CFOtech Australia logo
Technology news for Australian CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

Data integration and its role in a multi-cloud environment

By Contributor
Thu 24 Jun 2021

Article by Denodo senior vice president and chief marketing officer Ravi Shankar.

The cloud market in Australia reached the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2020, mainly due to COVID-19 related increases in collaboration apps and other work-from-home solutions.
Cloud has cemented itself as the platform powering technology in the ‘new normal’, providing an avenue for business continuity and for people to remain connected despite city lockdowns and stay-at-home workplace conditions.

With an increasing focus on the seamless delivery of applications to a remote or distributed workforce, many organisations today use more than one cloud and storage service. In a single network architecture, they may tap on two or more different cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Research from Australian analyst Telsyte have revealed that AWS has the largest share of the market in Australia, followed by Microsoft’s Azure. In particular, collaboration tools and video conferencing, which are built on cloud platforms, have seen the biggest uptick in usage. 

Cloud platforms are all unique, providing different architectures, accessibility and applications. They also differ in the way they offer support to customers, which means that assessing and controlling the benefits, cost, and level of security can be complex for organisations taking a multi-cloud approach. 

Organisations in Australia have demonstrated a propensity to opt for best-of-breed applications in a multi-cloud architecture, and not necessarily lock themselves down to a single provider. Organisations are also willing to take on associated security risks, and invest effort and time to properly manage and integrate different services from different cloud providers.

Are we in danger of single-vendor lock in?

Major technology vendors like Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have long been emphasising the benefits of a single integrated architecture, encouraging customers to run applications from a single vendor across operations like Accounting & Finance, Human Resources or Sales and Marketing.

No doubt, having various applications running on a single integrated technology platform for the purpose of interconnectivity has its benefits. Organisations may choose to onboard customers in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that is linked to the finance application that they are already using to ensure the same customers pay for products or services in a timely manner. This also takes away the steps of creating two separate sets of customer records in two different applications. 

However, IT leaders have always been careful of vendor lock in. Instead, many prefer to acquire applications from different vendors that can best meet requirements and choose to manually integrate them using data integration technologies.

For instance, manufacturing businesses may adopt SAP applications for manufacturing processes and PeopleSoft solutions for human resource functions. Retail businesses may choose to adopt Oracle applications for procurement and supply chain, but use Siebel CRM solutions to support sales and marketing functions. These same businesses may be using Microsoft’s technologies too for databases and business productivity applications.

Simply put, most organisations tend to opt for a multi-compute architecture.

First multi-compute and now multi-cloud

The multi-cloud approach took some time to become somewhat of a norm as well, just like the adoption of multi-compute architecture.

Organisations only started to seriously migrate their data and major workloads from their data centers to the cloud when they saw the benefits of more flexibility and lower operational costs. Gradually, organisations have come to rely on the cloud for much of their IT infrastructure setup. Also, IT teams can focus on driving more strategic technology roadmaps through cloud, and relinquish the stuff up have been working on/things running properly.

Most organisations began by running part of their applications on cloud and the remaining on-premise when they first experimented with cloud computing. In other words, they took a hybrid cloud approach, operating cloud computing environments that combine on-premise, private cloud, and third-party public cloud.

Multi-cloud is simply an extension of that approach whereby organisations run some of their applications on-premise and others on different cloud environments, tapping on services from different public cloud service providers.

Naturally, organisations selected cloud providers based on the applications they already have in place. Very likely, they chose Microsoft Azure cloud because they were using Microsoft Dynamics, Office 360, or SQL Server. Others might opt for Google Cloud Platform as they run data science applications, or they might go for AWS as they are using S3 storage.

At the same time, they would have continued to run some of their legacy applications on premise in their data centers.

It is not always rainbows and sunshine in multi-cloud

Most importantly, multi-cloud strategies allow organisations to customise their technology infrastructure in a way that suit their own unique business processes. It allows a company to benefit from the advantages that each platform brings and minimise the impact of their shortcomings.

Nonetheless, organisations may benefit from multi-cloud environments and gain support on governance, risk management, as well as compliance and regulations.

