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Cloud computing solutions are widely hailed as a way to reduce capital expenditures and move to an inexpensive, subscription-based IT model. However, many organizations don’t stop to consider all of the nuances of integrating cloud applications with their existing information systems. While deploying a cloud app or subscribing to a cloud-based service may be relatively straightforward, how will this new IT asset fit in with the rest of the enterprise, including on-premise systems and other cloud applications? What is the system of record from which data will be derived? Which business processes are involved? Do you need an enterprise data model that is independent of the cloud data model?
These questions are relevant for any type of integration project, with or without a cloud deployment. However, they are particularly relevant in today’s business world, where individual departments and lines of business sometimes subscribe to cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications without the oversight of the IT department, and without always adhering to best practices. This departmental autonomy introduces new challenges in the areas of security, reliability, quality and the potential for a sharp rise in the number of disparate toolsets.