A Guide to Navigating The Most Grueling Cloud Integration Challenges for Businesses
Cloud integration emerged as a messiah for enterprises to control their spiraling IT budgets and simplify technology implementations. Over the past decade, it has gained significant adoption across all sectors of small, medium and large-scale businesses. In fact, studies predict that by 2020, nearly 83% of all enterprise workloads will be on cloud systems. But, ever since cloud computing started to make considerable in-roads into enterprise technology roadmaps, there has been a growing set of integration challenges that businesses were skeptical about.
These challenges often created a sense of confusion for organizations planning to have a cloud transition. Even popular SaaS vendors have expressed their concern with regards to integrating with existing business systems. In a recent survey, nearly 90% of SaaS vendors said that they faced hurdles in their sales process because of integration challenges. However, there have been significant improvements made by SaaS providers in terms of operational innovations that have eliminated these challenges and is making cloud computing an undisputed leader in the enterprise technology space.
Let’s have a look at the top 5 cloud integration challenges and how they have been mitigated by successful organizations over the years.
A cloud ecosystem, be it private, public or hybrid variants, will involve the migration of an enterprise’s data stream into mostly internet-powered storage and processing environment. This enterprise data could involve sensitive end-user information such as financial credentials, social security numbers, location and contact information, personal data and so on. As the business grows, the volume of data being transacted at cloud systems also increases. This means that any security lapse in the cloud systems could result in a threat. However, data security concerns occur due to manual interventions in data management within cloud environments.
Successful cloud service providers are now deploying automated vulnerability detection as well as AI-powered security monitoring tools to ensure that all security protocols and policies are well followed in cloud deployments. This heightened security focus ensures that enterprises can avert security risks seamlessly when they transition their customer data into cloud environments.
2. Speed and Scalability
When your business has decided to integrate one or more cloud systems into its technology landscape, a key challenge likely to pop up is the ability of the integrated system to match your business data stream speed and power. Performance with regards to a cloud-based system is dependent on several factors such as technology architecture, optimization techniques, data discovery and flow management as well as the ability to scale up processing power and storage.
This challenge can be addressed if you opt for cloud systems from proven vendors with a track record of offering successful cloud deployments that synchronize with existing IT systems. Such vendors would have auto-scaling and performance tuning algorithms deployed at their data centers to ensure the best processing power and storage capacity for end-customer satisfaction. They will also ensure that all data stream workflows can be fully integrated into other critical business systems, to guarantee timely customer response.
3. Internal workforce adoption
A business invests in a new SaaS tool with objectives like lowering costs, improving operational efficiency, enabling better customer experiences and so on. But a key parameter that several businesses forget is making their own workforce, well acquainted with the new platform. This can turn into a huge challenge in the long run.
Enterprises can handle this challenge by organizing awareness sessions for the staff to help them learn the cloud deployments better. Additionally, steps must be taken to ensure that the SaaS vendor has on-demand support assistance 24X7 to ensure business continuity in the event of a major system issue.
4. Governance and Compliance during system integration
Plenty of information is exchanged during a cloud system integration. With a large number of information protocols to be managed, it is necessary to ensure data integrity.
Each business system may be compliant to a data access policy, and creating an enterprise governance plan to ensure that all business systems speak to each other seamlessly without loss of data integrity is a big challenge. Most enterprises resort to manual monitoring of integration points to detect anomalies and compliance risks which may not be effective if the number of points, as well as the volume of data exchanged, are massive.
This challenge can, however, be mitigated if automation is encouraged during the system integration phase. As in the case of security, eliminating manual monitoring and reporting of integration anomalies and replacing them with powerful algorithm-based monitoring mechanisms will ensure that data exchange standard and compliance requirements during system integration.
5. Application Management
Enterprises invest in cloud services to boost their digital transformation aspirations. This means that over time, almost all their operations, as well as consumer-facing business channels will be managed by powerful digital solutions from multiple vendors. Here arise the complex challenges of managing multiple applications from different vendors. This exercise requires constant data exchange, stakeholder management, maintenance and upgrade of different systems and much more. The diverse nature of codebase for each application, different cloud environments, architectural differences, etc., will all result in the task of managing the application ecosystem.
The best solution to this problem is by engaging a technology partner to help manage the entire application stack in your business. They would have dedicated staff who are skilled with modern-day SaaS solutions available for your business and will ensure that all the required support and resources are made available for the cloud platforms you deploy at your organization on a continuous basis. They will also have comprehensive visibility and control over information flow between systems to ensure that your business continuity is always guaranteed.
For companies that want to realize the full value of digital transformation exercises, there is a need to have multiple cloud systems integrated into their technology ecosystem. To achieve a digital maturity that is market competent, their cloud integrations should be able to seamlessly deliver connected value across their entire business landscape be it operations, customer experience or employee empowerment.
For this to happen, the right cloud solutions need to be brought in to play along with a trusted IT partner to guide you with solutions to all the top challenges we have explained here. What we have depicted is a broad view of the top 5 challenges that will impact businesses due to a cloud system integration exercise.
Every business will add more sub-challenges to these based on their working principles and market conditions. With INFINCE, we ensure you find the right supervisory to adopt technologies that make providing enhanced customer services seamless. Get in touch with us to know how our state-of-the-art enterprise cloud solutions and digital advisory can become the winning element in your digital strategy.