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Overcoming Key Hurdles for Cloud Integration

There was a time when cloud computing was seen as an incredibly advanced and rather risky technology, one which many business decision-makers neither understood nor were ready to embrace. That time has passed. Today, companies in every sector and region are embracing the cloud to a greater and greater degree. In fact, IDC recently predicted that global spending on the public cloud alone will nearly reach $70 billion this year.

As The Economic Times contributor Sunhil Mehra recently highlighted, cloud integration hurdles are near the top of this list. At the same time, though, Mehra emphasized that none of these obstacles are insurmountable. On the contrary, companies can absolutely achieve a smooth, problem-free cloud integration, as long as they embrace the right strategies, as well as the IT partners to guide them through this process.

Five key steps
Mehra highlighted several key steps that every firm should embrace as part of a comprehensive cloud integration roadmap.

1. Data mapping
"In order to share and integrate information, companies need to discover and map data locations throughout the organization, from isolated departmental SaaS apps to enterprise ERP systems running financials, supply chain and other back-end functions," Mehra wrote. Data mapping can achieve this goal.

"API management is a key issue."

2. Data governance
The writer next emphasized data governance. Without a unified approach to data governance, there's no real way to ensure data integrity across hybrid IT environments.

3. API Management
API management is another key issue. Meh​ra noted that SaaS and cloud vendors' API frameworks will always be unique and may not integrate naturally. High-quality API management, which includes a thorough analysis of interfaces and potentially adding an interface layer, can overcome this potential problem.

4. Security
Security is another critical component of a cloud integration roadmap. Security is obviously a top-level concern whenever an organization is embracing a new cloud service, and integration presents its own data protection challenges. As Mehra pointed out, there are more access points and data integration needs, which increases the risk of vulnerabilities occurring. This can be overcome, however, with a strong base-level security layer, combined with robust security policies governing the applications that will exist within the integrated framework.

5. Talent
Finally, Mehra emphasized the challenge posed by a lack of talent on the market. He simply stated that many companies do not have sufficient IT resources in-house to tackle cloud integration independently. Even though the cloud has been around for a number of years by this point, it still remains a relatively new technology, and so the number of genuine experts in this field remains low. With that in mind, Mehra suggested that many companies should look for cloud integration services that minimize the workload here through ready-built connectors for as many applications as is feasible. Reducing the need for coding will also improve performance.

Cloud integration should be a priority.Cloud integration should be a priority.

The advice provided by Mehra highlights some of the ways that companies can go about overcoming cloud integration hurdles. As the writer himself pointed out, many organizations do not have IT talent in-house with specialized knowledge of and experience with cloud integration. This is still a relatively new IT challenge, and demand for cloud integration experts is great.

One approach to cloud integration is adopting a flexible cloud connector architecture in all integrations. This is based on a service-oriented architecture protocol, which increases functionality as well as offers a smooth interaction between components. Additionally, aim to develop a Service-Bus platform to provide even more flexibility for integrating internal and external services.

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