Multi-cloud architectures can bring challenges too. The most obvious is that data stored with one cloud service provider will be siloed. The issue that this means organisations will not be able to get one holistic view of their data across a multi-cloud environment.

It is incumbent upon the service provider to secure their environment, and for this reason cloud security at the vendor side is generally first rate. However, data security can be an issue when organisations have to access the disparate data across the different clouds. There is always the risk of exposing the data to unintended users.

Embracing heterogeneity in multi-cloud with data integration

Organisations may want to explore a robust cloud data integration solution powered by data virtualisation to truly embrace the strengths of multi-cloud. Data integration tools have reliably delivered integrated data from systems like Accounting and Payroll, CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), etc. to specific destinations such as a data warehouse for years.

Currently, with the growth of cloud, data integration has also evolved to integrate data from on-premise and cloud systems. Modern data integration tools based on data virtualization can efficiently integrate data spread across public and private clouds, and delivering them in real-time to systems that either reside on-premises or within the cloud environment itself.

These data integration tools also come with strong security capabilities, ensuring that the data stays protected. Access to the data continues to be limited to the intended end users only in line with their approval and authentication levels.

Modern organisations have the options to choose where they store their data and run their applications, be it on-premises, in the cloud, in hybrid mode across both on-premise and cloud, or even across multiple cloud environments. Especially in the current pandemic-hit business landscape, organisations need the agility and flexibility to freely take an applications and data management approach that best suit their business requirements and not be restricted by concerns over the complexity or security risks of data management. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Three key security challenges facing the Australian insurance industry 
Insurance companies must ensure they proactively address security challenges and protect the privacy of customer data.
Story image
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Story image
Decision Inc. Australia enters partnership with Alteryx
Independent data and analytics consultancy Decision Inc. Australia has partnered with automated analytics company Alteryx, expanding its offering to clients.
Story image
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Telstra, Google and Accenture launch 5G AR experience for AFL
Telstra, Google and Accenture are developing a new 5G powered augmented reality (AR) experience at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for the footy season.
Story image
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Google and CSIRO use AI to help protect the Great Barrier Reef
Google has partnered with CSIRO in Australia to implement AI solutions that help protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Story image
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
HubSpot launches 'The Great Upskill' week to inspire learning
Brands across APAC including Google ANZ, MessageMedia, Meltwater, Seismic and Aircall, will give their employees a full workday to dedicate to upskilling.
Story image
Atturra partners with Focus HQ to support Aus organisations
Atturra has executed a partnership agreement with Focus HQ, to resell and support the company's Australian developed SaaS-based portfolio management platform.
Story image
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Jabra investigates what makes an ideal hybrid work model
“The way we work has changed forever and the current state of knowledge work requires access to digital platforms and technologies to be successful."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
Employee Retention
Company values increasingly important in post-pandemic world
New research released today reveals that company values are the new currency when it comes to employee retention in a post-covid economy.
Story image
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Tech innovation crucial to growth, but barriers remain
Businesses in the A/NZ region believe tech innovation is crucial to drive future growth, but 76% say they’re being held back by complex data architecture.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
Voxel hits total funding of $18M following ongoing wins
Since raising its seed round in September, Voxel has grown at pace, by decreasing on-site injuries by upwards of 80% and increasing operational productivity.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
CFOs using digital workers and AI to prevent unnecessary loss
New technology is now allowing CFOs to use digital workers to automate their accounting processes, making it easier for them to avoid unnecessary losses.
Story image
Public Cloud
Cloud adoption still a work in progress, NetApp finds
NetApp has announced the results of the annual Cloud Infrastructure Report based on a survey of public cloud business and IT decision makers.
Story image
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Airwallex launches new bank feed integration with NetSuite
Airwallex has launched a new bank feed integration with NetSuite, developed in partnership with NetSuite solution partner, Onlineone.
Story image
Aussie data & analytic execs not confident in data strategy
Less than half of Australian data and analytics leaders are confident in their data strategy as siloes and lack of culture prevent innovation.
Story image
Employee Experience
Zendesk launches customer service and employee experience offering
"Zendesk is helping businesses embrace this new generation of conversational customer relationship management and turn customer service into growth.”