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Cloud Integration Boosts Insight Across Industries

With the demand for cloud computing steadily increasing—estimated by Gartner to grow 18% this year—the need for cloud integration rises. Businesses across industries are fast discovering the necessity of cloud integration and continuing to learn more about its benefits.

Cloud integration not only provides a modern approach to the battle against data silos, it also enables organizations to greatly improve their business intelligence gathering. Whether the intel collected is about internal processes or external customer behaviors, companies stand to gain valuable insight from the integration and analysis that comes from increased connectivity.

There are universal benefits of cloud integration that cross industry barriers, including:

  • Increased flexibility and scalability
  • Faster time-to-market
  • Better internal communication
  • Improved customer service, support, and retention
  • Increased competitive edge
  • Enabled product personalization
  • Improved operational efficiency

These ubiquitous pay offs manifest differently within various industries, including those that are heavily regulated such as Healthcare, Retail, and Financial Services. Below are a few examples:

Healthcare

Cloud integration is tremendously valuable in healthcare. It brings data together from different devices and systems and helps provide a comprehensive picture of a patient’s health and medical records. Not only is this beneficial in day-to-day care, it can also contribute greatly to efforts to develop and administer targeted treatments.

On-premises systems lack the efficiency and scalability needed to synergize and analyze vast amounts of dynamic patient data. Using the capabilities of the cloud, physicians and researchers can pull together large quantities of data from multiple inputs and conduct analysis to identify trends and possible predictive disease indicators. These insights create opportunities for improved treatment and preventative care.

The integration of patient data also opens up more opportunities for personalization, which can help improve quality of care as well as healthcare marketing efforts. As digital medicine gains in popularity, personalization and data integration will become increasingly important, making cloud integration a business essential.

Retail

Integration benefits for the retail industry are plentiful. The consolidation of customer data from various inputs enables businesses to create a comprehensive view of their customer. This, in turn, allows them to create targeted, personalized marketing and sales campaigns. It also improves the quality of sales and support by providing customer-facing staff with centralized, relevant information.

To remain competitive, retailers not only need to be able to respond to customer needs, they must be able to anticipate them as well. Cloud integration creates the ability for organizations to centralize and analyze large amounts of customer data to identify trends and predict behaviors.

Additionally, retailers can improve inventory management, product routing, and purchasing by connecting systems such as POS or ERP systems and ecommerce platforms, among others.

Financial

The financial industry has been slow to embrace some cloud trends. However, they are beginning to realize how much potential lies in providing improved customer service fueled by integrated data, services, and business intelligence. Financial companies also stand to gain big by using personalization, which is enabled by integration. Personalization helps building customer trust and loyalty, two things the financial services industry is currently losing.

Cloud computing and integration are fast becoming crucial elements in any business’ data and analytics strategy. Even highly regulated industries are moving toward increased cloud adoption and integration as related technology and security improves. This movement is further bolstered by the realization that cloud and on-premises systems do not need to be mutually exclusive. In many case, the hybrid approach is an ideal solution.

According to Forbes, hybrid cloud adoption has grown from 19% to 57% in the last year. Technologies like integration platform as a service (iPaaS) are helping to make this possible with their ability to connect both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premises systems.

While many benefits of cloud integration know no industry bounds, important, industry-specific points must be addressed during implementation. IT leaders are challenged to identify cloud integration strategies that execute best practices for their specific industries.