Quark Summary: What CFOs Need to Know About SaaS and Cloud Integration

Forward And Commentary
This document addresses many questions asked by CFO's about cloud deployments and the top integration questions often asked by CFO's responsible for key business initiatives that involve technology.
A. Executive Summary
Organizations have escalated their adoption of cloud computing and SaaS applications in the past 3 years. As part of the broader trend in consumerization of IT (CoIT), business leaders have slowly tipped the balance of power in determining technology acquisition. However, the proliferation of adoption has led to organizational chaos in data, process and meta data integration as users adopt and deploy the cloud in silos without considering the implications of organizational silos and services oriented architecture (SOA).  As cloud integration emerges as an enterprise-wide issue, CFOs must get acquainted with the cost-value equation of cloud and SaaS applications. Why? Cloud integration emerges as a key competency for successful organizations seeking to innovate while maximizing returns on investment. Consequently, CFOs should understand ten key points on why they must master cloud integration.
B. Research Findings
The rapid adoption of cloud computing by business leaders unfortunately creates a bespoke environment technically known as “best of breed cloud hell.” With so many disparate systems in a loosely federated model, data rapidly becomes siloed, business processes easily become fragmented, and coordination across functional fiefdoms quickly becomes difficult.  Consequently, cloud integration emerges as a key enabler in reducing the costs and improving the benefits of cloud computing. Recent conversations with 22 CFOs addressed these ten key questions:

  1. What is cloud integration?
  2. Why is cloud integration a growing competency for the CFO?
  3. Is cloud integration more or less expensive?
  4. Which integration approach is best in the long run?
  5. How does cloud integration mitigate project risk?
  6. What’s the business value for cloud integration?
  7. Will bring your own device (BYOD) policies require cloud integration?
  8. How can I support social media?
  9. Do big data and cloud integration go hand in hand?
  10. What kind of projects make sense for cloud integration?

The Bottom Line: Mastering Cloud Integration Is an Entry Point to Mastering Consumerization of IT
CFOs have a unique position to shape the future of their organizations as the decision-making power has shifted from the IT side to the business. IT budgets remain down 5 percent year-over-year, while tech spending by business units has increased 18-20 percent. The result – businesses have increased their influence in technology buying. By providing guidance during the strategy and budgeting process, CFOs have an effective tool to balance the needs of
business and IT. Cloud integration enables CFOs to deftly apply the “six s’s of consumerization of IT”
C. Report Links
The report is part of Constellation’s Unlimited Quark library and the individual report is available for purchase.
Your POV
Are you contemplating a shift in your integration strategy? Suffering from best of breed SaaS hell?  Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com
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Related Research:
Wang, R "Ray" - "Monday’s Musings: The Race For Enterprise Class Consumer Tech", Software Insider, March 7, 2011
Wang, R “Ray”- “Research Report: How SaaS Adoption Trends Show New Shifts In Technology Purchasing Power", Software Insider  June 21, 2011.
Data Integration Blog - Pervasive Software "Ray Wang discusses integrating SaaS Best of Breed Hell"
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