Businesses have a never-ending stream of amazing digital tools at their fingertips. From accounting apps to customer service and marketing SaaS products (Software as a Service), we’re free to select the best for every different area.
But variety has its drawbacks. The average employee uses at least eight apps, which means a lot of data sharing with scattered results. Staying on top of an endless, spaghetti stream of data creates challenges. Keeping it synched, clean, compliant and accurate is not an easy task. Which is why we’re excited about iPaaS.
What is iPaaS
Integration Platform as a service (iPaaS) is a set of automated tools, on a cloud service, that allows the integration of different software.
This platform is provided by third-party hosts who are responsible for maintenance, updates, upgrades and security. You just take care of the configuration, and this normally requires minimal technical knowledge. Most don’t need any coding and are mapped on a single management system using a drag-and-drop format.
Essentially, iPaaS lets you create connections between your different platforms so that they communicate directly and store data centrally, without the need for any additional middleware, hardware or expensive dev time to hook them all up.
This means all your data works hand-in-hand, no matter where it’s coming from. Whatever changes in one app will be reflected in all. You’ll always have the right information with no need to update lots of different databases separately.
Which iPaas provider to choose?
Every company’s systems, applications and data sets are different. What iPaaS solution works for one, won’t necessarily work for another. And unsurprisingly, the market has become flooded with competing vendors.
Most market themselves to the broadest possible customer base with their services. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These iPaas providers tend to be large, well-known IT service providers such as Dell Boomi, Oracle, and IBM App Connect.
Others are more niche. Also known as ‘domain-specific iPaaS’. These cater for their individual sectors’ needs. For example, Vlomni which specialises in electronic data interchange (EDI) and the legal compliances of traded goods and regulations. This appeals to any business facing complex retail supply chains.
Interested, but not sure where to start? Gartner is a good place with its unbiased iPaaS 2022 comparison chart.