The cloud has enabled an era of self-service for applications, but that can also lead to challenges as numerous managers provision software for their respective business units. As InfoWorld recently noted, a large amount of spending is going toward platform as a service, with investments ranging from stock trading software to cloud-based customer relationship management applications. The problem is that, with so many stakeholders all provisioning their own resources, information silos may emerge.
"We know this pattern because we've been there before," explained InfoWorld. "In the days before enterprise application integration, duplicate yet slightly different records about the same products and customers were scattered in isolated data stores, often serving a single app, and were seldom reconciled. Processes stayed within their silos. The left hand didn't know what the right was doing."
Integration is essential to reducing this risk, according to InfoWorld. However, traditional strategies are inefficient at integrating dozens of cloud applications, particularly when business needs must be considered alongside these projects. This means that companies may soon vet providers based on their integration capabilities so that all critical business software can share data effectively.
IT management platform firm Spiceworks and cloud storage company Dropbox recently recognized this trend in the form of a partnership. The collaborative effort will allow Spiceworks to develop an integration for monitoring Dropbox usage. Talkin'Cloud reported that the initiative will alleviate some of the security concerns that are associated with public cloud environments, as businesses will be able to view documents stored in Dropbox.
Jonathan Sass, cloud services manager for Spiceworks, highlighted the value in integration and in having a centralized management tool for multiple cloud services. These solutions offer companies greater visibility over how their technology is actually used and may reduce total cost of ownership.