While cloud based services can greatly help organizations, a recent report by Oracle and Dynamic Markets showed that the work an organization does with the technology is more important than the technology itself. Fifty-four percent of respondents said they have experienced cloud downtime due to integration issues in the last six months. Another 52 percent have missed deadlines and 75 percent had their ability to innovate negatively impacted by poor integration.

Other numbers from this report show:

  • 48 percent of cloud adopters abandon at least one app within a year
  • 20 percent worry about their cloud based services not being usable on mobile devices
  • 30 percent said their sales employees cannot access to important cloud apps via mobile devices

Independent IT researcher Joe McKendrick wrote on Forbes that not being able to access cloud solutions on mobile devices is like having on-premise applications 20 years ago and not being able to connect them to PCs. For any business looking to stay current with technology, having the ability to integrate the cloud correctly and converge it with mobile is essential.

"Integration has always been a challenge for organizations, and cloud isn't making the challenge go away," Joe Mckendrick wrote on Forbes. "In fact, the culprit in today's cloud projects, organizational silos - those self-contained fiefdoms in which data and systems are designed, built and funded to serve a single purpose or process - still prevail.  Over the past decade or so, there has been a tremendous movement to bring these electronic islands together, with strategies such as Web services and service oriented architecture, in which underlying systems and applications are abstracted as services that can be shared across domains."

Best practices for integration
IT Business Edge's Loraine Lawson wrote that many available options can help organizations with integration. Businesses need to first discuss integration within their own ranks before they sign on with any more provider, then to figure out which will be the most helpful.

These steps are crucial for companies of all sizes, as Wired said 2013 will be the year small businesses start to learn more about cloud based services and figure out how to best integrate the technology.

"2013 will see SMBs and micro businesses reconsider purchases for telephony (phone and fax), web and mail servers, and data backup - opting instead for the lower barrier to entry, flexibility and virtual/remote capabilities of cloud options over the space and location restrictions of premise-based solutions," the website said.