In today’s era of the digital-focused business environment, an average organization may utilize a diverse range of applications sourced from different software providers. These applications often span across different functions, including customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, finance, and project management. However, the challenge lies in ensuring these applications communicate effectively and share data.
This is where an integration platform as a service—iPaaS platform— can come in handy. iPaaS is a self-service cloud-based solution that provides tools for deploying, managing, and integrating software applications and services across different platforms.
Benefits of iPaaS
Based on your organization’s existing applications and integration goals, you can select an iPaaS provider. By connecting all types of applications, regardless of whether they inherently support integration with each other, iPaaS allows the exchange of data between applications.
Whether your organization uses 40 apps or more, iPaaS is a crucial tool that can help you simplify the integration complexities and unlock the full potential of digital tools. There are numerous benefits associated with the adoption of iPaaS application platforms, including:
- Enhanced Integration: iPaaS provides a unified platform, allowing you to integrate data from multiple tools, platforms, and applications. It improves the quality of data exchange, ensuring the delivery of trusted data for decision-making.
- Improved Scalability: iPaaS platforms are inherently scalable, allowing you to add or modify integrations as required. This feature is beneficial if your company’s integration needs evolve over time.
- Automation: iPaaS solutions assist in streamlining and automating manual processes and repetitive tasks. This helps save time and resources.
- Increased Efficiency and Productivity: By automating the integration process and reducing the need for manual coding, iPaaS helps increase operational efficiency. It enables the IT staff to focus on strategic tasks rather than spending time on integration efforts.
- Real-Time Data Processing: Several iPaaS solutions allow real-time data sharing and processing, helping eliminate delays in access. This facilitates businesses to make timely decisions with the most current data.
- Improved Data Security and Compliance: iPaaS solutions offer fraud detection and intruder alerts. The centralized platform makes it easier to see where these threats are and respond adequately. Such protection measures help safeguard your reputation with customers and keep you compliant with GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, etc.
- Cost-Effective: iPaaS can be more cost-effective than traditional integration solutions. Typically involving a monthly fee, it reduces the costs and efforts for troubleshooting involved with in-house data integration development or deployment.
- Ease of Use for All Users: Emerging low-code or no-code technology is making self-service integration easier. Many iPaaS vendors offer no-code or low-code solutions, allowing non-developers or citizen integrators to build, configure, and manage integrations without requiring coding expertise.
- Built-in API Management: iPaaS eliminates the need to publish custom APIs or combine APIs from other services. The iPaaS platform provides the necessary resources for managing APIs throughout the lifecycle.
How iPaaS Differs From Other Cloud Services
To understand how iPaaS compares to other cloud service models, it is important to understand what each does.
|iPaaS: iPaaS tools help simplify hybrid SaaS deployments and work well with existing legacy systems of low-to-medium complexity.
|Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): SaaS is software that’s hosted on the internet. With the vendors managing the data, servers, and code required to maintain the software over time, it helps save time and money. You don’t require your own data center or computers; you can offload the software application’s maintenance demands to a third-party provider.
|iPaaS: iPaaS is suitable for businesses of any size, from small startups to large enterprises. While you’ll need a team of developers to work with PaaS, iPaaS tools are usually created so that anyone in the team can create an integration without requiring coding.
|Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): PaaS provides a platform to develop, run, and manage applications without having to build and maintain the infrastructure. PaaS vendors provide operating systems, business analytics, data management solutions, and storage options.PaaS is usually suitable for medium-sized enterprises.PaaS is more general-purpose than iPaaS and focuses on application development rather than integration.
|iPaaS: iPaaS options are less expensive than ESB counterparts. Compared to ESB, iPaaS and other cloud-based software usually support multitenancy. While ESB requires a piece of hardware to operate, it’s hard to guarantee multitenancy.
|Enterprise Service Bus (EBS): ESB is a software architecture model that allows you to connect your applications via specific rules. It is typically used in on-premises environments and focuses on integrating enterprise services and applications.
When compared to iPaaS, ESB is more complex; it doesn’t work well with SaaS and other cloud apps, making it less scalable than iPaaS.
|iPaaS: An iPaaS can employ an API for connecting two or more applications, but the use of API isn’t an essential prerequisite for an iPaaS.
|API Management: API management focuses on creating, managing, and securing APIs. While iPaaS includes API management capabilities, the primary focus is on integration. On the other hand, API management tools are dedicated to the lifecycle and operations of APIs.
Despite iPaaS providers offering an API-driven approach, it doesn’t replace the systems you should implement to monitor, track, and manage the foundational APIs that interconnect your systems. Using both iPaaS and API management would benefit your enterprise.
