By Manish Gupta, CMO, Liaison Technologies
By partnering with a data Cloud Services Broker (CSB), organizations can realize faster time to value through a secure cloud-based platform that offers seamless data integration and data management capabilities. Users can flexibly and efficiently integrate on-premise, partner, cloud-based and newer big data sources to quickly prepare data for analysis, speeding decision-making. Easy-to-use tools reduce integration project time and costs. As a result, users spend less time on learning how to use the platform and more time on making their data more actionable.
Data integration is a required element in nearly all modern application development planning. It is also critical for companies that need to combine systems and databases after a merger or acquisition, or need to link legacy systems to new business applications.
As the use of SaaS and other cloud services continues to grow, organizations are recognizing the need to integrate data and processes between the public cloud and their on-premises databases and applications. Moreover, the adoption of Dev/Ops and agile processes requires greater integration of the independent functional components that comprise modern composite applications. This is particularly important when those applications are developed in or offloaded to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments.
Meanwhile, organizations are eager to harness the power of big data. Users armed with newer, easy-to-use data visualization analytics tools are demanding faster access to ever-larger data sets. Their goal is to achieve deeper insights to improve decision outcomes. The increasing focus on capturing and analyzing big data, such as web server logs, sensor data and social media, adds another layer of complexity to the data integration process. However, big data can stretch the time required to process data integration jobs, challenging IT to meet service level agreements (SLAs) and user needs.
These trends make cloud-based data integration and management services an attractive alternative to on-premise software. In a do-more-with-less environment, they hold many benefits for IT shops that do not have the talent, resources or desire to deal with the challenges of performing these functions in-house. A data CSB is the ideal solution and acts as the ultimate complexity buffer.
A Better Value Proposition
The value proposition for a cloud-based data integration and management platform is that it is easy to access and use. As with other types of SaaS, the integration software is hosted by the provider. This allows companies to avoid the infrastructure and maintenance costs of on-premise solutions while shifting more of their technology spend from capex to opex.
Data integration has historically been difficult, time-consuming and costly. Complexity increases substantially as data sets have grown in volume, velocity and variety. Projects now include not only traditional structured data residing within the organization, but also semi-structured and unstructured big data from ever-growing external sources. The inability to move the data from those applications across the organization is a barrier to their successful implementation. Today, however, cloud integration platforms are increasingly affordable. Many companies are turning to them to ease the process of dealing with more complicated cloud applications at a time when adoption is increasingly being driven by line of business users.
They provide users with fast and simple deployment, while flexibly allowing them to connect any combination of cloud, SaaS or on-premise applications without appliances, software or coding. And compared to the connectors that vendors offer to enable integrations, a cloud integration platform is more programmable and customizable to handle not only a wider array of off the shelf apps, but a large selection of custom apps that were developed in-house.
Leading data Cloud Service Brokers offer a complete any-to-any integration system. These can include services that users build themselves, or preconfigured integrations that leverage their large network of third-party vendors for customers that want to outsource all integration functions.
The platform must provide high availability, with disaster recovery to ensure that service will not be interrupted even in the event of a natural disaster. It must also scale to the most challenging big data integration projects. This scalability should extend across all architectures and data formats, with consistent functionality. In addition to being able to scale infrastructure to handle expanding data volumes, the platform provider must also be able to scale bandwidth to accommodate greater traffic moving across the WAN.
An established CSB that specializes in data integration and management will have both the solutions and the expertise to meet technical, business and regulatory requirements. Their experience with the complexities encountered by other organizations puts them in a unique position to understand the intricacies of integrating on-premise legacy data with cloud and big data. The result is a faster time to value.