The rapid adoption of cloud-based applications, platforms, and infrastructure has resulted in more fragmented data and an increased need to integrate data “in the cloud” with data in on-premise applications and databases. Line of business managers and software as a service (SaaS) administrators need rapid time to value and self service. Meanwhile, the IT organization is tasked with avoiding costly data silos and eliminating untrustworthy point solutions.
The right approach to cloud data integration is that it can play a key role in aligning business users with IT. Some common uses cases for cloud data integration include:
- Data Migration
- Data Synchronization
- Data Replication
- Data Quality
As your organization modernizes its IT infrastructure by moving off of or rationalizing legacy on-premise applications, you need to have confidence that you can easily and securely migrate your data to and from the cloud. Similarly, if your company or department has merged with another, or you’ve acquired a new entity, you need to migrate and merge data to deliver timely, relevant and trustworthy data quickly.
As more front office applications (e.g., CRM) are deployed in the cloud, your organization needs to synchronize the data within them with back office applications (e.g., ERP). Customer master synchronization is also a major cloud integration use case focused on delivering a single view of your company’s customer data.
Speaking of a single view the customer—does your sales team need to be able to see Order details directly within their Accounts and Opportunities? And what about Cases, Leads, Campaigns, and Custom Objects? With more organizations adopting Salesforce CRM, the demand for self-service cloud-based data integration that can be managed by non-technical business users is also growing. You can check out a few cloud data synch demos here.
The demand for “set and forget” data integration as a service is a growing use case in enterprise organizations that are required to keep an on-premise copy of all cloud-based data for compliance, disaster recovery, or reporting purposes. Looking to integrate Salesforce data with your enterprise data warehouse? Trying to get more out of your on-premise business intelligence tools? Cloud data replication is ideal if you’re just getting started with SaaS applications and you need automated integration with on-premise databases.
While most organizations care about the quality of their data, CRM systems have been an inherent weak link in overall data quality partially due to manual data entry and the wide variety of data import sources, formats and content. Without a well run data quality program, duplicate, incomplete and inconsistent data can quickly find its way into your core operational systems, which are the lifeblood of your business.
These are just a few examples of fairly common cloud integration use cases. As David Linthicum recently noted, “A major issue with those looking at SaaS is how to sync data stored within SaaS providers with their existing on-premise systems.” His prediction:
“We will see better integration with on-premise systems, which will drive much of the movement to SaaS in 2010.”
The Informatica Cloud can help.