Talking to customers is always a great learning experience. It enriches my perspective on the enterprise software industry when I hear details on customers’ business challenges and how technology is regarded as the key enabler of solutions. Last week?s Midmarket CIO Forum that SnapLogic sponsored was particularly structured for such open interactions. Kudos to their organizing team! The interaction-friendly breaks and pre-scheduled 1:1s resulted in casual as well as focused conversations.
Forward-thinking CIOs are seeing the writing on the wall – they see the role of IT evolving from something that is hands-on and deeply technical into one that leans more towards administration and orchestration of cloud services. During our boardroom presentations at this event, some even wondered aloud why someone in the finance function couldn?t do the administration. These concerns are not totally unfounded as there was a recent study that reported that the CMO?s technology budget will be higher than that of the CIO?s by 2017.
My take in these discussions was that these changes are inevitable as more and more of IT infrastructure moves into the cloud. And, only the key hands-on initiatives such as custom application development will still remain within IT?s purview. In terms of packaged applications, the story of hybrid infrastructure will continue. Business-critical data such as finance will remain on-premise within the on-premise ERP systems. Functions such as Sales Ops, CRM, and HR will rapidly move into the cloud for their cost advantages and outsourcing of hardware and software headaches.
With this new world of exploding point SaaS applications (as opposed to suites), integration of information across these siloes is going to be more critical than ever. Application and data integration vendors will also be more critical than ever and will be expected to deliver a platform that will make IT more efficient. Even with reduced budgets, IT will be looked at as the enabler of integrations.
The key recommendation to IT leadership would be that they choose an integration platform that will help them in delivering integration solutions faster so that they can keep up with business needs. Sometimes building faster solutions could mean providing citizen developers frameworks to self-service integrations whether it means citizen developers assemble integrations using re-usable components or just run these automated integrations themselves via simple tools such as browsers or mobile devices. I would encourage the readers to schedule a demo of SnapLogic to see why it is the most suitable platform for this new reality.
If you missed us at the Midmarket CIO forum last week, our boardroom slides on solving “the Integrator’s Dilemma” are available here.