A common issue facing IT departments in oil trading companies
It can be a common problem facing CTOs, CIOs and IT directors in the oil trading sector that IT systems are no longer fit for purpose. Any flaws are not there by design – they have usually evolved as technical capabilities have advanced and business and budgetary priorities have exerted their own influences. However the result is usually the same, IT systems that don’t easily connect or that require complex or even manual work arounds in order to meet the needs of the business.
Faced with such challenges effective integration is absolutely vital. It will hold these different systems together, unlock data, bring coherence and coordination to the whole and deliver systems that support the business, today and in the future.
This need for effective operational links and transparency across the whole IT estate has become even more important as the oil trading industry, like many others has adopted and moved to cloud technologies.
Avoiding the headaches caused by uncontrolled cloud use
Cloud is highly attractive because of the flexibility, scalability and cost efficiencies it can offer. In many physical oil trading organisations multiple cloud technologies are now used for a wide range of functions, from front to back-office. Growth in the use of cloud can be fast and uncoordinated because provisioning of services or adding extra capacity can be completed so quickly and easily.
But with very few organisations using an entirely cloud-based infrastructure, hybrid environments, comprising new, on-premise and legacy systems alongside increasing numbers of cloud applications, are becoming the norm.
This adds a new dimension to the challenge of integrating the company’s systems. Without effective integration a company can lack strategic direction and ultimately responds slower to any data requests, a situation oil traders can least afford.
So what are the options facing oil trading IT departments?
Until now the only available means to address this situation had been either very expensive or solutions that are difficult for most organisations to implement and customise. For example, conventional comprehensive middleware solutions, or single point to point solutions. This is true in the case of a cloud-based integrated Platform as a Service (iPaaS), which is designed primarily as an interface to integrate cloud applications, not to integrate cloud and traditional middleware or on-premise solutions.
A new approach that suits oil trading
There are however now products on the market that offer a new approach to this increasingly common problem: cloud-based integration solutions designed specifically to integrate heterogeneous hybrid infrastructures in a cost-effective way.
They enable IT departments to draw maximum value out of both new cloud technologies and existing IT assets, using a built-in service-based integration platform.
These products can be customised and incorporate real-time analytics and operational intelligence reporting functions. Because they are based on cloud technology they can be adapted and extended as and when business requirements change and can often be paid for using an OPEX subscription basis.
At last integration without the headache is a reality
Such products offer a way for oil trading companies lacking vast reserves of in-house expertise or financial resources to gain control and visibility of their IT infrastructures and to extract maximum value both from multiple cloud technologies and from existing on-premise and legacy systems. They also allow such organisations to compete more effectively, using the best IT solutions available today.
At Inatech we have found a number of companies struggling with integration issues, so we have produced a downloadable whitepaper that examines the issues and provides possible solutions