Written by Beth Hildreth on February 6, 2015
Categories: Cloud, MSPs

Cloud technology is growing in popularity as a business tool. Companies are finding that cloud storage, security, file accessibility and sharing, data backup, and data archiving solutions are not just options, but necessities. More importantly, they want to make sure that the cloud services they choose integrate well into their systems for more improved workflow.

Managed service providers (MSPs) are at the forefront of this technology development. They need to hurdle some challenges as well as explore new possibilities to satisfy their customers’ integration needs.

Infrastructure as a critical integration element

System and application integration is a major challenge, but critical priority for modern enterprises that use cloud solutions. MSPs need to look for cloud providers that can seamlessly integrate existing networks at every infrastructure layer for companies’ present needs.

The work does not stop there because integration is a continuing effort in anticipation of future developments. Forward-thinking MSPs should be prepared to work on the best infrastructure that will best serve with their customers’ future requirements.

Seamless application programming interfaces (APIs) for custom integration

When applications can clearly talk to each other, an effective API is at work. APIs are tools that enable users to move information between programs within a device or from one computing device to the other in single or multiple locations.

With a coherent interface system, IT builders or in-house developers can create customized solutions in a smooth and orderly manner. APIs also dictate how developers can build new applications that connect to big web services and utilities like Google Docs or Dropbox.

Mix and match for creative solutions

A versatile infrastructure and agile API provide a sprawling environment for creating entirely new applications and services. However, there may be instances when a new software may not be able to integrate with the existing program. For example, issues may arise if employee data residing in the on-premise HR system cannot be accessed by the provider of SaaS-based payroll and incentive compensation services.

With knowledge and experience in various cloud platforms, MSPs can be depended upon to work around systems and processes to create new solutions without disrupting workflow. This is the time for them to come up with new ideas, innovative approaches, and mix and match solutions to add value to their customers’ businesses.

Proactive monitoring and management

Cloud resources are not just an investment in technology components. The long-term goal of every proactive enterprise is to manage these resources as business tools. CIOs and their IT watchdogs need to be able to aggressively monitor business applications and the fundamental infrastructure supporting them.

If something goes wrong at any point of the workflow, a complete cloud lifecycle management solution must be readily available. This solution allows IT caretakers to maintain continuous workflow, discover workflow deviations and anomalies early on, and provide immediate solutions to problems.

In an era of mobility, globalization, and virtualization, cloud integration goes beyond simple connectivity. The last 20 years of software integration prove one thing – that rigid integration platforms have short-term benefits and flexible integration strategies enhance business agility.