What is iPaaS? Codeless Integration and Automation

Digital transformation is underway and organizations everywhere are clamoring to find software solutions to aid in the quest of integrating and automating a variety of services, systems and platforms. For many, digital transformation means a blend of upgrading legacy systems and dated processes, with the introduction of new technology in a variety of focus areas – from HR to marketing, sales, finance, facilities and more.

In addition to the challenge of modernization, there is the question of cost and resources. How many FTEs will be needed to administer new technologies, does your organization have the technical experience required, and how much will each integration or automated workflow cost? Will it be too complex for anyone outside of IT to use? Will it become more tech debt for IT to manage?

Well, with a tool like iPaaS – integration platform as a service – you can manage your company’s digital transformation with a low total cost of ownership. In addition, if you invest in the right codeless platform anyone can build integration and automation – not just IT.

What Is iPaaS?

iPaaS (integration platform as a service) is a cloud-based platform that connects different systems, technologies, and applications on-premise or within the cloud. It enables companies to deploy and maintain integration flows without using middleware and specialized hardware between a company and third-party software or within an organization.

Companies that use several systems for different functionalities (i.e., marketing and sales) develop silos of information. These disconnected sources of information are an obstacle to data integration, making it for businesses to share data within the organization.

iPaaS facilitates a frictionless transfer of data between different applications, allowing businesses to streamline their workflow and improve their output. At the same time, it helps businesses to expand their offering without having to create more services. Using the integration platform, they can integrate those services with existing software and provide their users with a unified, more robust solution.

Why Do Organizations Need iPaaS?

Without an integration platform, handling complex problems can be extremely difficult. Even if you manage to meet the costs of such a solution, making these systems work seamlessly will be extremely challenging.

An iPaaS solution resolves this problem by providing you with a unified and secure platform that pulls data from different sources easily. The platform provides integration capabilities to users who are not developers themselves, helping them manage and address new use cases like partner data exchange, application integration, cloud data warehousing, and various application in an agile manner.

recent market study by TeamDynamix and IDG found that 89% of companies surveyed said they are dealing with data integration backlogs, even if using a third party to help. In addition, 74% say they simply don’t have enough resources to handle the integration workload.

Usually, integration debt builds over time as more and more applications, systems and databases are brought into the enterprise system landscape. However, the pace of new tech adoption is on the rise, and IT leaders simply can’t keep up with demand.

Compounding these issues, many organizations are still using point-to-point integrations, APIs, PowerShell scripts and ETL utilities to move data and create automation. This is an enormous drain on IT as each requires deep technical expertise. In the end, lines of business are starting to look for a new way forward that offers faster connectivity with less reliance on highly technical issues.

Without an integration platform like iPaaS, handling complex problems can be extremely difficult.

How Does iPaaS Work? Using iPaaS to Eliminate Backlogs, Resource Drains

Modern integration and automation platforms – also referred to as iPaaS – help address the problems of growing integration debt by making it quick and easy to connect any systems you bring on board with the rest of the organization. This means that IT teams can satisfy the demand without coding, development, scriptwriting and point-to-point integration.

iPaaS is built for the kind of quick deployment teams need to avoid creating and accumulating new integration debt because it’s so easy to make new connections leveraging a library of pre-built connectors. Once connected, automation can easily be created using a codeless drag and drop interface. Smaller teams can connect new applications without needing a long development time and a team of developers.

Standard systems that can be integrated include CRM, ERP and more – for instance, many organizations have an ecosystem of systems that sit around core platforms such as Workday, MUNIS, Banner, Salesforce and more. With iPaaS, the ecosystem can easily be connected to help synchronize data and create workflows to prevent manual processing and redundant data entry.

The 5 Benefits of iPaaS

1. Cost-Effective

Piecing different solutions together is not only complex but also costs businesses a fortune. Reportedly, poor integration costs large-scale businesses half a million dollars! On the other hand, iPaaS connects software and converges data into one convenient cloud-based location, cutting the cost of deploying solutions in different environments.

2. Improved Communication

Businesses need to share data within their entire ecosystem to avoid any important information from being lost. iPaaS ensures that everyone has easy access to data, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

3. Less Human Error

iPaaS allows users to store all data in a single location and set parameters for organizing and accessing it. This helps companies connect data easily even when it is working with different systems. Ultimately, it makes the application of data analysis easier and the interpretation & analysis more accurate.

4. Improved Security and Compliance

Security is easily one of the greatest concerns for a cloud-enabled solution. With the average cost of cyberattacks rising to $4.6 million per incident, a business has to be vigilant about its security more than everAdvanced security and compliance features can be found in the TDX iPaaS solution:

  • Authentication through OpenID Connect, Active Directory, and OAuth
  • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).
  • GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA compliance
  • Advanced API logging capabilities

5. Greater Efficiency

By minimizing the delays, costs, and labor associated with connecting new apps, enterprise solutions can quickly respond to changing market needs.

