We have had a number of conversations with customers and prospect that mentioned having a corporate or IT-driven “cloud initiative”. After hearing this, we’ve reflected on the rapid change of cloud solutions from the early adopters and point solutions to broader acceptance of cloud solutions within enterprise IT.
According to a recent article by InformationWeek titled “6 Reasons SaaS May Mean A Return To Silos “, a survey showed that 43% of SaaS users are very happy with the ability to deploy applications quickly, but are much less satisfied with the complexity of integrating hosted apps with on-premise systems and data sources (see: InformationWeek Analytics 2011 Enterprise Applications Survey). While we don’t agree with the assumption that SaaS (cloud) means a return to silos, we do find the survey results consistent with conversations that we have had with IT executives. The requirements for easy data availability and timely information for decision-making have not changed. Cloud solutions have introduced new integration points, and computing devices have introduced new platforms. We argue that the rapid adoption of cloud initiatives will drive the advancement and development of cloud integration strategies, solutions, and interfaces.
We have witnessed enterprises becoming more thoughtful toward integration and interoperability in their evaluation of cloud solutions, recognizing the need to have ubiquitous access to their data. This is especially true when more enterprise systems are moving to the cloud. Data access should make no difference in a cloud-to-premise, cloud-to-cloud, or any other hybrid model. Additionally, rigid system integrations are giving way to loosely coupled integrations that share data and enrich applications from other data sources.
A relevant example of this need for integrating enterprise applications and tools with the Innotas IT Management solutions has been the increasing number of customer integrations that we are seeing with other work management and project tracking tools such as Atlassian’s Jira . Jira is one of the most trusted and leading project tracking tools that has seen great adoption from small workgroups and expansion across the enterprise. Innotas has been building integrations to reach beyond the borders of work management in Innotas to incorporate data from complimentary tools such as Jira. The goal is to bring work activity back to the enterprise project and application portfolio. The challenge of any IT Management solution such as Innotas is how to capture work across the entire enterprise to provide governance and decision making as it relates to time, people, and money across the entire organization, not just IT. IT leaders recognize that departments and teams across the enterprise have different work management requirements. Providing these groups with access to the best tools to do their job yields better results than forcing everyone to use a single, one-size-fits-all work management system to serve top management’s need for visibility and governance. Enterprise cloud integration solutions enables enterprises to use tools such as Jira, any on-premise, or cloud solution as best-of-class system in areas such as operations and product development, which feed activity, resource, and time data to an enterprise IT Management system for IT portfolio governance.
It is time to look at the clouds overhead and then a thorough view at your corporate data and integration strategy.