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How to Enhance Applications to Support Business Agility (Part 2)
Soaring with the cloud – “no software” doesn’t mean “no integration”
By: Adam Wilson
Mar. 31, 2012 01:00 PM
Sustaining applications in the most cost-effective and efficient fashion is the foundation to maximizing a return on data. But it is only the foundation. Organizations have to move beyond sustaining applications to driving innovation, and the first step in that progression is learning the best ways to enhance existing applications and implement new applications that will help modernize business processes and support business agility.
The challenges around enhancing applications are well agreed upon. The top challenges include:
Building Trust in the Data with Automated Data Quality
Hence, the first step to modernizing business processes is to enhance application quality with trusted, authoritative data that is predictable, valuable and timely, regardless of how many source systems it is being drawn and integrated from.
Integrating data quality processes into the overall enterprise data integration process is a definitive step for any organization looking to build user trust in their data. This is as simple as introducing automated data cleansing that can be leveraged by all applications across the company. A further step is introducing proactive data quality monitoring capabilities into the hands of data owners, so they participate in improving the quality of their information.
The payoff comes with users spending less time reconciling data and more time working with it.
Ensuring Right-Time Delivery with Data services
Data services, on the other hand, present a discrete set of sophisticated data integration tasks that support the entire data integration life cycle. These data services can be readily consumed as Web services by the various components of a SOA, and also by composite applications and portals. The complexity of the task is hidden, plus the data services can be easily published to SOA registries and repositories.
Results? Organizations using data services have reported up to five times faster delivery of new data, and cost savings of up to three times. This means that these organizations are able to respond faster to changing information demands, increase IT project success rates, and even deliver comprehensive single customer views on-demand to help drive new revenues and increase customer satisfaction.
Soaring with the Cloud - "No Software" Doesn't Mean "No Integration"
Cloud applications have to integrate with other systems in order to provide full value. At the same time, integration needs to happen in a secure fashion lest IT lose control of enterprise data assets. Fortunately, appropriately designed cloud data integration will support hybrid IT environments, essentially by extending unified, enterprise-class data integration services to the cloud.
Things to look for when supporting hybrid IT include a "secure agent" that provides the ability to create and securely manage all aspects of integration jobs, which can be shared between on-premise and cloud deployments. While the agent can be invoked via a web browser, what it does is establish a secure connection between data source and data target and all data integration processing occurs on-premise in the enterprise environment for maximum IT control.
Ensuring the Success of New Applications Through Efficient Migration
Having the right technology platform and skills goes a long way toward ensuring an on-time and on-budget migration. Knowledge of the data that is being moved is critical to each step of the migration process and ultimately is key to ensuring that the migrated data actually "works" in the new application. Having an infrastructure that supports change during the migration process is mandatory. And active business involvement is the hallmark of every successful migration. Hand-coding, using the wrong migration methodology, and relying strictly on IT are all pathways to migration time and money overruns or outright failure.
In selecting a migration platform, you want to ensure it provides:
From Application Enhancement to Business Transformation
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