How Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) Solves Integration Challenges
The rapid digitalization of businesses worldwide has changed how companies work and organize their internal processes. Nowadays, there are effective software solutions for pretty much all business needs — from customer relationship management to marketing, sales, human resources, and more.
The rise of SaaS-enabled companies of all sizes to streamline, optimize and improve their operations. As a result, growth is possible even for companies with limited resources.
However, things are never as simple as they seem. Companies use a variety of software solutions in their day-to-day operations, but not all of them are easy to integrate with one another. After all, a synergy between all platforms guarantees better operational flow, optimized processes, and improved security.
CIOs and IT managers constantly encounter problems when integrating multiple platforms around the same workflow. Fortunately, there is an easy solution for this.
In this article, we explain what cloud-based Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is and how it solves the aforementioned challenges.
What is iPaaS?
iPaaS is a cloud-based solution providing infrastructure and middleware designed to facilitate seamless integration between different applications and data types. It is a fully managed service provided by a third-party company — which means that it is updated and maintained by a team outside of your organization. This lessens the need to have an in-house support team. Also, iPaaS solutions provide regular upgrades that enable new functionalities and features.
Essentially, iPaaS allows your organization to seamlessly combine a number of unrelated apps and data sets. As a result, a single source of data that you know is up-to-date and dependable is obtained. On top of that, iPaaS eliminates the need to constantly add more tools to your existing software stack, which saves money, time, and labor. Many companies today need iPaaS to be flexible, scalable, and optimal in their workflows and processes.
Common Integration Challenges
Most companies generally use more than one cloud-based platform or system. Since consumer behavior and demands are rapidly changing, organizations need to be able to adapt. Often, this means adding different systems to the mix.
However, integrating new solutions with your already established tech stack can be troublesome. Here are some examples that showcase the challenges IT managers and CIOs face regarding integration.
Workflow errors and misalignment
Having multiple platforms working with their own datasets can lead to all sorts of technical challenges for a company. If data is not accessible through a single unified point, there is an increased risk of errors, incorrect data, and misalignment between different teams. All this could potentially cost a lot — from revenue and profits to brand reputation and customer acquisition.
Ideally, an organization needs to integrate all its platforms to optimize all internal processes and operate at maximum efficiency. However, this is difficult to achieve without an iPaaS.
Lack of central management
When integrating several platforms on a point-to-point basis, it is impossible to monitor and manage all of them centrally. Currently, the practice is to use single-threaded resources or invest a small fortune in expensive third-party support. Even with those in place, there are still issues concerning data flow, control, and automation because point-to-point integration cannot be managed centrally.
Mixing different platforms can get complicated
Nowadays, companies utilize a variety of platforms. The mix may involve packaged commercial solutions, custom in-house legacy applications, and vendor-provided software such as CRMs, ERPs, and eCommerce solutions. When you add newer cloud-based integration into the mix, it becomes exceptionally complex to get them to work together properly.
Automation and interconnectedness between platforms that operate in vastly different ways is a challenge that usually requires a significant investment of time and resources to tackle.
Safety and security concerns
Multiple platforms also mean multiple security risks need to be addressed. With many databases that contain important information, implementing and monitoring different security procedures can be quite costly.
When it comes to data security, there can be no half measures. Without proper infrastructure and middleware integrating multiple data points, you are exposing your organization to security risks. On top of that, there may be issues with regulation compliance when managing several separate systems.
How Cloud-based Integration Solves These Challenges
As you can see, there are many issues that arise when integrating multiple systems within an organization. Thankfully, iPaaS provides solutions to all of the problems mentioned above, including but not limited to the following:
- Increased visibility: On data flow between systems that ensure everyone is operating with the same data set.
- Centralized management point: Offered by iPaas allows efficient workflows, optimization of resources, and automation.
- Offers infrastructure and tools: IT managers need to build, configure and enhance automation between systems across physical, virtual, cloud, and external infrastructure.
- Enhanced security: Including fraud detection and intruder alerts.
Why You Might Want to Invest in Cloud-Based iPaaS Today
To grow a successful company, you need an optimal operational environment. This is only possible when each piece of software and platform operates in unison and produces unified data.
iPaaS solutions are designed to do just that. They give you the tools to properly integrate all your systems. More and more IT managers and CIOs are investing in iPaaS as the benefits are too great to ignore. It is safe to say that implementing iPaaS should be on the investment roadmap for all decision-makers in the next few years.
The perfect time to implement iPaaS into your organization is whenever you have a major application or infrastructure overhaul. Such an occasion provides the perfect opportunity to test out how iPaaS can help you optimize your cloud-based integration. With cloud-based iPaaS, you can achieve the synergy you have been looking for.