Hosted options and hybrid realities: Integrating on-prem systems to cloud applications
Friday, May 18, 2018Lindsay Hampson
I spoke to a women heading up Central IT at a North American activewear brand several months ago. She and I were at a Gartner Research event, and we were attending a track all about system to system integration, or iPaaS.
I asked her, “What are the top 3 things you are looking for in an integration platform?”
The question was selfish of course, as I work for an integration-Platform-as-a-Service vendor - eBridge
. I wanted to beef up marketing efforts on features and functions that matter to buyers.
I was ready for her to say price, ease of use, breadth of connectors or even vendor reputation.
Her answer surprised me.
“So many iPaaS vendors these days haven't accounted for prem to cloud, well hybrid really, use cases,” she said. “While getting the price low, locking down out-of-the-box connectors, and speaking about fancy reporting and analytics is exciting, the real truth is that many IT Directors like me can’t use tools that are SaaS point to point, or cloud to cloud.”
Just like that, I learned volumes about integration: at the very core of integration is the ability to link things together. And today, many businesses are keen to move workloads into the cloud, but also have data that they prefer to leave on-premise. The challenge is to bring the two halves together so that, from an end user perspective, they present a seamless whole.
The things you want to integrate, and their hosting characteristics, will vary greatly. Integration cannot be hosting-type-bias.
Where should your data live for a successful integration?
Leave your data where it is today.
Likely you are researching integration platforms as a remedy to a pain in your business around disparate data and systems. Perhaps someone or some team is entering sales orders into the ERP manually. Maybe inventory is getting missed because of multiple warehouses, and point of purchase.
A likely reality is that your company has an on-prem ERP, and several apps, APIs, and EDI trading partners that are hosted on cloud.
Look for an iPaaS that can meet your hybrid needs today and tomorrow
Cover your hybrid system connectivity needs today, and be sure that the platform you select is flexible and customizable when you change your ERP down the line. Really: make sure you are not picking something that is one system to one system specific.
A universal integration-Platform-as-a-Service will be ready to change when you are.