SaaS Integration Woes Aren’t So Secret—Or Dirty—After All

SaaS Integration

According to a March 5th post to readwrite.com, SaaS has a “dirty little secret.” Integration, says technology expert Brian Proffitt, is still a problem for companies adopting SaaS solutions.

Proffitt goes on to quote a general manager at Pervasive, who states that 49% of the company’s potential customers report difficulties with post-deployment integration, resulting in the company abandoning 20% of its SaaS migrations.

“These figures punch a big hole in the theory that SaaS is the end of the rainbow for enterprise IT,” said Proffitt. Security, he says, is another big concern.

Now, I don’t think any of us expect the process of moving from a computing model littered with legacy on-premise solutions to a more dynamic, flexible and cost-cutting cloud-based infrastructure to be completely seamless. But does this mean that we should abandon the idea and stick with our slow, expensive, hard-to-maintain on-premises solutions? Certainly not. Moreover, if you flip Pervasive’s statistics around, the outlook doesn’t seem so bleak: More than 50% of its integrations have few or no difficulties and 80% are successful. Additionally, Pervasive offers both cloud-based and on-premise solutions, and may not be representative of the many vendors who specialize in 100% cloud-based solutions.

Let’s Get to the Real Issue

The real issue revolves around how the SaaS solution is designed. Not all integration workflows fit well in the SaaS model, so the SaaS provider and customer need to work together to assess the integration workflows and adjust data mappings and business flows, if necessary. Most cloud integrations fail if they were retrofitted or replicated from their on-premise counterparts. And, your typical off-the-shelf integration platform usually won’t work with a SaaS deployment.

True SaaS solutions are purpose-built for cloud deployment. They save customers from the hassles of software development and hosting, while ensuring that costs are kept low with built-in, pre-tested integrations and flexible configuration options that don’t require coding. They liberate IT teams from unnecessary back-office operations, and get customers up and running quickly with new, up-to-date solutions. Their seamless RESTful web services platforms deliver simplicity and flexibility in extending cloud services and data to the back office for custom integrations with proprietary solutions.

As far as security is concerned, leading SaaS providers construct, maintain and operate security precautions at levels that are far beyond what’s cost-effective for almost any individual company or organization, with application and physical security, network protection and disaster recovery features, as well as SSAE 16 compliance. Because the solutions feature multi-tenancy, SaaS vendors strive to satisfy the most demanding customer requirements with advanced security features that are extended to every tenant, for a lot less money because of economies of scale. Such security measures are necessary to ensure that tenants don’t’ pose a risk to one another.

So, as it turns out, the so-called “dirty little secret” exposed by Proffitt’s post isn’t really a secret—and it’s not all that dirty either. After all, forward-thinking companies who are moving to cloud will naturally gravitate toward true cloud providers–those who understand the integration and security issues of cloud-delivered software, and have taken the necessary precautions, so the customer doesn’t have to worry.

Suresh Kuppahally
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suresh Kuppahally
Suresh is the EVP of Engineering and Ops at Replicon. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
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