IPaaS is a platform that standardizes and automates business processes and allows businesses to seamlessly share data across all applications.
What is iPaaS?
Integration Platform as a Service, or iPaaS, is the integration of applications and data from on-site locations and cloud applications. These integration solutions standardize data integration processes. They help make the automation of business processes and data sharing easy.
The term was originally coined in reference to cloud services that connected business applications and processes. iPaaS vendors provide these integration strategies to businesses to help their company systems run cleanly and clearly. Integration platforms simplify these processes and make integration company data more accessible.
iPaaS solutions allow a business to increase visibility, speed and accuracy of information across the board. It also helps to eliminate the use of manual processes, such as depending on spreadsheets and email for data sharing. By connecting applications, businesses can run more efficiently, with less human error.
How does it work?
Most iPaas techniques are offered through a provider. The provider then offers services on integration platforms. These services hold information in either a public or a private cloud. They also help to create digital infrastructure to allow the integration to flow easily.
As with most things, there are different types of providers to choose from. Different providers have different services, some offer very broad services and others specialize in niche markets. iPaaS solutions can aid in API management and B2B integrations.
Challenges of integration
Since the rise of the digital age, the amount of business apps created to help solve everyday problems is infinite. With the rise of Software as a Service applications, or SaaS applications, companies are beginning to accumulate overwhelming amounts of data.
The number of applications that are being cycled through businesses makes the integration process difficult. But, it also makes the need for iPaas solution even more apparent.
In addition, oftentimes application integration starts as an afterthought. Businesses tend to tackle integration issues on an as-needed basis, instead of as preventive measures.
These large amounts of data from the many different systems begin to build up. This built-up data makes information exchange difficult. As a result, data silos are created. Data silos make smooth collaboration difficult.
Generally, there are 4 categories of iPaaS solutions.
Simple automation iPaaS
Simple automation iPaas is defined by its easy, intuitive and user-friendly approach. It often requires little to no technical knowledge and easy integration between web and cloud applications. Connectors are often built-in .
However, this type can be difficult to scale and applications must be officially supported by the platform.
Like simple automation, this approach is also easy and user-friendly. It relies on intuitive, no-code/low-code interfaces. This approach has more advanced compliance features to meet HIPAA and GDPR standards.
Like simple automation, prebuilt connectors are used for fast and easy integration of endpoints. It is more complex than the former category and supports more complex workflows.
True iPaaS has its drawbacks. It requires intense attention to security and more access control features to avoid data breaches. In addition, more technical knowledge is needed to build these integration platforms.
Hybrid ESB and iPaas combine the two categories to create an integration solution that serves all ESB use cases. It can also be used for complex IT infrastructures, but is created with easy developer features. These features include ways to create, manage and publish APIs.
It also has the capability to connect cloud-based apps. However, this solution can be very expensive and can often take a lot of time to integrate. The slow processing means less agility for the business.
Industry specific iPaaS
Industry specific iPaaS, like the name suggests, targets different industries. Due to its nature, this category is very broad. This type allows it to support unique industry requirements, as well as follow all compliance protocols specific industries need.
Because it is industry specific, it cannot always be translated for use into other spheres.
Common iPaaS offerings and features
When looking for enterprise integration solutions for your company, be sure to look out for these features:
Data delivery: Having guaranteed data delivery is important. Your platform should have the ability to hold data until it has safely reached where it needs to go.
Error handling: The platform should be able to indicate any errors that occur during the data transfer process.
Data governance: This is essentially the creation of firewalls. It ensures that only people with specific, outlined permissions are allowed to access any intellectual property of the company.
Endpoint connectors: Endpoint connectors make it easier to connect with specific applications. Connectors help create universal communication protocols and help to standardize all integrated platforms.
Developer tools: Integration flows should be tailored to a company’s individual needs.
Lifecycle management: iPaas works best with the use of a centralized console. This is used to create, manage and run any integrations. It also helps to further automate the exchange of data between applications.
Is iPaaS for you and your company?
In the digital age, integrating data is important to running a business smoothly. iPaas helps companies that are looking for seamless, consistent operations between business functions. There are many benefits to iPaaS, but also a few downsides due to the scope of their programming.
Eliminates data silos: iPaaS helps to eliminate data silos by creating connections between your systems and software. This is especially important for businesses experiencing rapid growth to ensure that data between applications can be exchanged smoothly.
Real-time processing: iPaas solutions allow companies to access and share data in real-time. In addition, data can be processed and integrated in real-time as well. Real-time processing eliminates unnecessary delays in business operations.
Increases security: Integration solutions offer increased security through alert features for any fraud or system breaches. In the age of cloud-computing data breaches are inevitable. But, with iPaas, your business can pick up threats faster and mitigate damages.
Increases efficiency: iPaaS improves productivity and efficiency of workflow. It helps to eliminate data loss and increases data reliability.
Better quality of data: Integrated data is more consistent and accurate, making it more useful. More accurate data helps your business make decisions easier and more accurately.
Centralized management: Through iPaaS, centralized systems are easier to manage across all platforms.
Improved workflow: iPaas centralizes your business’s access to different software and data. In turn, developing efficient workflows becomes much easier.
Provides a unified solution: The unified system iPaaS offers makes it easy to manage and access data. In addition, these solutions do not require management of different software to conduct business operations.
Less flexibility: Although iPaaS offers solutions for many different integration needs, with the rise of iPaaS, custom processes have decreased. Currently, there are still a few custom use-cases that iPaaS does not have solutions for. Often it is either too expensive or technologically impossible.
Confusing: There are many different iPaaS solution providers - it can seem almost infinite. The process of deciding which one is right for you can be confusing. Luckily for you, Inter-Operate is the solution you need for seamless data and application integration.
Requires high knowledge of IT: Using iPaaS usually requires complex knowledge of IT in order to integrate high levels of integration. In some cases, however, little IT knowledge is needed.
The bottom line
iPaaS is an important part of business processes. Cloud integration is one of the major problems companies face in the digital era. iPaaS offers you a solution to these problems by creating seamless connections between different business platforms.
These solutions create better workflow and increased efficiency and productivity within a company. They increase the scope of functionality of different softwares by connecting them together.
iPaaS is the solution your company needs for easy flow of consistent, accurate information. Seamlessly access your data with iPaaS integrative solutions.
Through our ecosystem of partners, Inter-Operate is able to provide your company with the iPaaS solutions it needs. We are currently partnered with 7 different companies that can help with your data integration needs. Our variety of partners allows us to tackle any integration challenge in front of us.
To learn more about our partners at Inter-Operate, please visit the Technologies page on our website.