There's no doubt at this point that large amounts of data integration processes are shifting into the cloud. The ultimate question is to what degree this will continue to occur. It's unlikely all data integration in the future will shift to the cloud.

As such, solution providers are going to need to avail themselves of the most flexible approaches to data integration possible. As a provider of data integration software that runs on premise, Informatica long ago established its reputation as an industry leader. Now in the face of stiff competition Informatica is trying to extend that reputation into the cloud.

At the recent Informatica World 2015 conference, the company launched an ISV partner program and technology partner network. Ash Kulkarni, senior vice president and general manager for Informatica Cloud, said the revenue generated by the cloud service is growing 50 percent a year primarily because it offloads most of the heavy lifting associated with data integration from the backs of professional developers.

As part of that strategy, Informatica at the conference also unveiled an Informatica Cloud Data Wizard for Salesforce, a native data loader app that provides one-click integration between Salesforce and external data sources.

To expand the number of application vendors that are making use of the Informatica Cloud the Technology Partner Network provides free access to application programming interfaces (APIs), toolkits and certification test suites. Meanwhile, the Informatica Vibe Ready Partner Program gives ISVs access to tools to easily connect to hundreds of applications through Informatica Cloud via one common connector. Informatica is providing customers with a statement of compatibility and interoperability, along with a free, 90-day trial of Informatica Cloud to speed proof-of-concept.

Ultimately, Kulkarni said out-of-the-box connectivity to applications and data sources can reduce customer onboarding time by as much as 80 percent by providing all the data integration scaffolding required, while cutting data Integration time and costs as much as 50 percent or more.

Of course, from a solution providers perspective therein lies a potential rub. Historically, solution providers have made a lot of money on data integration projects. But as data integration moves into the cloud the processes are becoming more automated. While there will always be a need to integrate data on premise many of the simpler data integration projects are shifting into the cloud. The reason, for this, is that power users, also known as citizen integrators, are opting to integrate data without any help from an internal IT department or external solution provider.

While Informatica clearly wants a piece of that business, Kulkarni said solution providers should follow the data. Rather than moving data the forces of data gravity will determine where a particular data integration needs to occur. Over time those forces, said Kulkarni, will no doubt be equally split between on premise and the cloud; resulting in the permanent rise of hybrid approaches to data integration that dominate the IT landscape for years to come.