By David Rastatter, Senior Director, Product Marketing
In today’s everything-as-a-service world, it’s easy to lose track of what each “as-a-service” is—and, more importantly, what services like iPaaS can do for your business.
iPaaS (Integration-Platform-as-a-Service) is a cloud-based solution that integrates disparate data sources, applications, and systems. iPaaS simplifies the integration and establishes communication between various systems within an organization and with third parties or partners.
Integration platforms, at their core, are all about connecting your systems, streamlining your processes, and eliminating silos. With your apps integrated, your business can start to see great gains in efficiency.
Now, how does iPaaS work and how can iPaaS benefit your business? Let’s start with the basics of how iPaaS works.
Essentially, an integration platform connects your applications—like your ERP and CRM—so that they can communicate freely, no matter where they are, what systems or departments they affect. These connections can be application-specific, or they can be based on a particular protocol. In either case, they allow information to flow between applications so that you can integrate systems and automate workflows to achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.
Why are Companies Looking to iPaaS Solutions?
Integration platforms and iPaaS solutions primarily work by connecting applications so they can share information.
First, it moves information. If you want data to flow from, say, your ERP to your CRM, iPaaS connects them so that your CRM can use the ERP data. This helps reduce manual labor and minimizes human error when moving data between ERP and CRM. This helps you get the benefits of greater productivity and effectiveness.
Second, it transforms information. If applications aren’t already working in the same format or structure, an iPaaS can accurately and efficiently transform the data [into the same format or structure] so that communication between applications can happen seamlessly and correctly.
What are the benefits of iPaaS?
As with any sort of automation, iPaaS ultimately reduces the time required to do things like creating integrations, connecting applications, and transferring information. In other words, it accelerates your digital transformation.
- Better Connectivity. The more connections that you can create, the more that individuals across departments—from business analysts to marketing specialists to product managers—can create and manage their own integrations and automations.
- Reduced Cost. An iPaaS fundamentally reduces the amount of manual labor that your teams have to do. Not only do people have less need of developer involvement to write the code that connects applications, they can also use iPaaS connections and integrations to automate workflows and expedite other tasks. That way, everyone’s efforts can be applied to projects that actually need human involvement.
- More Scalability. Whereas custom-built integrations can quickly become overwhelmed by changes in SaaS solutions or growth, iPaaS will be ready to grow however you are. It will not only automatically keep up with changes in the SaaS environment, but it will also be able to help facilitate communication and connections that you may make with new business partners.
- Improved Security. You won’t have to worry about potential security lapses in integrations built from scratch, and iPaaS providers are almost always to guarantee availability levels that wouldn’t be possible if you were trying to manage everything in-house—at least not without a lot of effort or overhead.
- Simplified Management. Just like you can quickly create connections between applications, you can also manage and adapt them quickly. Having iPaaS in place means that you have a centralized point of control with a clear interface. With that, you’re much more able to see the sorts of integrations you have, how they’re doing, and what opportunities you might have to improve or expand them.