Q

Is there an easy way to do cloud application integration?

Cloud application integration is a big challenge, one that's too big for some IT departments.

I've seen case studies where other companies used cloud application integration to connect their SaaS applications

and derive business insights from analyzing the data. Application integration is too difficult for my IT staff; what are my options?

When you say integration I assume you mean that they transfer data from one application to another, such as an analytics tool, and that the analytics spit out all kinds of insights that people can act on. If the integration is online, the insights can come out in a stream. But if your IT folks don't want to do the integration you can still export data via a delimited file (CSV or other format). Most applications have an export-import facility, and analytics packages certainly do. Such a batch transfer can still be valuable and might prove the need at which point your company might decide the insights are so valuable that they'll hire an outside party to do the work. But also keep in mind that most data is "dirty" to a degree and needs to have duplicate entries removed, for instance, before it can be loaded into an analytics package and be useful.

This was first published in October 2012

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