AN INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATION PLATFORM AS A SERVICE

Updated: Aug 26

IPaaS is a platform that standardizes and automates business processes and allows companies to seamlessly share data across all applications.


IPaaS - Integrating Digital Platforms

What is iPaaS?

IPaaS definition. Integration Platform as a Service, often referred to as iPaaS, is a set of automated tools that integrate applications and data from on-site locations and cloud applications. These integration solutions standardize data integration processes to help make the automation of business processes and data sharing painless.


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 smoothly. Integration platforms simplify these processes and make 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. Connecting these applications allows businesses to run more efficiently with less human error.


How does it work?

Most iPaaS techniques are offered through a provider that offers services on integration platforms. These services hold information in either a public or a private cloud and help create digital infrastructure to allow the integration to flow easily.


There are many different types of providers to fit specific business needs. Different providers have different services, where some offer very broad services and others specialize in niche markets. These iPaaS solutions can aid in API management and B2B integrations.


Challenges of Integrations

Since the rise of the digital age, the amount of business apps created to help solve everyday problems is infinite. With the surge of Software as a Service applications, or SaaS applications, companies have begun accumulating 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 an iPaaS solution even more apparent.


Oftentimes application integration starts as an afterthought. Businesses tend to tackle integration issues on an as-needed basis, instead of as preventive measures. This results in large amounts of data from the many different systems to start building up, making information exchange difficult. As a result, data silos are created which make smooth collaboration difficult.


iPaaS types

Generally, there are 4 categories of iPaaS solutions.


Simple automation iPaaS

Simple automation iPaaS is defined by its intuitive and user-friendly approach. It often requires little to no technical knowledge and is simple to integrate between web and cloud applications with connectors that are often built-in.


However, this type can be difficult to scale and applications must be officially supported by the platform.


True iPaaS

Like simple automation, this approach is also straightforward and user-friendly. It relies on intuitive, no-code/low-code interfaces and has more advanced compliance features to meet HIPAA and GDPR standards.


Prebuilt connectors are used for fast and easy integration of endpoints. However, 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 and more technical knowledge to build these integration platforms.


Hybrid ESB/iPaaS

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. It supports unique industry requirements and follows all compliance protocols specific industries need.


However, 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. These 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 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 key 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.


Pros

  • 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. This data can be processed and integrated in real-time as well eliminating 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, eliminates data loss and increases data reliability.

  • Better quality data: Integrated data is more consistent and accurate to help 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 making developing efficient workflows much easier.

  • Provides a unified solution: The unified system iPaaS offers makes it easy to manage and access data. These solutions do not require management of different software to conduct business operations.

Cons

  • Less Flexibility: Although there are 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 difficult. Luckily for you, InterOperate 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. Only in some cases is little IT knowledge needed.


The bottom line

With Cloud integrations being one of the major problems companies face in the digital era, iPaaS has become an integral part of business processes. iPaaS offers you a solution to these problems by creating seamless connections between all your different business platforms.


iPaaS is the solution your company needs for easy flow of consistent, accurate information. These solutions increase the scope of functionality of different softwares by connecting them together resulting in better workflow and increased productivity within your company.


Through our partner ecosystem, InterOperate is able to provide your company with the iPaaS solutions you need. We are currently partnered with 7 different companies that can help with your data integration needs. Our diverse variety of partners allows us to tackle any integration challenge in front of us.


To learn more about our partners at InterOperate, please visit the Technologies page on our website.

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