What is Cloud Integration?
Cloud integration is the process of bringing data from different sources together to enhance enterprise modernization. Across modern enterprises, companies are embracing new systems. This is changing their data and the way they are using it. Common data sources found in today’s enterprises include applications, on-premises systems and cloud services such as:
Thanks to cloud integration, data that is on-premises or in cloud environments can work as one unit. Cloud integration enables you to benefit from:
- Data access from different devices anywhere, anytime
- Data views that are unified, standard and cohesive
- Data operations that are agile and efficient
Cloud computing is essential in data management. Software as a service (SaaS) cloud-based application delivery is growing. SaaS gives you the speed and efficiency expected from cloud integration platforms (iPaaS).
Types of Cloud Integration
Enterprises focus on both cloud data and cloud applications when applying cloud integration. They are equally important given the rapid growth of data and applications.
With cloud data integration you bring together data from different sources. You create cloud data in the cloud or you migrate it there. You may also find it only in the cloud. But data integration can also combine cloud data with on-premises data. On-premises data may exist on legacy servers or mainframe systems.
Extract, load, transform (ELT) is a three-step data cloud data integration process. ELT extracts, loads and transforms data from one or more sources into a repository. ELT combines and synthesizes raw data from multiple data sources. Data migrations and cloud data integrations are common ELT use cases. Cloud data repositories can include a cloud data warehouse or data lake. Cloud data integration also gives you the ability to:
- Batch process large volumes of data
- Cleanse data so it’s ready for analysis
- Apply data quality measures
- Protect and mask data to keep it secure
With cloud application integration you connect software applications across your enterprise. When applications can communicate and interact, this enables new cloud computing and business processes. Cloud application integration gives you the ability to:
- Discover, connect, access and use your data in real time
- Improve workflows • Modernize your infrastructure
- Build models based on data insights
- Write programs for AI and machine learning to predict future behavior
iPaaS cloud integration for both data and applications
Informatica Cloud Integration enables you to define a complex business process without having to write a single line of code.
7 Benefits of Cloud Integration
You can propel your business forward with cloud integration in many new ways. Here are the top seven benefits:
Break down data silos
Cloud integration seamlessly brings together the data that helps businesses run – from sales and operations to strategy and financial planning. Communication is easier and workflows are smoother. You can deliver goods and services more efficiently and better predict and fulfill the needs of your customers.
Enable business agility
Because cloud integration allows you to work with different data formats across different data systems, you can launch new services, products and applications faster. And you can more quickly respond to changing market environments and business opportunities to stay competitive.
Cloud integration unites and synchronizes your applications. Your information stays readily available anytime with application programming interface (API) calls.
Save time and money
With cloud integration, you can combine data and applications quickly and easily with automation without the need for costly handwritten code.
Operate at scale
Scalability is key to processing particularly large amounts of enterprise data. Standby cloud applications can quickly process and integrate data at scale on the order of petabytes.
Improve data quality and accuracy
During the data integration process, the data is cleaned and prepped before it is stored in a data warehouse.
Power data analytics
Cloud data integration brings all your data together in a highly accessible ecosystem. Data is cleaned and is ready for analysis. You can easily apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) on demand.
Learn more about the cloud integration leaders in the software development industry.
Cloud Integration Solutions
Centralizing all your data into a cloud data center helps you get the most value out of it. Here are some solutions that work with cloud integration. They can help you advance your digital transformation journey:
Get broad ecosystem support at scale with iPaaS
An integration platform as a service (iPaaS) lets your master data management (MDM) combine and exchange data between applications. With iPaaS, you can build, launch and govern integration flows. iPaaS connects the data, services and applications within your cloud ecosystem.
Build data pipelines with APIs
Once your data is integrated, you can build data pipelines. Your data pipelines will be based on:
- Information you’ve accessed and prepared
- Data models you’ve built
- Algorithms you've used
Data pipelines feed your business-critical applications. These can include your ecommerce site and your customer management system (CMS). An intelligent API management solution enables data insights and integration-driven pipelines. The pipelines can readily connect your lines of businesses, customers and partners with the click of a button.
