A new report, "Connectivity in the Enterprise: The Rise of Cloud and Its Integration Challenges," from Scribe and Spiceworks found the majority of businesses (61%) were unimpressed with the cloud-to-cloud integration capabilities of many of the software-as-a-service (Saas) solutions and this is slowing the move to cloud.
Custom coding to individual application programming interfaces (APIs) is still the most popular method of integration, with 54% of respondents using it as their primary choice for connecting applications - an increase from the 48% who relied on custom code in Scribe's 2013 report.
However, enterprise IT consistently underestimates the long-term cost of custom-coded integration, especially in hybrid deployments where cloud applications - which are updated multiple times a year - are involved. Survey respondents reported their top integration challenge is the time to develop a solution (45%), followed by the solution's cost (36%). The time or ongoing effort required to update solutions was less of a concern.
Despite the popularity of custom coding to an API, dissatisfaction with cloud integration capabilities has led 59% of respondents to use third-party software, connectors and platforms to simplify the process. When looking at these third-party data integration solutions the survey found the most important factors in the organisations evaluation were; the ability to learn the system (51%), ease of use (47%), data quality (39%), connectivity (39%) and scalability (38%).
The report also found little had changed for many businesses 2013 survey which found a reluctance to move on-premise applications to the public cloud. Core business applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI)/analytics have remained largely on premise, with this year's survey results showing a modest cloud adoption increase when compared to Scribe's 2013 survey. The combination of on-premise and cloud applications increases the complexity, velocity and volume of data, causing businesses to struggle to achieve a 360 degree view of their customers. As of this year, 59% of survey respondents are not satisfied with their ability to synch data between cloud and on-premise systems.
"The current reality is that enterprises are purchasing more cloud-based SaaS applications, which means that IT professionals must prepare for constant change, connecting more applications at a faster rate than ever before," said Keith Guttridge, research director at Gartner. "Enterprises need to prioritize connectivity as a strategic imperative today. The old 'tried and true' integration methods simply lack the agility required to keep up with the current explosion of cloud applications."