Cloud adoption right across the enterprise is a fast growing reality. By the end of 2013, Forrester surmised that large organisations will subscribe to an average of 10 software as a service (SaaS) applications.
But much of the usage is not in the place of on-premise enterprise systems; only 9 percent of new cloud adoption is projected to replace existing systems. These cloud services are increasingly requiring integration back to core internal systems—linking edge offerings to legacy financials, order management, inventory, HR, manufacturing, and other enterprise wide systems. And companies are connecting clouds together—in strings, clusters, storms, and more—cobbling together discrete services to create an end-to-end business process.
Tactical adoption of cloud is giving way to the need for a coordinated, orchestrated strategy. As cloud services continue to expand both in number and sophistication, gaps in managing cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-core portfolios are beginning to appear, leading to new and smarter ways to operate in this hyper-hybrid IT environment. It is also opening the door for a new category of offerings: pre-integrated and orchestrated cloud offerings delivering higher-order business outcomes-as-a-service.
So where are we today?
When IT cannot stretch to take on new projects or business initiatives without losing ground somewhere else, something has to give. This is precisely the predicament that many IT organisations discover or are faced with when unexpected new challenges such as a mergers or acquisitions; new product launches or having to rapidly and seamlessly integrate new software architectures (such as cloud and mobile) into their existing environments to deliver the expected business benefit.
Part of the problem is the technology infrastructure itself, which may not be able to accommodate new solutions effectively. As highlighted, capability to integrate these new solutions and related capacity is also a typical bottleneck for business change, but people’s reactions are just as important. After years of working with the same infrastructure, they may not be prepared to embrace a new one quickly enough.
Systems integration assists by allowing companies to focus on the roots of their technology problems without starting from scratch, improving the ways in which their solutions connect with and complement one another.
What’s The Bottom Line?
As enterprises use more and more seperate cloud offerings to handle critical business processes, the desire to link these offerings to core legacy systems and the data within those systems grows. IT organisations are being looked at to provide that critical orchestration between cloud and on-premise systems.
In fact, Gartner estimates that 30 percent of the Global 1 000 will be brokering two or more cloud services in 2014. That need has generated challenges that extend beyond just back-end integration; but now also include critical areas such as security, data integrity and reliability, and business rules for managing this new hybrid state.
For more information around our Point of View around Systems integration; please download our thought piece.