See data and relationships with master data management
MDM gives you a single source of truth for all your data. MDM lets you view your business-critical data from a central location. MDM uses AI/ML. It gives you 360-degree insights into your data connections, interactions and relationships.
Maintain data quality with a built-in program
You’ll want a built-in data quality program. It will let you monitor, identify and fix data quality problems. You can do this in your cloud and on-premises business applications.
Extend data integration to your business partners with EDI
Look for a program that lets you streamline and expedite B2B relationships. Electronic data interchange (EDI) exchanges business information between computers in a structured, standardized way. This makes data easy to consume.
Manage your finances seamlessly
Financial data management lets you go beyond just viewing financial reports. An AI-powered MDM program gives you a 360-degree view of your finances so you can easily:
- See account structures across systems
- Collaborate with accountants across your enterprise
- Manage accounts, cost centers, account codes, legal entities and other financial data
Manage reference data
It’s difficult to manage reference data sets. A user-friendly, configurable and sharable cloud-based reference management program helps with this challenge.
Connect analysts to your data for real-time insights
Your analysts and SaaS administrators need real-time insights from cloud applications. Select a solution for cloud connectors that can handle all your cloud, on-premises, mobile and social data sources.
Cloud Integration Use Cases
The process of cloud integration is similar across industries. But the main use cases vary. Here’s a snapshot of some of them:
Data silos can impact patient care. Cloud integration enables interoperability and patient-first care. It does this by strengthening provider communication. It also opens up patient access to health records and applications aimed at improving health outcomes.
Cloud integration helps companies manage product quality. It can integrate data across engineering systems, parts, assemblies, supply chains and shipping.
Banks integrate checking, savings, mortgage, credit card and call center data. Customers get a unified service experience. It helps employees predict a customer’s financial needs to cross-sell or upsell other offerings.
Public Sector: Government
State and local governments use cloud integration to provide online services. Organizations from police departments to departments of motor vehicles (DMV) benefit from cloud integration. Some cloud integration services include:
- Vehicle registration renewal
- Home remodel permitting
- Voter registration
- Federal taxing
- Security assurance
Public Sector: Health
Cloud integration is essential for gathering massive amounts of data. Use cases that depend on high volumes of data include evaluating health risk factors and the impact of viruses like Covid-19. Cloud integration is also critical when vaccine developers need to expedite the production and delivery of vaccines. The same is true of researchers when they need to effectively recruit research subjects and track them through clinical trials.
The pandemic forced many companies to conduct business entirely or mainly online. Rather than build their own data centers, companies quickly turned to the cloud and cloud integration for smooth day-to-day operations.
Cloud Integration Examples
In a time when some businesses struggle to keep the lights on, others come out ahead. Their secret: harnessing the power of cloud services, including cloud integration.
Enabling a Timely Response with Cloud Integration
Japan for UNHCR (J4U) is a nonprofit agency that protects displaced and stateless people. J4U depends on donations. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing requirements hampered their fundraising efforts.
With a centralized data repository and Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud, they were able to:
- Quickly spin up a cloud contact center
- Keep donations and contact data flowing
- Synchronize their virtual call center with Salesforce
- Reduce manual processes
- Improve operating efficiency
- Keep operating costs low
- Channel more donations directly to the people they serve
Building Brand Loyalty with Cloud Integration
Moving to a cloud environment is a big part of the omnichannel strategy at Reitmans Limited. For the Canadian specialty women’s clothing chain, online sales were booming until the pandemic hit.
To grow their business, the company decided to move to the cloud and chose Informatica for their migration. Their data management was simplified with integration of both their cloud data and applications. The benefits included:
- Seamless buyer journeys
- Real-time tracking between order fulfillment and order tracking
- Increased ecommerce revenues
- Enhanced customer loyalty and trust
Getting Started with Cloud Integration
No matter what industry you’re in, sharing data across the enterprise is critical. Your cloud integration solution needs to be simple, intuitive and capable of processing data with flexibility and scalability. Informatica is a recognized leader in the data management industry, offering a variety of cloud integration products to help propel your business into the future. Here’s some additional resources about Informatica cloud integration and other data management solutions:
Free Trial: Cloud Data Integration
Webinar: Integrate Cloud and On-Premises Applications - No-Coding Required