From the May 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

More Integration Opportunities? Yes, Maybe . . .

Sometimes, it is assumed that a cloud-based system will provide more data integration opportunities than a locally installed application. But that is a faulty assumption, because there may be significant gaps in the translation interface between two different programs. There are also degrees of integration. Put simply, integration might be apparent on the surface, but as you dig deeper you may find that the data points that you would like to exchange aren't compatible with the other system. Given their design, it is true that cloud-based systems offer more opportunities for integration (especially with complementary systems). This is a great potential benefit especially if you select a provider that aggressively pursues integration opportunities with other technology products. Take time to test the integration with your current systems before you write the check for that new cloud-based system. And remember that good data integration is like a good marriage--it does not happen at the altar but requires the ongoing commitment of the two technology partners involved.

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