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Rx for integration pain

Jan Stafford, Executive Editor

In a 2014 survey, readers of SearchCloudApplications and its sister sites identified application and data integration as the biggest challenges in software-as-a-service adoption. Industry researchers agree. Gartner analyst Eric Knipp calls app integration the No. 1 barrier to cloud deployment success, and 451 Research ranks it as the second-most-acute cloud pain point, beaten only by security.

Integration pain isn’t a cloud adoption deal breaker for most companies, though. Otherwise, the cloud applications market wouldn’t be so huge—$30 billion in cloud application subscription reviews in 2014—or growing so quickly, to the tune of $67 billion in projected subscriptions in 2018, according to IT researcher Apps Run the World.

Competitive pressure spurs that growth, and integration issues have to be handled. A starting point could be answering the nine questions on cloud application integration in this guide’s first article, by Valerie Silverthorne. Each query comes with an expert how-to or why-to discussion.

An overall cloud app integration strategy should include a unifying plan for adoption projects, writes consultant Tom Nolle in his tip on integrating applications across cloud boundaries. Without a step-by-step integration approach, each cloud app adoption project has to start from scratch. Nolle advises organizations to codify best practices for each application integration component or layer.

Making applications play nicely together is only the means to cloud application integration’s goal, enabling workflow. “The purpose of cloud application integration is to connect workflows through components,” writes Nolle in this guide’s third article. Beware of tool vendors that want to tie integration projects to their cloud services and not the project’s targeted workflow goals, he advised.

Planning provides the best relief from chronic integration pain. If your organization is feeling an ache we haven’t addressed in these pages, our experts can provide suggestions for remedies.

Find out more about application integration and SaaS adoption in our e-handbook.