Is there now a danger of silo management (opens in new tab) in the cloud? Businesses may have taken for granted the idea that cloud computing brings departments together. After all, its flexibility and scalability mean that compute power and storage can grow seamlessly. However, different functional organisations still need their own data repositories, whether in public or private cloud computing. A sales and customer relationship management database is not the same as one used for ERP, which is different again when compared with databases for accounting or human resources.
Faster Silos are no solution
The cloud should be able to bring apps and departments together, despite their different applications. However, if databases cannot connect, enterprises risk finding themselves back in the bad old days of silo IT (opens in new tab) and silo management. The cloud may make silo happen faster and more cost-efficiently, but it’s silo still the same. That negates much of the potential value of the cloud, where it should be helping to exponentially increase productivity and competitiveness.
A Variety of Data Sources to Manage
The challenge of connecting up different data stores is further complicated when conventional software applications, and private, public and hybrid clouds (opens in new tab) all coexist. Now not only are there traditional relational databases to deal with, but also cloud data sources with different data models, and online file storage systems too. A popular cloud service like Salesforce (opens in new tab) for example keeps customer data in its own database, but customers need to be able to recover their Salesforce data to back it up, analyde it and use it for other applications, including the generation of reports.
Making the Cloud Solve Its Own Data Challenges
If there is one resource that should be able to simplify and unify these different information resources, it is the cloud itself. The saying goes that the thinking that created a problem cannot be used to solve the problem. Yet this case is the exception that proves the rule. While the flexibility of the cloud allows for a huge variety of different databases, its power also allows for quasi-immediate conversion of data from one database to another (opens in new tab).
Simple, Powerful Data Connectors
The missing piece of the cloud database conversion puzzle is a data connector solution that is simple, easy to use and efficient. When this becomes available, enterprises can quickly and practically:
- Move data from their own IT systems into the cloud for faster, cheaper processing and analytics.
- Replicate and back up databases in the cloud, from other cloud sources as well as onsite databases.
- Share data via standard database formats that all users can work with.
Smart data connectors (opens in new tab) hide the complexities of the mapping of data and data relationships from the user. They make it easy to import, export, replicate and synchronise data to suit business requirements, without even having to write programming code.
Streamlined Business Processes
With new generation data connectors, the cloud can now unify like it should. For instance, your business is now able to:
- Have marketing build new pricing information in a departmental legacy application with a conventional database like MySQL, and then move the finished pricing information up to the cloud in your corporate Dropbox account.
- From the Dropbox account, map over the data in the files into your corporate Salesforce account.
- As sales are made, convert the Salesforce data into a format for an accounting application, such as QuickBooks, for billing.
Strategic Advantage Instead of Daily Maintenance
Even if different vendors use their own specific data store technology and format, the right data connector solution can make it easy to move data between them to get businesses humming. IT departments are no longer under pressure to create or maintain connections between databases. Instead, they can focus on other value-added IT projects that offer their enterprises strategic advantage (opens in new tab). Finally, all the real value of the cloud can be unlocked and silos can be avoided even before they start.