But complexity will ensue if long-term strategy and goals are not identified early on in the process. Today's enterprise cloud initiatives require decoupled data systems working together - without the need for personnel and other resources to set up and maintain them - making integration key to success.
Oakland, Calif. (PRWEB) April 15, 2009
In the current economy, businesses are forced to find new ways to do more with less. More and more enterprises are moving to the cloud, lured by lower costs, scalability and autonomy from constrained IT and development resources. However, benefits may be short-lived without a plan that places cloud computing in the context of overall business strategy.
Large enterprises, in particular, need to integrate cloud computing into existing IT systems and applications. Given that most will not move all business processes to the cloud at once, Jitterbit, the leading provider of open source integration software, shares five recommendations for solving the integration puzzle.
1. Create a strategy and a set of (realistic) goals upfront.
Some businesses are jumping in without articulating a long-term cloud strategy and how it relates to the overall business. As with any project, establish realistic goals and priorities, a clear budget and deadline, as well as a shared understanding of what resources are available for implementation and maintenance. While cloud computing promises significant ROI - productivity gains of 50 percent and upward - keeping complexity and cost to a minimum requires planning and strategy.
2. Learn from the mistakes of those who came before.
Early adopters took a standalone approach to cloud computing. The services were readily available, easy to consume and economical, and the implementation challenges few. However, for enterprises where traditional IT infrastructure often serves core business operations, the "detached" cloud might deliver only short-term value, and potentially require future re-implementation or migration. While a standalone approach risks creating silo-ed applications, an integrated cloud strategy will deliver long-term results.
3. Get serious about autonomy.
Integration of on-premise applications has traditionally required a team of IT specialists who have a deep understanding of underlying application frameworks and processes. SaaS applications are designed to be managed by business users -- non-domain experts who want to quickly and easily connect data with other enterprise systems. Cloud integration should complement the model by minimizing development, implementation and maintenance resources, allowing users to focus on their core business.
4. Address security concerns.
According to analysts, nearly 75 percent of CIO and IT executives cite security as their number one concern when it comes to cloud computing. Because integrated cloud computing involves moving sensitive data between the cloud and on-premise networks, guaranteeing security is vital. When vetting an integration solution, determine which standards are supported for securing the data in transit. Keep in mind that as enterprises move more processes to the cloud over time, the volume of sensitive data flowing to and from the cloud will only increase.
5. Maximize connectivity options.
Cloud computing has become a loose definition for services on the Web: everything from software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), to Web-based utility and storage solutions, and emerging Web 2.0 properties such as Google Docs, LinkedIn and Twitter. According to research from Saugatuck Technology, by the end of 2010 one-quarter of business process improvement initiatives will include integration of information from Enterprise Social Computing solutions. Connectivity requirements will continue to evolve beyond standard enterprise applications, legacy systems and databases, to modern Web service and Web 2.0 APIs.
"Clearly, current conditions are driving businesses toward cloud computing," said Sharam Sasson, president and CEO of Jitterbit. "But complexity will ensue if long-term strategy and goals are not identified early on in the process. Today's enterprise cloud initiatives require decoupled data systems working together - without the need for personnel and other resources to set up and maintain them - making integration key to success."
The recommendations above are based on Jitterbit's direct interactions with enterprises considering or making a move to cloud computing, but concerned about integration. To follow this topic, visit Jitterbit's blog or Twitter.
About Jitterbit Inc.
Jitterbit delivers open source integration solutions that address the problems of cost and complexity associated with connecting on-premise and cloud applications and data. Jitterbit combines the power, affordability and quality of Open Source with enterprise-class support and services.
Kulesa Faul for Jitterbit