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IT Buzzword: Cloud Integration

IT Buzzword: Cloud Integration

cloudIn today’s fast paced world, it’s social media, viral videos, celebrity news and the latest trends. Generally, these boil down to a single word or two which in and of itself, becomes Pop Culture. In the business of information technology, it’s all the acronyms and buzzwords. Some of these buzzwords end up sticking around and become much more than we could have imagined just a few years ago. One of them that’s stood the test of time is, “Cloud Integration.”

It’s become very clear in the past few years that the ever present, and often talked about, “Cloud”, is here to stay. Many people still don’t grasp how important the cloud has become, in both your business and your personal life. It’s more important than ever for businesses of all sizes to take a step back and assess the state of their Cloud Integration…it’s more than a trendy new buzzword now.

What is Cloud Integration?

Essentially, it’s the overall process of integrating multiple applications that all share resources and data in the “Cloud”. It’s a combination of services that provide and fulfill the needs of your business. Often, it’s provided by many third-party applications merged into a single infrastructure.  It can be a mix of private and public cloud, often referred to as a hybrid cloud. Many businesses are moving towards an all public cloud approach. If any one of these services has an outage or security breach, it may affect all parts of the organization.

Last year, published an article on IT Outsourcing Trends that stated: “Enterprises are moving more workloads to the public cloud, but continuing to run certain applications in dedicated private cloud environments for security, regulatory or competitive reasons. So, they’re looking for providers that can seamlessly manage and integrate their hybrid cloud environments”, says Rahul Singh, managing director with business transformation and outsourcing consultancy Pace Harmon. “Increasing adoption of software-as-a-service models for specific applications (such as Salesforce and Workday) creates further operational complexity for enterprises,” Singh adds.

What this all boils down to is an increase in complexity. Cloud Integration is the process that takes all the individual parts and combines them into a whole. When evaluating your cloud infrastructure, here a few things that you need to consider:

  • Cost – The solution needs to be cost effective. Obtaining many services from a single vendor can often save you money. These vendors can add value by providing support and managing your environments.
  • Flexibility – Your business changes all the time, and the ability to expand to fulfill capacity needs is often overlooked. How fast can more resources be made available? Is your environment monitored 24/7/365 to avoid downtime and business interruption?
  • Management – Ease of management is often overlooked. Are your cloud providers managing these resources or your internal staff? When working with a quality provider, it’s often a team effort combining the best of both worlds.
  • Security – How secure is the complete cloud integration? One flaw can expose the systems across the entire cloud infrastructure. Security is another hot topic and one that must be carefully planned and maintained. When a breach does occur, how fast is it discovered and stopped?

Many organizations have added cloud services into their environment over time. Chances are they don’t know the total percentage of cloud-based vs. in-house services. It may be time for a checkup. Now is the time to take a step back and look at your entire organization. Look at how your business is leveraging the cloud and what can be done to integrate these services. You may be leaving money on the table, and risk being exposed from a security and capacity standpoint.

Thrive can assist with looking at and managing your complete cloud integration. Feel free to contact Thrive today to speak with one of our experts.