In his whitepaper, Best Practices in Leveraging a Staging Area for SaaS-to-Enterprise Integration, David Linthicum outlines the difference between direct, point-to-point data integration and staging integration. He defines them as follows:
- Direct: “Moving information from one data source and data schema to another, and translating the differences in semantics from the source to the target system.”
- Staged: “A temporary location where the data from the source system or systems is replicated in order to support more complex and valuable data integration operations, including support for many large data sets and data operations that are more complex and of higher value.”
With the Informatica Cloud, we’ve seen tremendous interest in both point-to-point application integration and staging. It seems to depend on how software as a service (SaaS) applications like Salesforce.com are managed and the role of IT and line of business (LOB) in the implementation. More often than not, LOB managers and SaaS administrators are interested in data synchronization between front-office and back-office systems. They’re interested in supporting specific business processes such as:
- Account, Contact, Product, Pricing Synchronization (“Master Data”)
- Opportunity to order synchronization
- Quote-to-cash visibility
- Order history visibility (and analysis)
- Data quality assessments
On the other hand, while they are always interested in supporting LOB requirements, IT organizations are typically tasked with broader data integration and data quality requirements as the burden of ensuring timely, relevant and trusted information across all enterprise systems (cloud-based and on-premise) falls squarely on their shoulders.
I’m interested in learning more about the approach your organization is taking for cloud integration? Have cloud-based applications and platforms changed the roles, responsibilities, and relations of IT and LOB in your organization? How do you provide LOB managers and SaaS administrators with self-service data integration while remaining in control? Have you found a way to embrace both point-to-point and staged data integration approaches? What are your best practices?