Moving to Microsoft Azure Cloud? 8 tips for evaluating data integration platforms

As organizations increasingly move their data and operations to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, they must migrate data from old systems stored on-premises. Unfortunately, IT can’t always meet data integration deadlines by writing custom code and legacy integration technologies drive up the time and costs to migrate.

The key to success is finding a data integration platform that makes it easy to quickly move data to the cloud and ideally, integrate other endpoints, such as applications, IoT, and big data. However, as with all technologies, no two platforms are alike – each one is best suited for particular environments and scenarios.

During your data integration platform evaluation, ask the following questions so you can narrow down your choices and make an informed decision. Here’s some guidance on each question to help you ultimately arrive at the best data integration platform for your organization.

  1. What are your key projects? Do you need a tool to solve a tactical one-off integration challenge, perhaps for a single Line of Business (LOB) function? Or are you looking for a robust platform to underpin more strategic, organization-wide integration initiatives?

A limited platform might suffice for a one-off integration. However, you’ll need a robust, enterprise-ready platform to support strategic initiatives.

  1. What does your application and data landscape look like, and what are your priority use cases? Do you have a mix of on-premises and cloud or multiple clouds? Are you looking to streamline operational processes such as hire-to-retire or order-to-cash, or load multiple data sources into a data lake for advanced analytics? Or do you have multiple and varied infrastructures, deployment, and use-case requirements?

Using one unified solution that can handle a hybrid approach (on-premises, cloud) along with big data and disparate data sources will save on resources and eliminate the complexity of maintaining multiple architectures and learning multiple user interfaces.

  1. Who are the target users of your data integration platform? Are they skilled developers, ad hoc integrators, citizen integrators, or LOB analysts? Do they all reside within a central IT function, or are you cascading integration projects to hundreds of users with varying degrees of technical proficiency across the business?

A platform built with only developers in mind could quickly throttle your time to market.

  1. Are you moving to a lean IT environment? Is your IT team supporting a higher number of projects without an increase in staff? Is IT the only group that would use the platform?

If you need to accomplish more with less, a self-service platform that empowers business users can serve both IT and business needs.

  1. How do you measure the value that an integration platform brings? Are you looking beyond the initial up-front cost to the total cost of deployment and maintenance over time? What about the number of people required to manage the integration platform? How much training is needed for a user to be productive? How quickly can users create integration flows?

Take into consideration all costs/expenses to understand your total cost of ownership and how this will impact the expected ROI.

  1. Is platform independence important? Are you primarily a single-vendor shop (organized around a primary cloud platform, ERP, or database) that can easily take advantage of bolt-on integration tools? Or do you need an independent, feature-rich, best-of-breed solution?

Your integration solution should serve your needs without complicating your environment.

  1. Are you upgrading, consolidating, or pursuing a net-new integration platform? Are you trying to upgrade from older legacy integration platforms, consolidate multiple platforms to a single organization standard, or starting from scratch with a new platform built for a hybrid/multi-cloud world?

Make sure the platform enables you to start out small on project-based initiatives and scales along with your growing needs.

  1. Are you an SMB, mid or large organization? Are you embarking on a digital transformation project or initiative? Are you growing? Does your data integration platform need to scale as you grow?

Confirm the integration platform supports current and future needs.

Answering these questions should help you navigate the growing and diverse landscape of integration solutions to find the one that is right for you.

For migrations to the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform, the SnapLogic Enterprise Integration Cloud platform helps our customers obtain business insights faster by taking advantage of self-service data ingestion, preparation and delivery from virtually any source to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. SnapLogic enables organizations to connect:

  • Anything– applications, APIs, data, devices, and processes
  • Anytime– batch, streaming, real-time, event-based
  • Anywhere– on-premises, in the cloud, embedded, or in a hybrid environment

Our intelligent pre-built connectors – called Snaps – for Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage provide fast, self-service data connectivity.

If you’re ready to migrate to Microsoft Azure for a cloud data warehouse, download our guide on how to choose the right integration approach.

Janet Jaiswal

Janet Jaiswal is VP of Product Marketing at SnapLogic.


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