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Integrating systems ain’t like it used to be

Cloud services integration has been a hot topic among businesses that rely on large stores of data and their IT departments lately. But according an article by David Linthicum published for InfoWorld, this is simply the reincarnation of a similar enterprise application integration movement that took place around the turn of the millennium.

"I get a kick out of these small companies that believe that integration is something they just thought about," he wrote. "Indeed, I hear many of the same arguments from then that now-traditional enterprise providers made back in the late 1990s when integration debuted as an architectural discipline."

Now, he said, integrated solutions no longer break the bank and are actually affordable for smaller businesses. But, the relative infancy of cloud computing makes it difficult for combining with older technology. Linthicum believes that IT departments have done a poor job linking old and new systems in the past, and now they're paying for it as the demand for cloud integration increases.

Since 2008, InformationWeek Reports has conducted an annual cloud survey. The first results showed that 16 percent of respondents said that they were already receiving services from a cloud provider. The 2012 survey showed that this number has more than doubled to 33 percent.

Linthicum concluded that businesses need to understand that not all data can just be shot into the cloud, and a combination of both remote and local databases is probably ideal.

Business leaders that think their organization may be ready for cloud integration shouldn't take on the process by themselves. Professional telecommunications agencies are available to conduct a design and risk assessment of current systems, and can offer solutions that fit within any budget and are practical for the specific company's needs.