I spent last weekend reading Geoffrey Moore’s new book, Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past. Then on Sunday, the New York Times published this article about salesforce.com: A Leader in the Cloud Gains Rivals. Clearly “The Big Switch” is on. With this as a backdrop, the need for a comprehensive cloud data management strategy has surfaced as a top IT imperative heading into the New Year – How and when do you plan to move data to the cloud? How will you prevent SaaS silos? How will you ensure your cloud data is trustworthy, relevant and complete? What is your plan for longer-term cloud governance and control?
These are just a few of the questions you need to think through as you develop your short, medium and long-term cloud strategy. Here are my predictions for what else should be on your 2012 cloud integration radar.
Get Ready for Data as as a Service
The business intelligence market has always been about the value proposition of delivering “the right information to the right people at the right time.” Well two announcements caught my attention at Dreamforce 2011 that I think will have a big impact on how organizations think about their traditional B2B data providers.
- salesforce.com and D&B formed an alliance that will allow Salesforce customers to “access the best company information from D&B and the best contact information from Jigsaw, directly within Salesforce.”
- LinkedIn announced a new application for sales people that is available directly within the Salesforce CRM environment.
Here’s Tom Carlock, Leader of Data as a Service Strategies at D&B, talking about Data as a Service:
“No longer will you have to input data into forms rather you will select the data you want and get exactly what you asked for when you want it and it will be accurate and complete. No longer will you have to look at the data and figure out what it means rather the data will tell you things you did not know before but need to know in order to for you to do business with others. No longer will companies have to aggregate disparate data to gain intelligence to monitor or govern their business rather the data will all be connected, proactive and predictive allowing companies to grow and mature without worry. Data as a Service will change the way people, software and data work together.”
Sounds good to me! Data as a Service will get inside the tornado in 2012.
True Cloud MDM will Emerge
Driven by the same need to become truly customer centric, MDM will continue to gain adoption in 2012. The first half of the year will see a fair amount of “MDM washing” from cloud vendors seeking to recast their solutions as something more comprehensive, but by the end of the year true cloud-based MDM solutions will become a reality. As we’ve seen with SaaS application adoption, cloud-based MDM will be initially characterized by SMB and departmental use cases and requirements. Watch this space closely.
Analytics as a Service is Ready for Prime Time
While I’ve had a few attempts at cloud-based business intelligence in my career, I’m convinced that 2012 will be the year that this industry wakes up to the reality (and possibilities) of the cloud. In 2011 MicroStrategy Cloud was announced as a high-performance, secure and cost effective approach to “Better Business Intelligence” and newer companies like GoodData gained traction selling directly against traditional approaches, as well as through embedded technology partnerships. With big data looming and the role of the data scientist emerging, analytics will get its groove back in 2012. To truly cross the chasm, however, cloud-based analytical solutions will need to deliver integration as a service capabilities in order to deliver on the “one-version of the truth” BI mandate.
Enterprise PaaS Adoption Leads to Integration Platform as a Service
PaaS will not only be the battle ground for enterprise software vendors in 2012, according to Gartner by 2015 the enterprise use of platform as a service (PaaS) will grow from 3% today to 43%. As I mentioned in my 2011 cloud integration predictions summary, Gartner analyst Massimo Pezzini defines integration PaaS (or iPaaS) as enabling “the running and governance, in the cloud, of application, service, data and process integration flows.” Similar to cloud analytics providers, PaaS vendors will need to determine their cloud integration strategy and new solutions. iPaaS solutions will emerge for both B2B and cloud application use cases.
“Businesses are under tremendous pressure to change into a more social, open and collaborative enterprise built on information, knowledge sharing and a networked business model.”
At the same time, there’s been a lot of talk about the ability for cloud computing to potentially transform IT from a cost to a profit center. I predict we’ll be reading a lot more about the “new new IT” in 2012 as IT organizations seek to answer the Big Private Cloud questions and continue to embrace all flavors of cloud computing. Objections about cloud security will be recognized to be primarily about IT job security and IT organizations will begin to re-structure and re-organize in 2012 in order to deliver greater innovation and value to the business.
So those are my 2012 cloud data integration predictions. 2011 saw Oracle and SAP finally get out of the fog and into the cloud with major announcements and acquisitions. Cloud integration is clearly going to be important for these and other enterprise software companies and it’s going to be even more important for the hybrid IT organization.
All the best in 2012 – I hope all of your clouds are connected!