Flexibility. It’s important to have, no matter what business you’re in. Some take it for granted, but when things are looking dire or when you see a new opportunity you want to pursue, you’ll be patting yourself on the back if you’ve given your organization the flexibility it needs in such situations – and you’ll be banging your head against your desk if you didn’t.
Since the preseason has already gotten underway and we’re just a few weeks away from games that matter, let’s take a look at how important flexibility is for an NFL franchise. The Cincinnati Bengals recently made headlines by re-signing starting quarterback Andy Dalton to a deal that could be worth as much as $115 million over a six-year period.
Social media sites and the internet at large have been flush with memes whose creators believe the Bengals way overpaid for a guy who’s been good but not great in the regular season and downright dreadful in the postseason. What many advocates of the deal either haven’t cared to think about or thought to care about, however, is that a mere 17.7 percent of the contract represents guaranteed money, Furthermore, everything that’s assured will be paid out over the year ahead. Everything else about the contract is basically “pay as you go.”
The Bengals’ front office took a look around and determined that, after what was surely an immense amount of analysis, Dalton currently gave them the best chance to be successful on the football field. It also realized that that could change at any time between now and the 2019 season. So it gave itself an out – it gave itself flexibility.
Your business probably doesn’t have a quarterback, but it probably does have mission-critical data and a website it can’t succeed without. So how flexible is your data? Your website? If you’ve chosen to put it in a Superb Internet cloud instance, then the answer is “extremely.” That’s because our Wholesale Cloud is ready to grow as your business grows.
Like the Bengals, you can surely reach an informed conclusion about what you need to succeed right now. Just like them, though, you cannot say with full certainty that the same thing you need to achieve success today will be what you need to do so tomorrow. Not having enough space to expand your storage capacity is sort of like being stuck up against the NFL salary cap when that big free agent you want hits the open market: you’d identify what you need, but you wouldn’t have the flexibility to go get it without giving something else up that you need and/or undergoing a time-consuming and aggravating roster overhaul.
Thankfully, it’s not like that when our Wholesale Cloud at your disposal. We allow you to pay only for what you need and to easily and almost instantaneously get more or less space when your needs change in the future. Now that’s flexibility you can use.
Achieving Successful Cloud Integration
Is your approach to cloud integration as elastic as your cloud instance with us is? Application program interfaces (APIs) are probably the most trusted tools for achieving functional interoperability across a multitude of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications today. APIs provide plenty of inventive new ways to cloud integration, which leads to the interconnectivity of a variety of cloud apps in a manner that just couldn’t be accomplished with on-premises storage solutions.
“The real measure of success for an API is not only how often it’s deployed by customers,” founder of tech consulting firm ThinkStrategies Jeff Kaplan posited to Tech Target, “but how many partners and strategic allies are taking advantage of it within the partner ecosystem of that service provider or SaaS vendor.”
His assertion is that strong APIs will attract customers and partners and that a businesses’ success is in part reliant on its ability to cloud integrate in such a way that allows for interoperability of solutions for its customer base.
Integration-as-a-service can be used, just as an NFL quarterback, on a pay-as-you-go basis. The reason is to provide scalability for integration capabilities for the long run.
Finding the Right Integration Solution
Kaplan explained that “the most important difference in this brave new world of the cloud is the growing reliance on application program interfaces… as the primary mechanism for ensuring the basic interoperability across multiple software as a service or SaaS applications. And those APIs are becoming more and more robust, and more and more plentiful. So, the opportunities to more easily interconnect multiple applications have become a reality in the cloud in a way that wasn’t possible in the traditional on-premises world.”
He identified a number of different integration solutions as being appropriate for differing situations, noting that which solution was best when is dependent on the “intensity” of the integration task an organization faces when deploying to the cloud. A simple API might be best for some, while other times a mix of a variety of cloud integration tools and connectors is going to be best. The latter is particularly true in enterprise-class business applications.
Kaplan noted that the first step is “to take a good look at the nature of the business process [you’ trying to support. There are cases where they need to move data from one application to another in a high velocity, high transaction kind of environment that’s going to require a certain kind of integration tool or platform to support the intensity of that business process. As opposed to possibly one that entails more periodic or batch-oriented data sharing that doesn’t have the same kind of intensity, or even complexity, associated with it.”
After considering your business’ idiosyncrasies in conjunction with the apps and data sources you need to connect to one another, the next thing to do is look at providers’ histories of successful cloud integration. It’s also crucial to make sure that any vendor or provider is going to be there with you for the long haul.
“So those vendors and service providers who have built the broadest and deepest third party relationships have tended to do so because, in part, of the strength of their APIs,” continued Kaplan. “And looking at their success as a community is a reflection of their ability to inter-operate and integrate their mutual solutions across their customer base.”
Identifying the Future of Integration Tools
Kaplan also put forth his thoughts on upcoming integration trends. He’s been “hearing more and more about the idea of APIs and integration as a service. So, it’s the ability to actually acquire that integration functionality as a service itself and be able to deploy it on a pay-as-you-go basis in such a way that it further alleviates the complexity, but also helps to ensure the scalability of that integration capability over time.”
Growing security concerns and an increased need for strong control over data could also bring about an intertwining of cloud and on-demand and multidimensional on premises capabilities. In other words, the cloud looks set to become even more dynamic than it currently is.
“And closely related to that, by the way, is a growing assortment of app stores. They’re just not only all for the ease of use and convenience of being able to find apps that you find appealing online and to procure them easily, but behind the scenes having these apps certified, if you will, because they have proven to have the right kind of APIs and integration capabilities to make them inter-operate and work well together.”
Image Source: IT Business Edge
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