Lacking Data Integration, Cloud Computing Suffers

The findings of the Cloud Market Maturity study, a survey conducted jointly by Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and ISACA, show that government regulations, international data privacy, and integration with internal systems dominate the top 10 areas where trust in the cloud is at its lowest.

The Cloud Market Maturity study examines the maturity of cloud computing and helps identify market changes. In addition, the report provides detailed information on the adoption of cloud services at all levels within global companies, including senior executives.

Study results reveal that cloud users from 50 countries expressed the lowest level of confidence in the following (ranked from most reliable to least reliable):

  • Government regulations keeping pace with the market
  • Exit strategies
  • International data privacy
  • Legal issues
  • Contract lock in
  • Data ownership and custodian responsibilities
  • Longevity of suppliers
  • Integration of cloud with internal systems
  • Credibility of suppliers
  • Testing and assurance

The lack of trust around “integration of cloud with internal systems” should be no surprise for most of those looking to deploy cloud computing systems within enterprises. Indeed, it’s the one strategy item that I see most often left out of the larger cloud computing plans, and thus something that enterprise IT does not look to solve until it has become a real issue.

So, why is integration still at a “low level of confidence” when it comes to deploying systems and services in public clouds?  The reasons are many, but from where I sit, most enterprises never really got integration right in the first place. Now that the use of public cloud computing is all the rage, the lacking integration strategy and strategic data integration technology becomes a much larger and more pressing issue.

Moreover, the lack of understanding around just how to do data integration in the cloud is another major concern. These days enterprises are not aware that data integration technology has been localized for cloud computing, with many solutions customized for use with popular public clouds such as salesforce.com or Amazon Web Services.

The best way to solve this issue is to get ahead of the problem. I would suggest that you work on a data integration strategy for the enterprise that includes the use of cloud computing. In some cases, this means dusting off and updating older strategies. In most instances, this will be a new strategy.

Once the strategy is complete it’s time to figure out the right technologies for the job. Data integration technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. It now includes pre-built connections for popular public clouds. It even covers data integration technology that runs in clouds, and can be consumed as-a-service.

As cloud computing becomes a bigger part of enterprise IT, I suspect the above list will become shorter. Considering the value it will bring to the business, knock integration issues off that list first.

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