud.

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Be sure to free your data with a solution that can bridge both cloud and on-premise worlds, and can deliver critical information to the right users wherever they happen to be – whenever they need it. Whether you need insurance rate information from several cloud applications, or inventory data from legacy ERP applications, you must build real time application integrations that liberate data, unify applications, and provide data services across all of your enterprise boundaries.
Secret #2: Empower the People
In order to improve the productivity of employees in sales, service and marketing, companies need to not only aggregate the information they need but also reduce the effort to work with it. Almost all cloud and traditional point-to-point application integration approaches focus on connectivity but fail to empower end users. Cloud Application Integration introduces the concept of process wizards. Users follow process wizards that automate tasks without the need to open multiple tabs, or cut and paste information from one application into another. This reduces data entry errors and improves end-user productivity.
Secret #3: Embrace Mobility
It’s undeniable that we are living a life that is increasingly connected to the Internet, but instead of sitting at a desk, we are connecting to the net in taxis, on planes, and even when we are waiting in line for coffee. We not only follow friends, update status feeds, or shop online but also want to use our mobile devices to perform work-related tasks. Today, one can use smart phones and tablets to improve employee productivity like never before. Cloud-based mobile process applications allow employees to instantly access dynamic, real time data from virtually any device. These applications have native support for iOS and Android platforms and also support other popular mobile technologies such as the Salesforce1 Platform and HTML 5.
Secret #4: Exploit APIs
The fourth secret looks outward and solves the problem of exchanging data and collaborating in real time. As more businesses move their applications and data to the cloud, Application Programming Interface (API)-based integration is becoming increasingly common. So, exploiting APIs to foster deeper collaboration is a great idea as APIs allow the applications and systems to talk to other applications or services.
In this way, a company can open up data and functionality to other developers and businesses or even between departments and locations within itself. Whether it is connecting to back-office systems, legacy databases or connected devices, powerful APIs make building apps that seamlessly integrate with a connected world much faster and easier. Cloud Application Integration technology today can easily consume or produce SOAP or REST-based APIs, making every connection to applications and services more meaningful.
Secret #5: Automate for Productivity
Many companies look to automation solutions for productivity gains, only to discover that traditional application integration approaches impose significant developer overhead, erasing any productivity gains. The final secret is to choose the right Cloud Application Integration solution that can automate processes without adding additional overheads.
Visual tools which are available in market-leading Cloud Application Integration solutions let business people, not just developers, create sophisticated process integration flows with simple point-and-click. So the data that’s needed to drive the business forward is always available, instantly updateable and not slowing the company down. With the right Cloud Application Integration solution, companies can unify cloud-based data with the rest of the enterprise and ensure data accuracy, improve business decisions and operations, and derive maximum value from all of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) investments.

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