In my last post I scored my 2010 cloud integration predictions. I’d say it was a solid B. While the spate of acquisitions in the market helped shine a light on the opportunity for data integration delivered as an on-demand service, I’d characterize 2010 as a year of line of business-driven cloud integration adoption. My prediction is that 2011 will be the year of “hybrid everything” and IT organizations will be reorganizing and realigning to adapt to the new realities of cloud computing. Here are my 2011 cloud integration predictions.
Cloud Adoption Drives Two-Tier Cloud Integration Strategies
In 2011, enterprise IT organizations will adopt a two-tier cloud integration strategy that is aligned with their corporate data integration standard. Many less complex, often point-to-point, data integration use cases (migration, synchronization, replication, cleansing, etc.) will be managed directly by cloud application administrators, analysts and operations users who need easy-to-use, agile tools and templates. These cloud-based integration services must provide interoperability with the corporate standard in order to eliminate “rogue” approaches (including hand coding) that are unable to scale and grow with the business. The right two-tier cloud integration strategy is not something that tier-two technologies will be able to support and manage.
LOB-Driven Cloud Integration Projects Lead to Strategic MDM Initiatives
The majority of cloud data integration implementations in the enterprise have been what my friends at Appirio refer to as “cloud to ground,” or cloud application to on-premise application, database or file integration. A primary use case is customer, product, price book, etc. master data synchronization between systems (for example, CRM and ERP). In 2011, more and more enterprise sales and marketing operations mangers will be looking to go beyond CRM “endpoint” integration, working with IT to identify equally flexible approaches to Master Data Management (MDM) that will leverage their current cloud integration investments.
The Rise of the Cloud Integration Platform
I agree with what Alex Williams of ReadWriteWeb refers to as a “proliferation of APIs” in 2011. The result will be an increased need for cloud-based platforms that can handle process-centric, real-time and batch data integration requirements. An increasing number of software and data as a service (SaaS and DaaS) providers will opt to embed cloud integration platforms into their solutions instead of attempting to “roll their own”. A key requirement for the cloud integration platform will be support for hybrid deployments (see Chris Boorman’s predictions from the world of data integration). By Dreamforce 2011, there will also be much more discussion about MDM in the cloud and the role it will play in a hybrid cloud integration platform.
Enterprise Database.com Adoption
Speaking of Dreamforce, this year salesforce.com introduced Database.com (see my post about it here). Initial adoption will likely be driven by mobile and cloud application developers, but by the end of 2011 we’ll see significant enterprise Database.com adoption. I’m not suggesting we’ll see massive “rip and replace,” but I do believe that departments and divisions in particular will understand and take advantage of the benefits of Database.com versus resource-intensive, on-premise, often open-source alternatives. Of course, Database.com migration will require easy-to-use cloud-based integration services that will also be able to provide the ability to keep data synchronized between systems.
Private Cloud Confusion Continues
When it comes to infrastructure-as–a-service (both public and private) I don’t see things getting, uh, less cloudy (pun intended) in 2011. In a post about Larry Ellison’s Elastic Cloud and Marc Benioff’s False Cloud, Forrester’s Stefan Ried outlined how “private cloud differentiates itself from a traditional but modern and virtualized data center.” For most, this distinction will remain unclear in 2011. In fact, I predict that we’ll see even more terminology confusion and “cloud washing” in anticipation of what Chirag Mehta and R “Ray” Wang call “cloud mega stacks,” which won’t become a reality until 2012.
Those are my predictions. Think I’ll score an A next year? I hope all of your clouds will be connected in 2012. Happy New Year!