Accenture's latest Technology Vision 2013 report recommends CIOs plan to integrate cloud and on-premise systems.
Even simply cloud projects require software as a service (SaaS) integration says Accenture.
The consultant and outsourcing firm warned CIOs to plan for complex integration that needs to weave new SaaS systems into the existing IT fabrics such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or legacy mainframe applications.
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Existing enterprise architectures may be unsuitable for new IT projects that take a cloud-first approach. The enterprise architecture of tomorrow – data, integration, monitoring, security – will look very different from its forebear of just a few years ago, the report states. To be successful, enterprises need to fundamentally revise their notions of enterprise architecture, Accenture noted.
The report cites EMC, which has used Salesforce.com for an update to its customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Accenture said the Salesforce system was not a standalone deployment. The company integrated the SaaS solution with Oracle E-Business Suite, its own custom campaign-management tool, and its e-mail infrastructure in order to handle financial, operational and communication information.
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Accenture urged CIOs to prepare for enterprise cloud deployments: Technologies underpinning cloud are pervasive and here to stay, and the benefits are numerous: helping companies differentiate their business, get their products and services to market faster, enhance operational efficiency and respond more quickly to new opportunities and challenges, Accenture noted.
The report give BMW as an example, where its Latin America division used Microsoft Azure to drive a social-marketing campaign for the launch of two new model lines. Shell is another example highlighted in the report. It is using Amazon’s cloud to pilot its use of Hadoop for new analytics work.
Accenture’s chief technology officer (CTO), Paul Daugherty, said: “The challenge for businesses in today’s digital landscape is to reimagine themselves in the context of an increasingly software-driven world.”