What is iPaaS?
Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud based services providing a centralized platform to develop, manage and govern integrations between different applications. iPaas can help break down silos, improve connectivity and optimize overall integrations. Organizations are having to streamline business processes across a large number of disparate applications to drive revenue and productivity, the need for reporting on business performance on a real-time basis is also growing. iPaaS can help set up real time updates to all connected applications and provide accurate data for businesses for effective decision making. These tools can be leveraged to respond to ever-changing customer needs and be agile with the demands of growing business. As more and more applications make the move to cloud, the ability to integrate legacy or on-premises applications with cloud applications is driving businesses to look at Hybrid iPaas model too.
When to go for an iPaaS?
iPaaS is one of the fastest growing segments in the Enterprise Software market. Several organizations start off with point to point integrations between two platforms for very specific use cases using custom coding on one or both sides. All works well till you start making changes or have to maintain the integrations on a day to day basis. Point to point integrations can solve for your immediate need but reliance on this method results in a heavily customized complex unscalable architecture, eventually leading to high maintenance costs and inability to adapt with changing business needs. What good is your integration if making changes to some logic will take you days/weeks to roll them out to businesses. Here are some factors to consider with your business on your decision to use iPaaS.
- Ease of use
Integrations between systems are complex at the backend but the ability to use and understand integrations through an intuitive interface helps with day to day operations. Logic can be designed for effective error handling and reprocessing of failed integration runs.
With evolving business needs, ability to scale quickly and ease to develop, maintain, debug and deploy is of utmost importance. Integrating with new applications and/or modifying existing integrations is much easier and reduces the time to live substantially.
- Data Security and Compliance
Compliance regulations with respect to data security and privacy are evolving and use of iPaaS tools which are compliant with regulatory guidelines like GDPR, CCPA, PCI, HIPAA etc. help you govern the access to your data and implement security measures.
- Single platform to connect
Think of iPaas as a central tool to implement complex transformation logic and connect all your applications. Evaluate if there are connection capabilities with the iPaaS tool for all applications currently used, and the ones which are part of your technological roadmap.
Choosing the right iPaaS
iPaas is surely and effective way of going about integrations but how do you choose the right one for your business, here are some parameters to consider
iPaaS tools come with prebuilt connectors for most widely used applications like Salesforce, Netsuite, SAP, Shopify, Snowflake, etc. It is important to evaluate if most of the applications used by said organization have pre-built connectors which can be readily used for integrations. Few other areas to check for are ability to process data in bulk, and ability to see the status of all integrations in real-time.
iPaaS tools should be easy to use and understand. It should provide a graphical user interface to help build, deploy and maintain all integrations. Several tools offer user-friendly drag and drop functionality for components of integration flows, which makes it easier to set up integrations and reduce the implementation time overall.
Several organizations have data/applications in cloud and/or on-premise behind network firewalls. There are multiple models for iPaaS implementations, viz. Cloud based iPaaS, on-premise iPaaS, hybrid iPaaS model, etc. It is important to consider iPaaS architecture and decide on an iPaaS tool that will fit the bill and help you integrate applications on all fronts.
iPaaS product companies have different licensing models, some offer connector based pricing while others look for transactional volume/usage. It is important to understand the intended usage and accordingly choose the right tool. iPaaS tools in general will provide good ROI on implementations and support, the right selection of tools can help maximize it.
- Community and Support
Online learning portals and documentation for users to learn from, go a long way. Most iPaaS product companies have good training material around enablements for teams as well. Ability to share ideas about implementations and issues in active public forums also provide additional support.
Talk to an expert
You can also get in touch with Plative for platform agnostic consultation and delivery. Feel free to check out additional content here.