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We all understand that cloud has immense potential for enterprises to do lots of things better. Sometimes though, we forget that migration to the cloud is a huge and rare opportunity to do things differently as well as better – and smart integration is a big part of achieving that.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here: Many enterprises have found their early excursion into the cloud expensive and the results underwhelming. For instance, TechTarget reckons that in 2020, 45% of organizations that ‘lifted and shifted’ applications into the cloud overprovisioned by as much as 55% in the first 18 months, overspending by up to 70% during that time. Even worse, cost overruns from public cloud deployment put a strain on 60% of the budget for on-premise infrastructure.

Cloudier than expected!

There’s a big clue in the lifted and shifted – putting legacy into the cloud doesn’t automatically improve and modernise it. It does the same thing, just on the cloud, and as we’ve seen, not even necessarily cheaper or better, never mind more creatively.

Arguably, integration is an even more serious issue than overspending, as well as potentially contributing to it and compounding the issue. Done well, integration ensures business outcomes are greater than the sum of the seamlessly interoperable parts. Done badly, it prevents the recycling and reuse of IT building blocks, and stops internal data and capabilities from being consumed by external – and maybe even internal – parties.

The purpose of cloud integration is to bring together multiple IT environments – on-premise, public and private cloud, a hybrid of the two, and multiple public clouds, usually referred to as multi-cloud – to create a cohesive IT setup, regardless of the underlying environments.

Yet in the scramble by businesses of all sizes to gain the advantages of cloud, and especially Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, they have replicated the age-old IT problem of silos – one of the things they hoped that cloud would help them escape from. This is because while the SaaS delivery model makes it easy to access the software in question, the rocketing and often ill-coordinated number of SaaS-based applications has created serious integration challenges, both in terms of the volume of integrations that are needed and their complexity.

Cloud integration to the rescue

There’s a big clue in the lifted and shifted – putting legacy into the cloud doesn’t automatically improve and modernise it. It does the same thing, just on the cloud, and as we’ve seen, not even necessarily cheaper or better, never mind more creatively.

Still there are a lot of iPaaSs out there - how can an enterprise figure out which one suits its needs the best, now and in future? Some of the main benefits of working with a specialist cloud integration partner is expertise with different iPaaS providers, and various cloud technologies and providers. For example, Torry Harris Integration Solutions (THIS) partners with cloud service providers AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, and deploys Oracle Fusion as the iPaaS where appropriate.

Oracle Fusion is the basis for integration layer services which support an enterprise’s integration strategy by addressing the interconnected stages of the deployment. This includes the often-overlooked issue of lifecycle management. THIS uses Oracle Fusion middleware tools and technologies to integrate and deploy agile applications of any size.

THIS’ services include consultancy regarding the best use of Cloud solutions, and a delivery strategy, such a blueprints for integrating layers, plus planning and implementation. THIS can also manage cloud integration platforms, from test to production, and bring greater business agility by shortening time to market. Enterprises can choose their own flexible support models to suit their needs, now and in future.

The managed services are governed by service level agreements (SLAs), service-level reporting and capacity management: The management of services is seamless across any combination of public and private cloud platforms. The managed solutions also offer high levels of automation and reusability, as well as scaling as required.

The managed services extend to the actual delivery of Cloud-based services.

iPaaS is not the whole story

THIS’ cloud services portfolio offers everything from initial assessments of which data, applications and other assets should be moved to the cloud, and which cloud, and how. Then once enterprise customers’ assets are in the cloud, there’s a plethora of managed services to ensure they run at maximum efficiency and effectiveness: The mission is to help create the best cloud strategy for each customer, then design, build and maintain cloud environments that optimize costs and performance while ensuring effective management and governance.

So in parallel with cloud integration services and iPaaS, there are a host of activities to complement and augment cloud migration. Expertise in some of the most innovative tooling on the market is a good example of how specialist partner’s experience can accelerate projects and bring about better outcomes.

For instance, automation tooling for multi-cloud deployments accelerates and simplifies the implementation process. A good example is Deplomatic, an API-first, automation framework which can create and be deployed onto any cloud platform in a single click. Tooling including Ansible, Terraform and others can speed up development of infrastructure as a code.

Automaton is a no-code tool that automates test for data interfaces, APIs and user interface components. It includes modules to connect to external data source and validate changes to data at the source level.

Here are some examples of how partnering with a specialist integration partner, such as THIS, and leveraging its expertise with tools can bring benefits – for more about the tooling see the next heading on setting up hybrid and multi-cloud architecture.

Table 1: Annual savings ­from cloud integration tools
No Torry Harris tool Area of Automation Annual Savings
1 Deplomatic Deployment automation framework that also provides environment governance and workflow capability. It drives cost efficiency through avoidance of over­provisioning of Cloud resources. Has reduced environment governance cost for customers by 35%
2 Coupler Microservices development framework through visual flow design approach. Ideal for Integration­centric Microservices. Reduces development effort up to 40% compared to a code­based approach for implementation.
3 AutoStub Stubbing Automation tool to automatically generate data­driven API stubs for test automation and facilitate CI/CD Reduces development time by upto 20%
4 Automaton Test Automation tool that provides a visual tool to model your APIs and other application test scenarios Reduces test automation effort by 30%
5 DigitMarket Micro­Gateway Microgateway to securely expose your Microservices through a decentralized policy management Reduces operational cost by 15%

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