Small businesses generally use several SaaS (Software as a service) applications. With the numbers increasing year over year, more than 80% of business leaders confirm that integration is crucial for ongoing business operations. It is an important phase that leads to complete digital transformation. To enhance operational efficiency or to achieve a complete redefinition of ecosystems, enterprise integration is the key.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also greatly emphasized the need for operational resilience due to continuous unexpected business disruptions. Business leaders have been busy going through their processes and technologies to ensure survival during this crisis. For many business leaders, cloud services like cloud web hosting and integration platform as a service (iPaaS) are keys to their strategic business continuity plans.
What is iPaaS?
An integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) is a cloud-based solution that works by integrating your data, apps, and processes. It also automates and simplifies integration activities, so you can connect applications and data deployed in any environment easily. Using iPaaS, you can build and implement integrations in the cloud without needing to install or manage any middleware or hardware.
iPaaS is used in various scenarios where you need to migrate, connect, or replicate data between applications. It provides a quick and flexible way to connect your apps and data. The great thing about it is that you don’t need to have programming knowledge to use it.
With the popularity of SaaS applications in the market, the demand also increases for easier and more independent ways to connect and manage all your data. Before, traditional integration tasks were usually handled by the IT department who often faced large task backlogs. Because of this, they could not act quickly enough to cope with the speed of business requirements. Thanks to iPaaS, this burden has been lifted off IT’s shoulders, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks.
What are the Advantages of iPaaS?
An iPaaS platform impacts the agility, speed, and economics of your cloud service in order to help your business attain its digital transformation goals. iPaaS has several major business benefits, and we’ve outlined them below.
1. Speedy and easy integrations
Hand-coded integrations can be particularly beneficial for on-premises systems, sophisticated IT infrastructures, and legacy apps. But when an iPaaS solution is applied, it results in faster and simpler app connections. How does this happen?
Basically, iPaaS eliminates the delays related to the traditional integration solutions by allowing you to integrate apps and connect cloud services. Also, iPaaS requires very minimal coding – and at times no coding at all. This is thanks to the pre-built integrations allowing users to quickly build app connections.
User-friendly iPaaS software programs have the potential to build APIs for a wide range of data sources within minutes. This speed is a lot faster than manual and hand-coded solutions that usually require about a month to create a single API.
2. Cost-effective integration solution
Companies that utilize other app integration solutions can vouch for spending thousands or even millions of dollars annually. Outsourcing custom-coded integrations is even more expensive. Note that this does not take into account the cost of maintaining the on-site hardware required by these solutions.
In many circumstances, an iPaaS lets you connect your apps in just minutes. Additionally, the iPaaS provider manages the connections while also maintaining data connections at very affordable monthly and annual subscription rates. This allows users to have a manageable and predictable monthly expense. Moreover, the subscriber will only have to pay for the service level they require and will not have to make a big up-front investment.
3. Adaptability and user-friendly
This is another good reason why you should consider moving your business to iPaaS. Because of its easy adaptability, iPaaS can quickly implement any change or add a new requirement as long as your apps are equally responsive to the modifications. This way, you can rest assured that your integration platform will grow along with your business.
The predefined integration systems that come with iPaaS allow users to integrate their applications fast. This is a benefit small businesses should take advantage of, especially since it does not require a big team, a lot of effort, or a lot of time to kickstart the integration process. Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying high-end developers just to get your applications connected.
4. Better data security and compliance
Compared to the conventional integration solutions, the security and management features of iPaaS are more advanced. When picking an iPaaS solution provider, check if it offers the following:
- Advanced API logging potential
- Role-based access control
- SOC2 and/or HIPAA compliance
The iPaaS solution should also meet all required regulatory and corporate compliance standards. A great iPaaS solution should also offer support for the latest enterprise authentication technology.
5. Real-time integrations
Is your business into big data processing? Today, companies are handling more information than they ever predicted while managing migration to the cloud. According to recent studies, 90% of the data worldwide was generated during the past two years.
Keep in mind that iPaaS is fundamentally cloud-based. This makes iPaaS a unique integration tool for managing high-volume and real-time data integrations, as well as the almost real-time processing requirements of modern enterprise IT infrastructure.
The powerful capability of iPaaS technology to synchronize data quickly could be your perfect solution for dealing with big data growth-related problems.
6. Minimized integration redundancy for multi-tenant applications
Companies, including small businesses, have already reaped huge benefits from the deployment of multiple apps to manage various functions and tasks. Dealing with all these applications can be demanding. In the absence of the right integration solution, there is a great chance for redundancy to occur.
An iPaaS solution provides an efficient way of building multi-tenant apps, with your software working as a single instance while serving multiple tenants.
For instance, you could be running a SaaS application that you created to serve millions of visitors via a web portal, such as Salesforce. Or it could be a custom business application benefitting various departments in your organization.
iPaaS connections are best suited for multi-tenant apps due to their ability to decrease integration redundancies, and at the same time, provide massive scalability for bringing new tenants on board. Since they are also indigenous to cloud services, iPaaS connections also get rid of massive software and hardware demands associated with multi-tenant infrastructure.
7. Limitless horizontal scalability for IoT
The Internet of Things is a powerful force in the world of business, and for good reasons. For example, IoT’s profit-enhancing potential is unlimited.
As of 2019, the installed base of the Internet of Things connected devices is approximately 26 billion, with experts predicting a double-figure by 2023.
Best iPaaS Software for Businesses
It is no secret that iPaaS provides the best integration solutions for businesses around the world. But with so many iPaaS software to choose from, most businesses have no idea which one to go for. This list should help you narrow down your choices as we discuss the pros and cons of each software.
2. Dell Boomi
Acquired by Dell in 2010, Boomi provides cloud-based integration and API management solutions with all the features you could ask for, including workflows, application deployment, API design, B2B/EDI management, and a lot more. You can use Boomi to design end-to-end workflows while processing data across multiple applications. This software is suitable for enterprises and small businesses from various industries. Boomi is considered one of the top players in the iPaaS space for the last six years.
3. Oracle Integration Cloud
If what you are looking for is a straightforward iPaaS solution, you need to take a closer look at Oracle Integration Cloud. This iPaaS option is equipped with industry best practices and pre-made integration flows that are baked into the product. Oracle offers an extensive library of out-of-the-box adapters to various SaaS and on-premises apps, making the initial setup less time-consuming for your team.
This iPaaS solution is primarily designed to enable a better connection between the business users and IT. It allows both groups to plan, create, and effortlessly maintain integrations between different systems. Workato offers pre-built integration flows between hundreds of the most popular SaaS software. Users also have the ability to design custom integrations using a simple, drag-and-drop interface.
5. TIBCO Cloud
TIBCO Cloud provides easy-to-use iPaaS solutions that simplify the creation and handling of integration flows in your business. They position themselves as "application neutral", which means that they don’t try to push their clients towards using a specific application or ecosystem. They work with the clients to build a solution that connects their on-premises and cloud-based apps the business already prefers to use.
Elastic.io is designed to remove the strenuous product management component of custom integrations and lessen the number of hours spent on integrations by up to 80%. This iPaaS provider also takes an as-a-service mentality when working with customers, providing support for feature roll-outs and upgrades, bug fixes, and connector updates.
We have established that iPaaS solutions are the future of app and on-premise systems integration. They help streamline your business processes and make the integration a lot smoother. If you’re still on the fence about moving to iPaaS, the advantages listed above should help you reach a decision.