According to Gartner’s recent announcement, enterprise IT spending for cloud-based application software will rise from 58% to 66% in 3 years, underscoring the trend’s durability. Most IT firms have invested more time and money to develop and onboard cloud applications. However, they must understand how each fits within their existing cloud technologies and on-premise systems. For this, they will require to ideate and execute a cloud-to-cloud integration strategy at scale. This article will discuss how to navigate this practice using a few tips. Let’s first understand what cloud-to-cloud application integration is and its advantages.
Cloud-to-Cloud Application Integration
Cloud application integration uses a 3rd party tool or in-house resources to connect two or more cloud applications. Once the data is connected, it can move freely between the applications and remain in sync. For instance, you want to integrate your CRM – Salesforce, with your ERP system – NetSuite. Once connected, you can implement a data sync where any time an account is updated or added to your CRM, the corresponding changes automatically occur in your ERP system.
Benefits of Cloud-to-Cloud Application Integration
Here are some reasons why it is worth investing in cloud-to-cloud integration:
- Start Operating Efficiently
- Removes Data Silos
- Prevents Costly Errors
- Makes your SaaS Application Valuable
Start Operating Efficiently
Compelling employees to perform tasks manually, whether springing between applications to uncover information or engaging in data entry, can create bottlenecks and time delays.
Cloud-to-cloud integration simplifies all types of employee activities, allowing processes to run swiftly and with less time invested by your team. As a side benefit, your employee experience is set to improve, as employees can put more effort and attention towards thoughtful, strategic work.
Extracts Data Silos
When any information or data silos are sealed in certain systems, it leads to unwanted effects. Employees will have to request access to data, and by the time they receive it, it may not be as valuable; this type of experience can persuade employees to avoid requesting access to data in the future, preventing a variety of data types from helping them. Moreover, there will be cases when employees aren’t aware of certain data, as it only lives in systems they don’t use and can’t reach. Integrating your cloud applications can eliminate data silos and all the consequences they bring as data becomes available across connected applications.
Prevent Costly Errors
Data entry can lead to all kinds of human errors, especially when it is performed at scale and across multiple teams. For instance, the finance team can input the wrong amount on an invoice, the marketing team can use the wrong email template in a nurture campaign, the HR team can send the wrong candidate an offer letter, and more. With the help of Cloud integration, you can cut back on the level of data entry your team performs and, as a result, any issues they could otherwise bring to your organization.
Make Your SaaS Applications More Valuable
The data application collected and stored is not just valuable to its users but likely benefits other teams for various other reasons. For instance, you have collected product usage data in your data warehouse; this data can help customer success managers detect churn risks and up-sell or cross-sell opportunities. It can also help the product team evaluate the use cases in demand and those that can influence decisions related to the product roadmap. Apart from this, it helps the sales team determine the prospect’s precise features. Thus, cloud integration allows you to distribute this insight from your data warehouse to the downstream systems used by various teams. It also allows them to access the information in or near real time. Moreover, these teams can use the information for their and the organization’s benefit.
Best Practice on Performing Cloud-to-Cloud Integration
Once the organization is set on integrating cloud applications, it is vital to keep the following best practices in mind.
Evaluate Each Integration Tool Carefully
The integration platform as a service (iPaaS) market is filled with vendors that offer diverse platforms. As a starting point, the firm seeks an integration solution that offers a low-code or no-code UX so that their business teams and IT can play a role in implementing and maintaining your integrations. Above all, you will want to glimpse providers that offer application connectors or pre-built, API-based connections to applications that the vendor provides and manages on your behalf. Moreover, the tool should offer enterprise-grade governance and security controls to ensure that business-critical data isn’t at risk of getting compromised.
Focus on High-Value Integration Projects
Once you have demonstrated an ROI and have internal champions, you will likely get the required resources to integrate at scale. Therefore, seek an opportunity that benefits your organization’s bottom line the most, such as integrating Marketo with Salesforce and syncing lead-related fields so that representatives can respond to leads faster.
Use Integration For Enterprise Automation
While cloud application integration has its benefits, its functionality can only go far. By empowering you to elevate your business processes end-to-end, enterprise automation can take your digital transformation efforts to the next level. For instance, instead of just updating or syncing fields between your ERP system and CRM, you can fundamentally use an enterprise automation platform to transform your business from order to cash.
Hence, there are countless other ways you can leverage enterprise automation to innovate your processes and make them more resilient. Since the platform provides a low-code or no-code UX, you are not alone in this effort. Various business teams can also play a role in ideating and implementing impact solutions.