Cloud integration is the effort made within an organization to ensure that data from its hosted applications can be viewed and analyzed in concert with data from on-premise applications.
The goal of cloud integration is holistic access and visibility into business data for better optimization of business processes and more effective data analytics.
The need for cloud integration arises when organizations find that business processes are impeded or obstructed by—or legal and compliance risks are raised by—data silos involving one or more hosted applications.
Today, almost every organization uses software as a service to some degree. In some organizations, shadow IT (the self-provisioning of business functionality by lines of business) has proliferated to the point where the organization recognizes huge gaps in its data ownership, as business-level application data has been repeatedly outsourced. Cloud integration is the process these organizations undertake to reestablish ownership of their hosted data and integrate it with other hosted data and on-premise applications for holistic storage and processing.
Organizations utilize software connectors to collect data and then load it into reports or downstream applications. Once mapped, they remain in place, but can be easily changed when necessary. The business benefits because business processes and functions have access to updated information from varied sources and no human intervention is required to capture the data.