Weighing up cloud-based integration: The pros and cons

by Riversafe

Accessing and exploiting data is one of the main difficulties companies experience in data management. Often, this is due to isolated systems and disconnected data processes.

Well cloud-based integration promises to help solve this problem. And yet many businesses are reluctant to take this step due a perception that it brings more harm than good. In this article we’ll discuss both the positive and negative perceptions of cloud integration, and how you can optimise your transition to reap only the rewards.

How do companies end up with disparate systems that foster data silos?

Businesses and companies are desperate to exploit data to inform their business strategies. But too often, instead of gaining value from it they’re left with more problems. One of these problems is data silos.

The main culprit for creating data silos is a disparate system. When applications, solutions, folders and more aren’t integrated or don’t work with one another easily, data gets lost, isolated or unused.

Here are some key examples of how companies end up with disparate systems that create silos:

Data Knowledge

Many companies take on data and data analytics strategies without understanding the requirements. Then once they attempt to implement it they realise the work it takes.

They end up retrospectively onboarding solutions to deal with data rather than integrating these processes from the beginning. This results in tools, apps, and solutions that don’t necessarily work with each other or the original system.

Engagement

While teams and departments may be making a push for a data-centric workplace, sometimes upper management is not. If the board doesn’t value data for making strategic business decisions, they won’t invest in the right technology. This is dangerous as it can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy where data silos prevent value being found.

Growth

Simply, the company or business has grown, but the technology hasn’t kept up. Here the strategies, data-mindsets and skills are all in the right place. But the system and solutions available haven’t been updated to match the new data demands. This makes is not only time consuming, but costly, to integrate your vast amounts of datasets.

Process

It’s not a secret that taking on a data-oriented mindset is not a simple procedure. Overhauling your systems internal processes takes time, effort and some level of disruption. For many people, this is one of the only things stopping them. But in the end, trying to advance your business philosophies without also updating your system will create more issues and increase your data silos.

Vendors

Simply put – you’ve signed a contract or have a relationship with a vendor. You may know you need to move on, but often providers won’t let you go without a fight. Not anticipating technological change and choosing your vendors accordingly can hold many businesses back.

How does cloud-based integration offer a solution to that? 

There’s a lot you can do to foster an integrated system and tackle silos. From shifting company culture to updating your on-prem, legacy system. But when the digital landscape is scaling rapidly, you want a solution that is future proof, flexible and scalable.

Cloud-based integration is the key. This process involves connecting your digital assets to enable real-time processing, transfer and sharing of data. The data-integrated apps and solutions can then communicate and be accessed from anywhere.

Its purpose data focused. Cloud-based integration uses tools to break down silos, increase data and document visibility between departments, make it easier to connect, and unify data operations for a business.

This essentially ensures consistent, efficient, adaptable and automatic data management processes across your entire system. It seamlessly integrates your system and devices and is also designed to be easily managed. This approach not only reduces the likelihood of data silos but makes it easier to remove them when they do happen.

What are the other benefits of cloud-based integration?

Breaking down data silos, while a primary selling point, is not the only benefit of cloud-based integration. Here are some of the other key advantages:

  • Real-time: With cloud storage and data lakes you’ll be able to both store more data, and access and process information quicker than with your on-prem system.
  • Cost-efficient: Instead of paying for expensive hardware updates every few years, cloud reduces your operational costs.
  • Integrative: Cloud-integration also works efficiently with existing systems – so you don’t have to throw everything out and start over.
  • Better communication: With everyone in your business working from the same core data platform, communication will be improved. This in turn benefits operational efficiency, compliance, and breaks down those silos!
  • Improved security protocol: Having a consistent platform means you can also implement a more robust, consistent cyber security strategy. And getting rid of silos inherently boosts your security strength by reducing system vulnerabilities.
  • Flexibility: By embracing cloud-based integration you have more freedom to change, scale and evolve your data management and all associated solutions.

What are the perceived cons of cloud-based integration?

Now, let’s myth-bust some of the most common misconceptions about cloud-based integration and its challenges.

One of the biggest concerns people have is data security. But just like data – problems only tend to arise with cloud-integration when it isn’t managed properly. You just need to ensure that your cloud settings are configured correctly during the transition.

People also believe that being on the cloud makes you more vulnerable for attack. Well again, this isn’t necessarily true. Just as with any system, you need to tailor your cyber security solutions to meet certain requirements. So, when working with the cloud it’s recommended to look into IOT or cloud-specific security.

YOU MAY LIKE: Are you fully prepared for the cloud?

Ultimately, a lot of the issues with the cloud arise when non-experts manage the transition. That’s why getting a professional in to help you with your cloud security and integration can reap huge rewards.

Does cloud-based integration guarantee that data silos won’t occur?

In short, no. Moving to cloud-based integration is only a technological solution. It will make a significant improvement, but the changes made need reflected and maintained within operations.

A robust data management strategy is needed to support cloud-based integration. This is the process of connecting all data points, to better manage, utilise and analyse data plus break down data silos.

FIND OUT MORE: Data Operations: Why data silos impact your cyber security

What is RiverSafe’s approach to cloud-based integrations?

RiverSafe prioritise security, compliance and synergy when implementing cloud solutions. Our services and solutions are designed to maintain, if not improve, your application security and cyber intelligence as we help you journey to the cloud.

As a result of our extensive due diligence process we can guarantee the transition will be as painless as possible. You’ll be able to experience all the benefits of cloud integration with none of the hassle. We ensure that your cloud integration delivery will be totally compliant in AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. And further, your on-premise and off-premise solutions will continue to work together seamlessly.

To find out more about our Cloud Security and Data Operations services, get in touch.

By Riversafe

Cyber Security Intelligence Experts

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