The fast-paced environment present in most companies is constantly changing, growing and evolving with new technologies, systems, software and all types of tools that are introduced to the market to digitize and automate in order to create twice the value with half of the time.
One of the most important and probably the biggest developments of the last few years is the possibility of migration to the cloud for most IT applications. An industry analysis by Gartner estimated that over 75% of mid-sized and large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud or hybrid IT strategy.
There should be no more questioning whether your company should make the move to keep its systems and processes in the cloud. This movement is what turns companies into intelligent enterprises. The new ways of working should be considered the mix of cloud-based applications with the on-premise enterprise processes.
Bringing together the best skills and qualities of people and technology is what creates the foundation for an innovative business, or intelligent enterprise, that can find only the best solutions to their problems and act at the root of them to solve everything definitively.
But to achieve that, the integration of processes, data and applications – or all the tools and technologies that better suit the company – with reliability, security, transparency and compliance are better done with a cloud platform integration that will offer all the answers to your company’s questions and challenges.
If your company uses a wide range of tools and systems to deal with data and information, cloud platform integration is what creates a collaborative work environment with better communication and overall better integration of information between the processes and areas.
Cloud platform integration services are always evolving and can offer a world of possibilities for companies that want to use cloud platforms integrated with their current software and tools, and can be easily designed and aligned to solve specific issues the company may have creating hybrid integration solutions.
What Is Cloud Integration?
Cloud integration is a solution that uses tools and technologies to connect several processes, IT environments, applications, systems, data sets and everything else a company uses to handle their data and information. When connected, cloud integration gives the end-user integrated access to all those components in real-time on the device he chooses – this access can be done through network or internet.
This solution was created and developed to optimize all the processes inside companies and their partners. It’s the best way to organize information across multiple systems and avoid issues related to data silos. Cloud integration also improves the transparency of information, visibility, functionality, access and connectivity.
The data silos issue happens when only one specific group of people or one single department inside the company can access certain information and data. Data silos can occur for numerous reasons, but it’s normally related to bad system planning or the lack of communication between the departments. Cloud integration solves this issue that can directly affect business efficiency and productivity.
Cloud integration is the best solution to keep the information unified, and that can be achieved with 100% of processes and applications moved to the cloud or with a mix of on-site tools and cloud systems. This can be modified and designed according to the business needs, so the crucial operations can continue in the best possible way.
What Is A Cloud Integration Platform?
Understanding what cloud integration platforms are is the first part of understanding the benefits and why you should use them in your company. The concept of cloud integration platforms is usually under the integration platform as a service (iPaaS) inside the middleware sector.
The solution itself will provide companies with the features to design integration between their local files, data, information and on-premise applications with the cloud-hosted systems. An integration platform will keep the connection between those on-premise applications and all the cloud-based applications.
With a good connection, the company will integrate their main processes and critical systems and tools to unlock productivity in order to gain business value and deliver better results with more transparency.
This transparency comes from the integrated platform that gives the company the power to connect software applications from several environments with multiple access. It’s one centralized console to manage and control the applications and the information they contain.
How Does Cloud Integration Work?
The concept of cloud integration is the same, but it’s not a one size fits all solution. One of the best parts of being able to integrate systems and applications is that it can be shaped and designed to work for your company needs. It all depends on the business size, type, and which applications are being used.
But there are two basic methods of making cloud integration work, and your company can see which approach works better:
Data tends to be spread across multiple repositories and sources – those can be already cloud located or physical locations. This can cause data to become disorganized and is the number one way to create data silos that will directly impact productivity and create communication problems.
Integrating the data itself will make data search and analysis much faster and better, as they will always be up-to-date, and the user can have access to real-time information. It also prevents issues when transporting, processing and transforming the data according to the needs of each department.
If data can be located in different repositories, the applications used in your business can also be spread around. Most companies have physical systems installed on the computers located at the office, and other ones used via software as service SaaS. And the best way to make those applications talk with each other and work as one without any issues is by application integration.
The best thing about application integration is that it also fits the tools or systems the company designed and developed to attend to their own needs. Those also can be integrated instead of working outside the cloud with risks of having missing records and data when transferring information between processes.
The SaaS applications tend to be the best to adapt in cloud application integration as they have the scalability benefit, in which the size can be adjusted to fit the circumstances of the company. It brings a huge advantage in terms of time and productivity – and even costs!
The Benefits of Cloud Platform Integration
The synchronization of data and applications for a better view, search and analysis are the obvious benefits of adopting cloud platform integration for your business. But the benefits go far beyond that:
Faster Deployment of New Solutions
Deployments normally take time. Whether it’s a new procedure, process or new technology, they normally take weeks, sometimes months to be deployed and work seamlessly. With a cloud integration platform, the deployment time got reduced drastically so the downtime is minimized as much as possible. It’s basically install, update, and it will all be ready to be accessed.
If deployment is faster, the processes will also become smoother, the communication will work better and everything will be completed faster. It’s a huge gain of productivity and progress that most companies can see from the start. The faster things are done, the faster the company will release new products and services and gain a competitive advantage over its competitors.
Something that can be noticed with the adoption of cloud platform integration is how the users and employees will have free time to focus on developing processes, innovating their ways of working and increasing their deliveries, as the time management will be much better.
Easier Access To Innovation
Another great benefit of cloud integration is how much easier and faster the access to innovation becomes. Upgrading on-premise systems and tools that was done once every few years or months can now be reduced to the time the company needs.
SaaS is a powerful way to innovate things and find solutions regularly or when scheduled by the departments or areas. This way, the applications will always be up-to-date with the latest version of the software launched.
Better Consistency Leads To Improvements
Cloud platform integration solutions will have all users working with the same software basically at the same time, and this leads to a better and faster feedback cycle. Having regular feedback from people using the application for different processes consistently leads to much better improvements, and the vendor can react to issues almost immediately.
Cloud solutions only drive the quality of applications forward as the feedback arrives much faster, pushing solutions to the problems to be found much more easily. Deployment and upgrade processes become more agile with the rapid adoption of innovation with shorter upgrade cycles from the companies.