One of the more puzzling topics in enterprise cloud these days is the market gap that seems to exist around cloud integration. In survey after survey, integration is named as one of the top barriers to cloud adoption in the enterprise (see here, here and here).
- Cloud-to-Cloud — integration between two cloud-based applications or services and associated data.
- Cloud-to-Ground — integration of SaaS and cloud-based applications to legacy, on-premise applications and data that resides behind the firewall.
- Enterprise IT vendors that have acquired their way into the space, like Dell Boomi and IBM Cast Iron
- Still-independent pure-play startups focused on cloud integration, like SnapLogic
- On-prem data integration solution providers that have extended into cloud, including Informatica, Pervasive and MuleSoft
- SaaS vendor integration platforms such as Salesforce.com and Workday
So if a plethora of options exist and integration is still an issue, what’s the problem? A couple of issues we’ve heard anecdotally that could be in play here include:
- Scalability — one issue we’ve heard repeatedly is that current solutions don’t provide required performance at enterprise scale. Solutions that may have been initially designed with the SMB market in mind may be architecturally constrained, and not robust enough for the enterprise market.
- Schema — one of the fundamental challenges with integration is always the mapping of two different data schemas between source and target. While most iPaaS services provide a great deal of flexibility, we’ve heard that issues still remains around underlying data models. A disconnect may exist between how SaaS vendors have defined their standard data models for supported business processes and workflows, and the highly customized data models enterprises may have designed in conjunction with custom, legacy on-premise app deployments.
We’d be very interested in hearing the practitioner point of view on the topic. Is data integration holding your organization back from further SaaS or cloud adoption? Why? Where are current solutions falling short?