iPaaS or Integration Platform as a Service is a hosted service by a third-party software vendor, who delivers infrastructure and middleware to handle all the company’s data integration requirements. Generally, data integration happens between cloud applications or between a cloud and on-premise application.
iPaaS provides a single platform for data integration, which allows to eliminate the need of huge manpower or specialised software to do manual data entry. Another advantage of iPaaS is simplified software multitenancy. Earlier cloud design models a single instance of a running software application, but with software multitenancy, a single instance can use resource sharing.
Automation of data integration through iPaaS can provide numerous benefits which include;
- Integrating systems through iPaaS enables to share data between teams ensuring they are working with accurate data. The result is that staff can spend less time questioning ‘which data is right?’ and more time taking action on the right data.
- An iPaaS automates the integration process, putting data standardisation and governance procedures in place.
- An iPaaS can connect systems in hours, not days or weeks, resulting in faster time to ROI on a variety of product, marketing and sales efforts.
- Connecting CRM and marketing automation through an iPaaS can eliminate duplicate records and speed up data flow so sales or marketing follow up is more timely and useful.
- iPaaS solutions are targeting business users, who need little or no coding experience to use the platform. As a result, accountability for marketing data integration, campaign execution and results flow in a straight line through the marketing organisation.
- iPaaS solutions are scalable and can manage the growing volume of customer data now being collected by businesses – from SMBs to large enterprises. By automating the integration process, data moves faster into marketing campaigns and sales pipelines, enabling more agile business strategies.
When evaluating iPaaS solutions, your business needs to answer the below crucial questions. This will help you pick the right type of integration platforms meant to solve your specific business needs.
- What is the project requirement? Do we require a single application or an enterprise-wide solution?
- What does the application function look like? What is the use case for the iPaaS? Is it to streamline a process or do you have a dynamic infrastructure for your iPaaS deployment need?
- Who would be the key users of the iPaaS system? Will they be coders or data scientists? Do all these users sit at central location or users are located in different locations with different skill sets? Do all these users require coding experience to use the platform?
- Will the multiple projects be supported by a team of limited IT resources? Is the self-service option available to a group of users?
- Does the platform support various connection protocols and data/messaging delivery styles?
- Are you transitioning from a legacy system or converting all the platforms to a centralised environment? Are you developing an entirely new system?
- What will be the overall cost of the integration platform over time? How many users are required to maintain this platform? What is the amount of training needed for the user to extract maximum benefit from the system via processes like integration flows?
These questions would let you decide what type of iPaaS would generate the best ROI for your business.
- Are you a small business owner or a big enterprise stakeholder? Do you want a scalable system?