Cloud Computing and Data Integration: 10 Trends to Watch
EAI in the Cloud
Almost everything everyone does today in the cloud as it pertains to data integration has been primarily business-to-business- (B2B-) focused. B2B in the cloud is now considered "business as usual" and is increasingly regarded as a mature technology for solving B2B issues. More vendors are now shifting their focus to leveraging enterprise application integration (EAI) to facilitate data integration with back-end systems in the cloud. This includes using cloud-based data integration and data management for integrating on-premise applications with each other, as well as integrating software as a service (SaaS) and cloud applications with on-premise and/or other cloud-based applications.
B2C Will Drive B2B Agility
Social networking, cloud services and mobile touch points have turned business-to-consumer (B2C) on its ear. This trend requires some thought and consideration as we begin to see more importance on the consumer as a service (CaaS) platform. Commerce APIs that enable contextual commerce experiences across touch points are now a new focus, layering on and directly impacting existing B2B platforms. The increase in B2C activity will result in companies upgrading their on-premise and cloud-based B2B platforms to meet the challenge of real-time processing from consumers to the back-end systems and back again.
Data as a Service in the Cloud
Data as a service providers are emerging to aggregate and manage large data sets from multiple sources to make this information more easily available and usable to businesses. The trend is for more data providers and varied content to come online, as well as for cloud services brokerages to subscribe to multiple data as a service providers on behalf of their customers. These services will be used for data enrichment, efficiency gains and process refinement.
Integration Platform as a Service
Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) allows companies to create data transformation and translation in the cloud, a growing trend that enables managed service providers to take the burden off corporate IT staff. Companies are looking at iPaaS as well as managed service providers to help solve the problem of data integration and management when moving on-premise business processes to the cloud.
Master Data Management in the Cloud
Widespread adoption of cloud-based master data management (MDM) will be fueled by full-service, turnkey solution providers. Vendors that offer a complete suite of services to aggregate, manipulate, enrich and ensure data quality, and also meet data governance requirements, will be especially attractive to midsized companies that don't have data management experts on staff or resources to build out a scalable IT infrastructure to support on-premise MDM. Because doing MDM in-house is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, MDM in the cloud will see a dramatic increase in acceptance.
Data Governance in the Cloud
As customers put more of their data assets in the hands of cloud vendors, they will demand readily-available visibility into the source of their data and how it is used, as well as the business processes and audit logs for data governance in the cloud. Providers will be expected to make this information visible in an easy-to-consume way.
Data Security in the Cloud
Over the past few years, a plethora of privacy laws and industry data security mandates have driven organizations of all sizes, across industries, to protect payment card and sensitive personally identifiable and patient information at rest, on-premise. As more companies move their back-end business processes to the cloud, the need for data security in the cloud and in motion between on-premise and cloud-based systems and data repositories correspondingly increases to lower risk and meet compliance requirements.
Business Process Modeling in the Cloud
As systems change and the integration layer becomes abstracted to the cloud, the burden of integration, maintenance and procurement will be lifted from corporate IT departments. Companies will be freed up to shift their focus to more strategic activities like refining business processes and innovating. The physical shift and the shift in focus mean that business process modeling (BPM) will move to the cloud. These processes will need to be understood and be able to be tuned and adapted to this rapidly changing environment.
Business Activity Monitoring in the Cloud
As companies move more business processes to the cloud and integrate them with on-premise and other cloud-based processes, the demand for business activity monitoring (BAM)-defined by Gartner as the aggregation, analysis and presentation of real-time information about activities inside organizations and involving customers and partners in the cloud-will increase to give business owners visibility into their cloud-based data and traffic. This visibility will strengthen confidence with cloud-based processes and provide a level of understanding conducive to process refinement and optimization.
Cloud Services Brokerages
The challenge of managing multiple cloud providers and getting a diverse set of solutions such as CRM, B2B, EAI, accounting and more to work together and share data can be daunting to IT departments that are used to managing these solutions in-house. As organizations increasingly outsource more business processes to the cloud, they'll turn to full-service cloud services brokerages (CSBs) that should have the expertise and technology to manage their cloud providers and the connections, as well as handle data management and integration between multiple cloud providers and on-premise processes.