One prevailing school of thought about SaaS is that while data migration is relatively easy, data integration is a different story entirely. Even as IT budgets stagnate, SaaS is poised to grow by 22.1% this year because of the relative ease of implementing supported projects in small and medium enterprises. But big businesses—such as those in the financial markets—have varying complexities it handles information
Gartner analysts have so far stated the obvious that implementation of SaaS should be based on its value to the entire enterprise and not just to a single business function. Data integration that allow for ease of access to information is where locally hosted systems trump SaaS
According to Gartner’s white paper, “Architecting Information Delivery into SaaS Initiatives,” CIOs and IT leaders should cover data that reside in SaaS applications in their data integration projects, and perhaps more importantly, identify data management and integration requirements to prevent risks that eventually impact the quality of deployment
Engaging a SaaS provider is akin to hiring a group of workers to join one’s technology department. Pre-implementation preparations, such as due diligence reviews and drafting statements of work, takes a certain measure of effort no matter how relatively easy it is to implement applications. This is enough to push the idea of delivering SaaS capabilities to enterprise-wide technology landscape. “The infrastructure environment must cater for extensible use by additional applications, or become integrated as a part of a new system’s infrastructure,” according to the paper, and thus must be a corporate mandate in order to maximize the opportunity that SaaS affords for service buyers
For vendors, access to, and delivery of, corporate information to privileged users throughout the enterprise is an opportunity that they should look at. Gartner believes that buyers should have an “architected approach is provided for, to bring back strategic information to the organization.” Service level agreements should immediately feature integrated information management and delivery, instead of chalking it up as a hidden cost. And by “architected approach,” it should further involve the possibility of interoperability with other applications, platforms, and perhaps partnerships as SaaS implementations mature.
“The reality is that despite SaaS applications functioning as an extension of an enterprise’s IT ecosystem, they often lack assimilation with the information and integration demands of the broader enterprise’s internal applications, and sometimes with other SaaS applications,” according to the study.