No-Code iPaaS Allows Organizations to Stay Nimble

iPaaS is built with both IT professionals and business users in mind. Its no-code functionality means anyone can connect systems with pre-built connectors. Enterprise teams can take advantage of the full suite of features provided by iPaaS including visual workflow building, API management, real-time troubleshooting, scalability, security, and governance. Your team will not need to build custom integration code.

By using a platform like iPaaS you can empower both your developers and lines of business throughout your organization to leverage hundreds of connectors to integrate systems within a single hub for easy oversight and auditing.

Using iPaaS to Supercharge Service Management with Integration and Automation

Adding integration and automation to your IT and Enterprise Service Management practices is a great way to free up resources and boost efficiencies. By investing in smart service management for your organization, you’re investing in service management that supercharges your entire enterprise and allows everyone to interact in real-time.

By combining ITSM, PPM and iPaaS (integration platform as a service) on a single platform you can automate tasks, both simple and complex, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization – all through a codeless platform, meaning anyone can use it. You no longer need to be bogged down by repetitive or mundane service requests.

Here are just a few ways iPaaS can reduce IT resource drain:

  • Facilitate enterprise integration by using a single hub with pre-built connectors to systems that you use every day as well as a connector concierge for the creation of specific connectors. (Imagine being able to automatically change a username, add someone to a distribution group, onboard an employee)
  • Expedite creation of automation and workflows with a visual flow builder (codeless) that is easy to use, own and operate; reduce IT backlog of integration and workflow requests.
  • Optimize resources across IT to allow for improved output and a higher level of service delivery to your internal and external customers by removing redundant data entry and manual processing.
  • Reduce API risk with a single connectivity platform that will offer increased oversight and control.

Relieving ITSM Ticket Volume with Automation

When contemplating the use of automation and integration as part of a broader Enterprise Service Management (ESM) strategy, it’s important to consider the different ways a tool like iPaaS (integration platform as a service) can be used to extend ESM even further.

At Winston-Salem University Derrick Hargrove and his team in the Office of Information Technology, are using iPaaS to automate processes throughout the University that directly impact service resolution times whether in IT, the Office of the Registrar, the financial aid office or human resources. Hargrove said the university started building iPaaS workflows to address various challenges they had with both system access and access to various apps and software provided to students, employees and faculty at the university.

“By creating these workflows within iPaaS we are able to save a significant amount of time,” Hargrove said. “Previously we’ve had situations where system access has held up a ticket so having the automated approval and access granted through iPaaS has helped us avoid those issues. And when you have people who need certain access or software to do their jobs, it’s nice to be able to provide that almost instantaneous resolution. It’s been a big win for us.”

The university has flows in place to grant system access based on different groups within Active Directory. Those same groups are utilized to run flows to grant access to things like Microsoft Teams and Adobe Creative Cloud.

If you want to see how organizations are supercharging their IT service management read our latest eBook Automate IT – A Playbook for Supercharged ITSM.

Reducing Toil with iPaaS

Toil is a word popularized by Google that refers to work that tends to be manual and repetitive but can be automated. And having high levels of toil throughout your organization can lead to problems including burnout, human error and employee discontent.

At Pima County, one of the goals of bringing on TeamDynamix for ITSM and iPaaS (integration platform as a service) is to reduce toil.  

“People feel so much more empowered and have so much more worth when they are doing things that are intellectually rigorous and challenging versus when they are just repeating the same mechanical actions over and over and over with very little thought,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said.

“Our IT service desk is our entry point to our entire IT organization, and we want our employees to graduate out of this area into other roles within our organization –  to become network technicians, client services, desktop technicians, developers and project managers,” he continued. “If all they’re doing is handling tickets and doing the same mundane, manual tasks over and over that’s not particularly great training. So investing in tools that allow our employees to engage in meaningful work is something that’s important to us as an overall IT organization.”

With TeamDynamix now in place, Pima County is looking to automate and integrate as much of the manual ITSM processes into workflows as they can.

“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”

If you want to learn more about specific iPaaS use cases, read: What’s in Your Cloud? Enterprise Integration Playbook: Saving Time with iPaaS.

Want to learn more about iPaaS in general? Check out our eBook: What is iPaaS and How Does It Accelerate Digital Transformation

iPaaS Buyer’s Guide:

 6 Tips for Finding the Right Enterprise Integration and Automation Platform. iPaaS is a powerful solution for organizations. It enables employees across functions and business units to quickly build and deploy integration workflows, and to integrate data across multiple platforms. 

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