Enterprise IT is going through a revolutionary change. To remain relevant, businesses need to embrace integration platforms that can support both current and next gen architectures. Software is eating if not gobbling the world. Peter Schwarzenbauer at BMW said that “Do car manufacturers learn to become tech companies quickly than a tech company learning to become a car manufacturer”. More software means more digital touch points. According to Forrester 43% of companies have 10 or more customer digital touch points while 8% have 100 or more touch points.

Data & application integration has never been more critical to an organization’s IT environment. The expectation for real time and continuous access to data, information, services, and products has become a necessity to be competitive in today’s business scenario. 90% of all the data was created in the last few years. More than 40% of the enterprises are running on cloud. To satisfy the needs of the current & future business challenges modern IT infrastructure must be flexible, scalable & reusable to connect with some of the following applications

  • SaaS Applications
  • Partner & Customer Portals
  • Customer facing apps and through multitude of channels
  • Legacy Applications
  • IoT devices
  • CRM/ERP Applications

Businesses need an IT infrastructure that will not interfere with their business objectives 24x7x365. Building your iPaaS infrastructure does not have to be complicated or difficult. Technical expertise, choosing the right partner and 24×7 connectivity monitoring will play a key role and will alleviate some of the common integration challenges.

  • Faster integrations– Integrate applications within minutes, while also being able to deploy complex integrations rapidly
  • Clear Data Silos–  One framework to govern software, improve data connectivity, reliability, transparency.
  • Empower users–Self-service facility to empower users to manage their integration needs, while freeing up IT resources

Adopting an iPaaS strategy offers many benefits. It can modernize legacy systems and applications and provide secure data integration with greater flexibility, scalability and reusability. These days there are enough iPaaS vendors in the market like Dell Boomi, Mulesoft and more. iPaaS can dramatically reduce maintenance challenges and improve efficiency. According to Gartner for every $1 spent on an enterprise application, businesses spend $4 to $5 adapting and integrating that application. Furthermore, businesses spend greater than 30%IT spend on Integration.

Before entering the iPaaS journey, businesses need to do know their expectations from implementing iPaaS. This includes clarity on current IT systems and benefits the business users are looking to get out of it. What are the gaps in the current system of things is the iPaaS looking to fill and will that solve the challenges of the business. So, it is essential that the objective of adopting iPaaS is unambiguously articulated within the relevant stakeholders. It needs to be the right fit for the current & future architecture.

The application environment of the business is an important consideration. For example, if the scenario includes multiple business entities coming through an acquisition would have different application eco-systems. So, the question that needs to be answered if it is for a specific business entity or will it be targeted across the whole enterprise. Is the IT infrastructure dominated by on-premise or cloud based? Are there many legacy systems or do they have the state of the art technology landscape? How many integrations of cloud to on-premise, cloud to cloud applications would be needed or it would be more of on-premise to on-premise. Will the iPaaS solve these challenges?

It is important to develop use cases and know how it might play out when you subscribe to an iPaaS platform. For example, is it in-line with the businesses next 3-5-year IT roadmap of cloud first strategy and if it’s going to be used as cloud only when it is necessary. Will the business be integrating with new age integration endpoints such as APIs, webservices or older ones?

One key point businesses should not overlook when they go in for iPaaS is the skill assessment of their IT department and have a good take on the maturity of the integration. The iPaaS implementation strategy should take into these points before you get into it. The benefits of self-service and simplifying common integration challenges with iPaaS may be enticing but at the same time complexity would normally build up and should not be underestimated. For larger enterprises obviously, iPaaS will be an addition to the existing on-premise integration platform as this would be needed to keep existing ESB/ETL architecture while the iPaaS will be a parallel initiative to new data types & software.

One of the ways to quickly implement your iPaaS strategy is through our proprietary framework AURAS which sits on top of enterprise-class iPaaS software and enables connectivity of data, applications, and systems across hybrid systems accelerating business agility.  AURAS completes the data integration needs from enterprise, sales, productivity, email/marketing IT, collaboration, and more and cuts the integration time of new connectors half. Once the iPaaS is established which fits the business & IT needs, the benefits outweigh the shortcomings by a long margin.

Raghu Raghavan

Awarded 2017 Most Influential MarTech Leaders, World Marketing Congress. Experienced Team leader with a successful track record in Product-Market fit, Product Marketing, Field Marketing, Digital Marketing, Monetization, Business Strategy, Business Development across Technology industry. Expertise in both Products & Services oriented segments.

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