What Is Cloud Data Integration?

What Is Cloud Data Integration?

When everyone on a business team has access to all the data the individual members handle, the team is better positioned to achieve its corporate objectives.

The global integration platform as a service (iPaaS) market is estimated to be valued at $1.9 billion and is expected to reach $10.3 billion by 2025—growing at a rate of more than 40% per year. Given that iPaaS offerings are the engines that drive cloud data integrations, this data comes as no surprise.

It also helps if the team has access to pertinent data processed by other departments. Armed with complete and up-to-date information, teams can collaborate more effectively and make decisions that lead to improved efficiencies, better products and services for customers—and, ultimately, more revenue for the company.

 

Easier Said Than Done

Yet, the concept of providing access to all pertinent data for everyone on a team is much easier said than done. First, you need to extract all the data from various systems, which may be running on-premises servers and desktops or laptops and smartphones in the field. The data may also be stored in multiple public and private clouds.

Then, you need to load all the data onto a single system. From there, it’s a matter of transforming the data so that information from multiple disparate systems can all be reconciled. In addition to integrating the data, this requires integrating the applications handling the data. 

While the overall process to achieve this objective can be a bit complex, you can simplify the task by integrating data in the cloud. Whether you need to connect several on-premises data centers, data on individual devices, a mix of cloud environments, or a combination, the cloud gives you a central place to store data that everyone on a team can access at any time.

Automation and Centralized Control Play Key Roles

The leading public cloud providers, as well as co-location data center hosting companies that offer private clouds, will typically provide you with the tools you need to drive your cloud data integration project. Look for one that offers iPaaS, which will make it easier to develop, execute, and govern your integration flows.

The key attributes to build into your cloud data integration solution are automation and centralized control, which is where iPaaS comes in handy. It lets you orchestrate all the steps to set up integrations and verify data transfers. You can also automate the process to transform the data from each system into the required file format. 

While platform providers are equipped to advise you on your cloud infrastructure design, the expertise that’s required for application architectures and integrations may not be readily available. So depending on the complexity of your applications and whether you have legacy applications vs. cloud-native applications, you may also want to bring in a third-party cloud solution provider to advise you and help you design your integration processes.

Key Data Integration Challenge to Discuss with Your Cloud Provider

As you collaborate with your cloud platform provider or data integration consultant, be sure to discuss the key challenges most cloud integration projects face:

  • Creating a process to move data fast (in real-time) without any data errors.
  • Building in sufficient computing resources to handle the size of your data volumes.
  • Using standard integration protocols that support all your data schemas and formats.
  • Providing custom data connectors for your custom applications and data formats.
  • Keeping data connectors updated and in sync with application updates and new cloud services.
  • Mapping data fields between source and target systems. 
  • Creating interfaces non-technical people can use to set up new integrations.
  • Providing interfaces to handle exceptions to your data formats and rules.
  • Meeting your security and compliance requirements for data transfers and data synchronization.                           

Another important aspect to check is the process of verifying data integrity. And be sure to synchronize the scalability and performance of your architecture with your data integration processes—so as compute resources change, the connections with your systems feeding data into the integration system will keep working. 

The Big Payoff of Cloud Data Integration 

The effort to integrate data among all your cloud and on-premises systems will pay off in a big way. Everyone working together on your various teams and business units can work with the same data and the same views of the data. They will also be kept up-to-date with real-time changes to the data. 

At the same time, you can eliminate redundant data so that the same information isn’t saved in multiple systems. This removes the possibility of one system having outdated information while also reducing storage costs.

Bringing all your data together can also automate workflows by eliminating the need to manually re-enter data from one system to another. For example, when the sales team closes on a new customer, the data from the CRM system can automatically flow into the ERP system so the accounting team can get the billing process going.

The last thing you want is to lose out on a proposal or fall short on project deliverables because someone on a team did not have information that someone else on that same team could have retrieved in an instant. That’s exactly what a cloud data integration will help you prevent. 

As part of cloud data integration projects, many businesses have implemented MOVEit® Managed File Transfer, which assures secure and compliant transfer of sensitive data from public clouds, private clouds, on-premises data centers, and mobile end-users. To see if the solution is right for your business, start a free trial of MOVEit today.

 

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