Cloud-based service delivery methods are accelerating. Simply look at the growing enterprise adoption of Salesforce SFA/CRM, Workday HR, Netsuite ERP, Oracle on Demand, Force.com for apps and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for e-commerce.
However the growing adoption creates one of the biggest challenges facing CIOs today – how do you implement new SaaS delivery models while still integrating with the the mission-critical apps you’ve invested in for years?
If SaaS integration is not planned properly, it creates a “cloud in the corner” syndrome – a condition where new cloud-based SaaS solutions are disconnected from existing IT resources. The result: fragmented enterprise data scattered across the cloud.
Multi-tenant, subscription based Software-as-a-Service is entering a new phase. SAP announced in December 2011 that it’s acquiring Success Factors for $3.4 billion. The acquisition of Success Factors is aimed at making SAP AG a leader in “cloud computing”. Seems like a catchup play. The good news is that this acquisition legitimizes the Cloud and makes it mainstream.
Every customer’s reality is that they are going to have multiple datacenters. Inside the private cloud, inside the public cloud, they will use different service providers, and we’re going to live in this world of hybrid IT for all time to come. And you really need a distributed computing fabric that brings things together on behalf of enterprise IT as well as the developers writing native cloud applications. And these commonalities of identity, virtualization, management, and application development is what makes the next generation systems integration challenge very unique.
As SaaS, IaaS and PaaS becomes mainstream, we are seeing a new demand for Systems Integration capability. According to Forrester Research: “…developers are bypassing IT and putting applications onto public clouds at a rate five times greater than IT thinks.”
Companies need to hook up [users, systems, databases, applications, and web services] with more than a dozen different cloud services providers. Instead of doing a point to point integration they are looking to hook into a Cloud Service Brokers, who would serve as intermediaries, offering such services as customization, integration, security, and aggregation.
The figure below shows a simplistic view of the service broker model.
A new category of players is emerging in the Systems Integration market: Cloud Service Brokers (CSB). Because CSB is not a technology, it is necessary to understand describe the business model, providers, functions and enablers.