Codeless Integration, a Linchpin for the New Cloud Order

Automate underlying processes with reusable integrations leveraged across multiple tools.

August 31, 2021

4 Min Read

By Grant Ho


Grant Ho

With the COVID-19 pandemic turbocharging an already rapidly evolving sector, hybrid cloud has emerged as the operating model of choice for enterprises. By 2022, 90% of enterprises will rely on a blend of private clouds and public clouds to meet their requirements for operational efficiency and business agility, according to IDC research.

Moreover, 94% of IT leaders we surveyed as part of our CloudBolt Industry Insights research series said that hybrid cloud is a key pillar in digital transformation, enabling organizations to automate operations, facilitate self-service IT and optimize costs. As with any new endeavor, navigating this emerging paradigm – call it the new cloud order – requires the right foundation of agility.

But IT departments – and the managed service providers (MSPs) and other channel partners who support them – face significant headwinds as they pursue this new order of hybrid cloud strategies.

Integration’s Classic Conundrum

The chief challenge? Integration, which poses a chicken-and-egg problem. It’s hard to stand up self-service IT or cost optimization without automation. And you can’t automate without integration.

But the adoption of multiple cloud tools (e.g., cloud management platforms and infrastructure-as-code tools such as Terraform and Kubernetes) requires IT teams to custom code integrations, with 76% of IT leaders saying that their software engineers rely on custom code for a quarter or more of their integrations. Developers spend more than half of their time coding, troubleshooting, and updating the integrations that enable their automation tools to manage IT resources. That’s time not being used for more valuable endeavors, such as building new innovative software for the organization. Worse, the number of integrations will only increase as IT shops add more tools.

All of these custom-coded integrations increase IT complexity and technical debt while creating hidden risks for hybrid cloud environments. Stitching together automation tools with ad hoc custom coding creates a brittle environment where visibility is limited and processes are suboptimal. With layers of “spaghetti code” to shift through when things inevitably go wrong, identifying integration errors usually involves logging multiple support team tickets and manually reviewing log files. At the end of the day, a hybrid cloud environment isn’t truly automated if engineers frequently need to request help from IT, or their MSP, and pore over logs.

Self-Service IT Stumbles Without Automation

Without automation, enterprise IT can’t empower their DevOps teams with self-service IT, an emerging model in which developers draw from a catalog of policy-driven resources and tools to produce and ship code.

That poses another chicken-and-egg problem for IT and their channel partners: Fifty-six percent of survey respondents said their self-service IT is too complicated and requires users to master many cloud and infrastructure tools. For instance, all too often developers must pick plan sizes and cloud deployment zones, or even configure security groups.

Many developers don’t have the expertise required to do this effectively. If they can’t actually serve themselves, it isn’t really self-service. These underlying processes must therefore be automated and abstracted away so that they don’t require esoteric technical knowledge. But again, sub-par automation due to custom-coded integration makes this difficult.

Codeless Integration: A Seamless Solution

The solution to these roadblocks and complications created by custom coding lies in codeless integrations of cloud tools governed by policies.

Using a dynamic abstraction layer, reusable integrations can be built once and then leveraged across multiple tools. Instead of building custom integrations to domain name systems (DNS), IP address management (IPAM) tools, directory services for each cloud management portal (CMP) and automation and/or cost monitoring tools, you build them once and re-use them while managing them centrally.

Moreover, persona-based roles mean users may only see the services they need, streamlining the user experience while removing the risk of over-privileged access and reducing delays when subject matter experts are required for workload provisioning. Policy-based integrations ensure consistency when provisioning and managing workloads and maximize the benefits of automation.

As always in enterprise technology, the hybrid cloud market is evolving rapidly. Today’s red-hot technologies will be relegated to the technical debt dustbin of tomorrow.

What remains constant is that codeless integration fosters intelligent automation, facilitating robust self-service IT solutions and creating the optimal blueprint for a high-performing hybrid cloud – and the new cloud order. Progressive MSPs can jump on the codeless integration bandwagon to help enterprises move faster to self-service IT, and unlock resources that focus on driving digital innovation at scale.

Grant Ho is the chief marketing officer of CloudBolt Software, a cloud management platform that helps IT provision, orchestrate and manage its cloud resources and give developers access to those resources through a self-service catalog. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @CloudBoltSW on Twitter.

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