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History must not repeat itself when integrating to Cloud Computing

Those of you who have seen the integration solutions evolve to service oriented paradigms will remember the tangled wire-mesh of point-to-point solutions that preceded this paradigm. Slowly but steadily over the years, IT matured to a structured, standardized approach for integrating applications across the extended enterprise. Enterprise Service Buses cemented this concept. Life was good and then came cloud computing.  Along with the cloud came a multitude of as-a-service providers that have a need to integrate with enterprise wide applications. Pick your favorite enterprise application and you are likely to see a steady emergence of yet-another-integration to a Saas provider. And therein lays the risk. We should take a lesson from history to ensure that this time around, we prevent undue proliferation of point-to-point solutions across the extended enterprise.

 

When integrating to cloud based as-a-service providers, we must exercise the same due-diligence and governance as is done for services within the enterprise. There is an increased risk of point-to-point solutions proliferating because of Consumerization of IT and the ease of availability of such services to individual business units.

 

Thus, here are 5 steps that need to be taken to ensure a more systemic approach when integrating to cloud-based service providers.

 

  1. Extend your SOA strategy to the Cloud. Review your current SOA strategy and extend this to accommodate cloud based as-a-service providers.
  2. Extend Governance around Cloud Services.   Review your existing IT governance and SOA governance processes to accommodate the introduction and adoption of cloud based as-a-service providers.
  3. Identify Cloud based Integration models. It is not a one-size fits all. Therefore multiple integration models could apply to the cloud-based service provider depending upon the enterprise integration architecture. These integration models include a) point-to-point solutions, b) cloud to on-premise ESB and c) cloud based connectors that adopt a service centric approach to integrate cloud providers to enterprise applications and/or other cloud providers. 
  4. Apply right models for right scenarios. Review the scenarios involved and apply the right models to the right scenarios. 
  5. Sustain and evolve your services taxonomy. Provide enterprise-wide visibility to the taxonomy of services – both on-premise and those identified for integration with the cloud-based service providers. Continuously evolve these services to integrate to a rationalized set of providers who cater to the integration needs of the enterprise in the cloud.

The biggest challenge enterprises have in driving this systemic adoption of cloud-based services comes from within its business units. As outlined in this post on the ease of building Application silos, multiple business units may unknowingly avail the same services from the same providers in different ways. Therefore, enterprises must ensure that such point-to-point integrations do not proliferate like they did during the era preceding integration brokers.

 

Enterprises should not let history repeat itself when integrating to the cloud by adopting service-oriented principles.  

 

How about your enterprise? How are you going about doing this? What is your approach to integrating to cloud service providers?

 

This post is part of the Knowledge Matters cloud series. Be on the lookout for our up and coming blogs on cloud and mobility. And you can always check out our previous Knowledge Matters articles on the HP Applications Services blog.

 

Additional resources:

 

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