There’s no doubt that the topics of “Cloud Integration” and “Cloud Analytics” are gaining market and customer awareness, interest and momentum. Check out the Google Trend summary and a few of the headlines from just last week:
- One Way or Another, SMBs Need to Solve Integration with Cloud Analytics
- Integrating applications across cloud boundaries
- Salesforce appears to be prepping a cloud-based analytics service
- IBM’s New Watson Analytics Wants To Bring Big Data To The Masses
Last week I participated in a SnapLogic webinar focused on integrating Workday HCM with the rest of the enterprise. What became clear to me in the discussion is that line of business users of specific applications, regardless of whether it’s HCM, CRM, SCM, Finance, etc., always look first to the specific application provider (or in the case of integration, to the systems integrator that implemented the application) to address intra-application requirements. Often referred to as “operational integration” and “operational analytics” the customer first wants to get a basic level of functionality (point to point) from the application and/or platform they’ve purchased.
From the perspective of the end-user business application solution provider, however, delivering enterprise-class intra-application integration and analytics, not to mention a robust set of APIs, requires significant R&D commitment and resources. Delivering inter-application integration (multi-point), which powers a broader set of analytics that include data from disparate (big and small) sources is even more of a challenge. It typically lands in the lap of the enterprise IT organization to ensure that hard-wired application silos aren’t introduced (SaaS silos) that limit how much relevant information an application/platform delivers to end users.
Ultimately, customers need day-to-day operational integration and analytics (intra-app integration) and broader enterprise connectivity, visibility and multi-channel, source and system insight (inter-app integration) to gain competitive advantage. “Cloud integration” and “cloud analytics” are hot and getting hotter and I suspect we’ll continue to see these trend lines move up and to the right in the new world of SMACT – social, mobile, analytics and big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.
Here are a few posts where we’ve outlined some of the new requirements for both intra and inter-application integration and analytics in the cloud: