Cloud integrations - the end of on-premise IT

The number of easy to use cloud applications services has exploded. Dropbox, Jira, Basecamp, Xero, Slack are typical of the modern easy-to-use and feature rich web apps. The issue is that there are so many how do you choose which ones are right for you or your organisation? An assessment criteria I use ( amongst many others ) is to evaluate how well the app integrates with other cloud applications.

Since 2011 there has been a steady flow of cloud application connecter services. and are good examples. Here is a list of more   They range from enterprise IT connector focus to personal productivity focus.

These connector apps all have one thing in common and that is a "recipe" or "workflow" definition comprising a source application, a destination application and some form of data movement between the two. A simple example would be "send me a gmail email when a new contact is added to our zoho CRM service"

In zapier I can see a list of popular apps This gives me a good idea of which apps are integration friendly. It also on occasions shows me alternative apps to the one I was evaluating.

The maturing of cloud integration and security will be the end of locally hosted business applications such as SAP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As you take your first steps into cloud applications, maybe with mature services such as collaborative project management or EDM, don't forget to check out how well the app connects to other apps and services, it may prove to be pivotal to the success or failure of the new cloud application.

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