6 Ways to Leverage Business Performance via Cloud Integration

Most of the companies across the world are well-versed with the fact that cloud computing offers flexibility, speed, and cost advantages. But as long as their infrastructure, software, and platform-based services remain in isolation from each other and their legacy systems, they will never be able to unleash the full potential of cloud. Cloud integration is captious when you consider that companies are looking to optimize an investment of over $127 billion in cloud-based services, which they are due to make in 2018.

Listed below are the six basic goals that cloud integration serves for enterprises.

  1. Acceleration of time-to-market

Whatever you prefer to call it, the fact is that partners, suppliers, and customers want to access what your company has to offer in terms of products and services. They want it ‘now’ and ‘here’. They do not want it during the delivery of functionality support by your IT team.

It is reserved by platform-specific tools for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that are offered from a wide array of vendors. To achieve that speedy delivery, a comprehensively integrated cloud stack comprising IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS (software-as-a-service) is optimized.

Business agility has grown in importance for enterprises across the globe. Recently, a survey conducted among 2263 companies revealed that 81% of them believe that the competency of developing, testing, and launching new business applications swiftly is an important component of the success of the company. In the same study, 27% of respondents pointed that their competitors’ ability of launching new and innovative products at a brisk pace is the biggest ‘threat’ to their business.

The study also indicated that overestimation of business agility is common among companies. Moreover, companies are not exactly using PaaS to drive their agility. Approximately 49% of the companies felt that they cannot or were not sure how they can shift workloads between private, public, and hybrid clouds, or move their applications which are on-premises to the cloud. Just half of them agreed that they can enable complete cloud integration in next six months with only 30% of them being confident to do so within a month. Top it up with the fact that 32% of the respondents were not fully aware about what PaaS actually is.

2. Better use of IT resources for innovation and customer-centric work

The CIO is no longer there to master feeds, speed, and system uptime. Instead, it has evolved as a role that is far more strategy-centric with focus on customer engagement and revenue generation. Thanks to IoT (Internet of Things), business models based on ‘collaborative economy’, and the increase in technologies pertaining to data analytics, social, mobile, and cloud, disruption of businesses in ways different than before are likely to occur.

This makes it essential for CIOs and their IT teams to move on from spending a large part of their time on operational work and middleware. Their focal point has to be the integration of cloud with business applications to achieve their desired goal of creating a competitive advantage for their companies.

3. Data-sharing across applications to automate and improve business processes

Sharing of data across all applications of business is a crucial ingredient. Sales team needs a system where data of prospective callers is shared with sales management applications. Similarly, HR recruiting systems must share data with social networks and ecommerce systems must have access to procurement data.

The same holds true in a B2B context, where your partners and customers need to have access to your inventory systems. Manufacturers on the other hand require cloud-based integration with a host of systems of partners and suppliers. This will help them in ensuring that goods are available on time and also allow them to minimize inventory.

4. Invest more in applications and legacy systems

It is crucial to have a close-knit integration among on-premises applications and cloud for companies to be able to extend their legacy systems’ life to crack those stores that hold rich data. Edging out legacy systems or replacing them is an expensive task. Since they are weaved through a variety of systems and processes, it can also be an unsettling task.

5. Easier up and down scaling

A primary advantage of cloud-based infrastructure and services is that at any given point of time, companies can buy according to their will, be it more or less. Changes in demand-side do not need any over-provisioning as well. When it comes to integrating those cloud services, the same holds true. Based on business conditions, customers can make changes in connections, provided the cloud infrastructure and applications are in accordance with industry standards.

6. Cost reduction

A greater part of the costs incurred on enterprise software is in operations, which is a combination of manpower and effort needed to run the software. A strong integration at every layer of cloud stack mitigates the requirement for expensive talent and specialized middleware. Hence, the ownership costs are reduced to a large extent.

Originally published at www.martechadvisor.com.