Cloud Integration and Centre of Gravity
On 24th July, customers from major corporate companies including two of the major department store retailers, attended the first UK event to showcase Oracle Integration Cloud Service and discuss its potential.
During the day Steve Adams from Oracle Sales Consulting demonstrated the environment live, and James Allerton Austin from product management gave an overview of the Oracle cloud ecosystem that ICS is a member of.
For startup companies it is relatively easy to set up your processes and systems in the cloud, but for the majority of established companies there is a complex mix of on-premise and cloud applications that are often not linked. To find out whether Frankencloud* is a reality in the customers IT systems we got the attendees involved in an Integration Centre of Gravity exercise. Using a graphic box below and some guidance, people drew circles of different sizes to represent their major applications, middleware and databases (regardless of vendor).
During the break we mapped the attendees drawings to make a consolidated Centre of Gravity view.
This was enlightening as taking an aerial view of the IT infrastructure provides a guided path of where they are now and where they would like to be.
*Frankencloud is a term gaining popularity, used to describe a scenario where SaaS are integrated to each other and other systems without planning, monitoring or control, leading to severe risk for the company.
Where is your Integration Centre of Gravity ?
iPaaS taken to mean Integration Platform as a service (i.e. integration in the cloud)
This chart shows a fairly typical IT based operation with a majority of applications on premise, a service bus used for on premise integration and one or two SaaS apps. This chart suggests that the centre of gravity is on premise, and on premise integration to the SaaS is likely to be easiest way to integrate Oracle applications and mainstream applications using the Oracle Cloud adapters.
This represents a scenario that has gathered pace over the last couple of years. The customer has a large estate of on premise applications and a number of SaaS subscriptions. In this case there is an iPaaS solution to link the on premise apps so this shows a centre of gravity that is different to example 1 and more challenging. The SaaS could be from different suppliers, the iPaaS could be a different supplier again and all of these need to be managed. The CoG is cloud oriented and needs to be monitored as there is the potential for it to get out of control. In this case Oracle ICS could be the ideal iPaaS solution.
Example 3; Frankencloud
This is a simplified version of the worst case scenario, the Frankencloud. In this case multiple SaaS are connect to multiple iPaaS which makes governance difficult if not impossible. This can happen if different Lines of Business engage different supplier independently of each other, for example if the sales managers require integration between Salesforce and the logistics application to track deliveries. Even worse is a hidden integration between two SaaS and indirectly two iPaaS, that on premise IT management may not even be aware of. This raises issues around governance, security and accountability and is the model to be avoided at all cost. A situation like this must be resolved if discovered.
The CoG chart is a simple exercise but effective tool. To find out how you can utilise Oracle ICS, and the Centre of Gravity to plan your cloud roadmap contact Estafet today.