As organizations search for a platform that can connect their SaaS apps and on-prem systems, they often end up picking an integration platform as a service (iPaaS).
The choice is a popular one for a number of reasons.
An iPaaS offers subscription-based pricing; it can connect a broad spectrum of apps and systems together, effectively eliminating data silos across your organization; and it allows your team to avoid building an integration solution in-house, which would be expensive and complex to set up and manage.
To really understand whether you should invest in an iPaaS, we’ll explore the aforementioned benefits further, review additional ones, and examine the platform’s drawbacks.
Let’s start by reviewing the advantages of adopting an iPaaS.
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1. It meets various data security and governance standards
Many iPaaS vendors meet a variety of important and highly-regarded data security and privacy requirements, such as SOC 2, HIPPA, and GDPR. This can ease your legal team’s concerns as you look to invest in an iPaaS, and it can meet your customers’ and prospects’ high expectations.
You’ll also find that various iPaaS solutions provide access controls across users. Generally speaking, this means that you can have an administrator who decides which employees to provision as users and what access levels to give each user (e.g. allowing users to only view and control certain integrations). Though this isn’t bulletproof in safeguarding your data, it should play a role in preventing security issues down the line.
2. It offers customer-centric terms of engagement
Since an iPaaS is offered as a subscription, your organization knows exactly how much you’ll pay over time. This, in turn, allows you to more easily forecast spending and manage your budget.
In addition, since the subscription can be just months-long, the iPaaS provider may be incentivized to continuously work hard in providing value for you and your team.
3. It provides a positive integration-building experience
The process of building integrations in-house can be extremely time consuming and resource intensive.
It requires involvement from your dev team, which prevents them from focusing on other business-critical projects. And since they’ll need to maintain and enhance the integrations over time, they’ll be called upon consistently.
An iPaaS gives your dev team an easier way to build and maintain integrations, as they can use the platform’s pre-built connectors, and implement and troubleshoot any integration through a centralized location.
4. It allows you to keep invaluable technology
Your organization might still rely on legacy, on-prem systems for managing day-to-day processes.
The prospect of replacing any, though seeming reasonable, isn’t always ideal. Why? Because the legacy system can be uniquely valuable to your organization, and replacing it would involve training employees on using the new system—taking valuable time away from your team.
An iPaaS can neatly address this challenge, as it allows you to integrate your legacy, on-prem technology with your technology in the cloud. This not only allows you to hold onto your legacy systems, but also access and leverage their data in new ways via your SaaS apps.
5. It enables collaboration and time savings
With data readily available across systems and apps, employees in different departments can easily find and work off of the same set of information. This can help teams stay in sync and work together to drive value for the business.
For example, once you’ve integrated Salesforce and Marketo, your marketers and sales reps can see the same lead score, recent activities, etc. for each lead. This helps both teams align on the best time and way to engage a given prospect.
In addition, by eliminating data silos, employees no longer have to hop between apps to find data or manually re-enter it across their systems. This, in and of itself, could save your team a significant amount of time.
6. It drives employee satisfaction and retention
By allowing employees to avoid app-hopping, data entry, and building integrations in house, they can focus more of their time on business-critical, thoughtful work, instead. This should lead them to be happier at their jobs and more likely to stay put.
The data only validates this. According to a study by Deloitte, “Lack of challenge in the job” is one of the top 5 reasons why an employee would look for another job. Moreover, 42% of employees who are looking to switch jobs believe that their employer isn’t making effective use of their skills and talents.
Drawbacks of a traditional iPaaS
Despite the benefits we’ve covered, there are reasons to be wary of adopting a traditional iPaaS.
It isn’t accessible to the team at large
The process of building integrations with an iPaaS typically requires a certain level of technical expertise that prevents most teams from being involved.
This is an issue for several reasons:
- It leads to integration backlogs that frustrate employees and leave them without the data they need to perform their work.
Our own research confirms that this is already happening—82% of business technology professionals are backlogged with their integrations.
- It forces employees to be overly dependent on BT, which can lead to a fracture in the relationship between BT and lines of business when integrations aren’t delivered fast enough.
Our same study also found this to be true: 62% of BT professionals cite the inability to deliver integrations fast enough as a frustration, and BT professionals believe that it’s causing trust to erode between them and various lines of business. For instance, only 41% of BT professionals believe that their colleagues in the product team trust them.
It can’t deliver real digital transformation
Integrating your apps and moving data between them can only go so far in helping your business. To really change the way your organization operates, and to meet the growing demands of your customers and employees, you’ll need to integrate your apps AND automate your core workflows end-to-end.
How Workato meets the needs of today’s enterprise
Workato, the leader in integration-led automation, captures the benefits of an iPaaS while also addressing its drawbacks.
It allows you to integrate your apps, legacy systems, databases, etc. and automate your workflows without writing a single line of code. This enables the team at large to build enterprise-grade integrations and automations, and do so securely—as the platform provides a comprehensive, centralized governance model.