At Wipfli, we were among the early adopters of the cloud, joining the Sage Intacct Partner Program in 2011 and releasing our first proprietary software option for the platform one year later. In this, one of the biggest reasons the concept was endearing to us was the ability for cloud applications to work together.
This hub-and-spoke model was something we found intriguing, as it helped our clients to find and choose the software that was best for them, knowing that if properly integrated, their bespoke ERP would be a major driver of business success.
Unfortunately, without the right planning, your multi-cloud journey could quickly devolve from same-page success to jumbled mess of unique services—none of which work together.
Today, we would like to discuss with you the importance of interoperability and portability, and how to understand each when looking to succeed in a multi-cloud environment. In a recent TotalCIO article on TechTarget, author Jason Sparapani discussed these two concepts—what they mean, how focusing on them can drive productivity, and challenges in achieving both.
Interoperability, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, is “the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.”
Sparapani adds that “[in] cloud computing, interoperability means public and private cloud services can understand each other’s APIs, configuration, data formats and forms of authentication and authorization. Ideally, Edwards said, the interfaces are standardized, “so that you as a customer can switch from one cloud service to another with as little impact to your systems as possible.”
While Interoperability discusses systems and communication pathways, portability refers to the ability to get the job done. Per the article: “portability is a cloud customer’s ability to move applications and data between on-premises and cloud systems and between cloud services offered by different providers. Portability can be broken into two types: application portability and data portability.”
- Application Portability: Cloud application portability is the ability to move an application “from one cloud service to another cloud service or between a cloud service customer’s systems and a cloud service […] The whole goal here is to require as few changes to the application code as possible.”
- Data Portability: Cloud data portability is the ability to move data among cloud and on-premises systems. This should be done in a commonly used electronic format, and there must be a mechanism for importing data into the targeted cloud service – typically an API.
How to Bring it All Together
Sparapani goes on to quote a Cloud Standards Customer Council whitepaper on the topic, which found that there is a challenge achieving interoperability and portability due to a lack of API standards in the SaaS world.
While this is correct, the reality is that it depends on whom you work with. As we discussed in some of our recent blogs, the right API can answer all of these concerns, allowing you to embrace the ecosystem mentality of cloud computing.
We welcome you to learn more about achieving true portability and interoperability through Sage Intacct by reading the following resources:
- Integrating Travel and Expense with ERP [Infographic]
- How Sage Intacct and Salesforce Combine to Perfect the Quote-to-Cash Process
- How Best-of-Breed Applications Address Multi-Cloud Challenges
- Wipfli Implements Sage Intacct with ServiceTrade Integration for HVAC Company
- Accounts Payable & ERP Integration
Get in contact with us to learn more.