Popular iPaaS Use Cases
iPaaS can be used for a broad range of enterprise integration needs across multiple data sources and platforms. Here are some of the key use cases:
1. Data Integration and Synchronization
iPaaS plays a crucial role in integrating data across different systems and maintaining synchronization. By ensuring data consistency and accuracy, your business can rely on real-time data for effective decision-making.
For example, you can use iPaaS to synchronize your marketing automation data with your CRM and ERP systems. This lets your sales, marketing, product, and fulfillment teams view the most current customer activity in real-time.
2. Application Integration
An iPaaS helps you connect the logic of business applications together. This results in integrating the logic into larger, more valuable workflows and processes.
Such integrations allow you to streamline the work in various areas of your business, such as:
- logistical processes
- order processing and fulfillment
- insurance underwriting
- case management, and more.
An example of application integration is when you integrate your CRM with your ticketing systems. You can then implement a workflow dictating that whenever a new case is registered in your CRM, a new issue gets added to your ticketing system. This allows the support team to become aware of relevant issues faster and resolve them sooner.
3. Automation of Business Processes
Automating business processes can help your business operate faster, more efficiently, and more intelligently.
By connecting applications and data together through an iPaaS, you can create workflows to automate certain processes, reducing the need for human intervention. Some examples include:
- automating ticket escalation and management
- processing an order
- approving applications for credit, etc.
4. IoT Integration
With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, there is an increasing need to connect and integrate these devices. An IoT system continuously:
- receives and transfers data
- produces huge amounts of data that must be processed and analyzed
iPaaS can be used to integrate such devices into the business environment for improved data management, collection, analytics, and processing of IoT business solutions.
Examples of iPaaS Application Platforms
Here’s a list of the top iPaaS vendors that operate globally:
Dell Boomi offers a multi-purpose iPaaS solution with features such as application and data integration, API design, application deployment, workflow automation, and B2B management.
By combining these functionalities within a single master hub, Boomi allows you to design end-to-end workflows and process data across multiple applications. It is a suitable solution for small businesses and enterprises from diverse industries.
Popular for its automation capabilities, Workato allows you to automate workflows across various services and apps without requiring extensive technical expertise. It fits into any business and facilitates integration across different environments and systems driving your company.
Workato’s iPaaS framework has 150,000+ “recipes”— in-built automated workflows—that connect apps, environments, and systems, helping accomplish target tasks.
Hevo offers a user-friendly iPaaS solution with over 150+ connectors, including 40+ free sources. With an intuitive interface, Hevo simplifies the process of connecting multiple databases in just a few clicks.
Additionally, Hevo is well-known for its real-time integration, allowing users to make timely decisions.
The ‘CloudHub’ solution offered by Mulesoft provides multitenancy features. This allows multiple independent instances of one or more applications to operate in a shared environment. The instances are tenants that are physically integrated despite their logical isolation. Multitenancy is worked around integrations and APIs.
Mulesoft’s iPaaS supports cloud deployment across eight regions around the world, a number of workers, out-of-the-box cloud security, and compliance. It also offers insights into platform-deployed applications based on several metrics.
Celigo offers an iPaaS solution that manages anything from easy-to-handle FTP integrations to fairly complicated-to-manage complex integrations.
Additionally, the application marketplace of Celigo features vetted apps that cater to various business needs.
Jitterbit assists businesses lacking the requisite sources to build integrations across company assets. It offers an easy-to-use iPaaS platform with API creation, data mapping, and process automation capabilities.
The solution also offers advanced workflow capabilities with real-time integration and a wide range of data security features. With a visual designer to run the setup and monitor processes, there is no need for a dedicated staff for this.
An iPaaS integration platform is a critical tool for modern businesses to overcome the data silos involved in managing a diverse range of applications and systems. With organizations increasingly relying on a mix of on-premise systems and cloud-based services, iPaaS provides a unified solution to seamlessly integrate these technologies.
The several benefits of iPaaS application platforms, including improved scalability, automation, and real-time data processing, are transformative for businesses looking to optimize their operations. iPaaS platforms provide the necessary infrastructure to help you operate a more integrated and data-driven organization. Hevo Data is one of those.
Hevo is the only real-time ELT No-code Data Pipeline platform that cost-effectively automates data pipelines that are flexible to your needs. With integration with 150+ Data Sources (40+ free sources), we help you not only export data from sources & load data to the destinations but also transform & enrich your data, & make it analysis-ready.
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