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October 28, 2010

Data Integration in the Cloud: Trends and Challenges

Filed under: Data Integration — Katherine Vasilega @ 2:59 am

Data integration in the Cloud becomes more popular each day. According to one of the Cloud provider’s research, more than 60% of cloud adopters say cloud solutions are better than on-premise resources in terms of availability, total cost of ownership, ease-of-integration, ease-of-deployment, and time-to-value.

Rapidly developing Cloud-based data integration software vendors have a lot in common:

    • Customers are paying monthly subscription fees instead of making one large, upfront payment.
    • Vendors offer preconfigured connectors to popular applications and databases (SAP, Oracle ERP, Salesforce.com CRM)
    • Increased interest in Cloud-based data integration solutions from clients that don’t have the expertise, the funds or the desire to run the software in-house.
    • Cloud-based data integration is also a popular choice for companies starting to explore other SaaS applications.

Still, IT executives have concerns about data integration in the Cloud. What makes data integration in the Cloud a challenging activity? Here are the most common challenges one may encounter:

    • Ensuring that sensitive data is protected and secure.
    • Granting employers timely, secure access to data.
    • Keeping data integrated and synchronized to be accurate and up-to-date.
    • Offering self-service data integration tools to enable business users to leverage data across applications.
    • Maintaining technical control over data as it moves into Clouds.
    • Keeping business and IT interests aligned.

Even though many companies consider Cloud computing the best fit for their data integration strategy, there is a certain procedure they should follow when they wish to leverage data integration-as-a-service. This includes understanding their own data requirements, selecting the right Cloud computing provider, and carefully planning all data integration operations. A number of issues will inevitably arise, but, fortunately, there are solutions to solve data integration challenges. In the short run, I will cover some of the best practices on data integration in the Cloud.

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