What’s the Difference Between ETL and iPaaS?

Modern companies use hundreds of applications to empower their teams, reach out to their customers, and solve new problems in innovative ways. The use of these applications is projected to accelerate over the next decade. A key issue that enterprise teams must solve is the need to integrate their myriad of applications, get a single view of their business data and build simple yet powerful automations – all in a sustainable way. Two prominent tools consistently feature in this discourse: one is a legacy Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tool, and the other is a modern integration and automation platform (iPaaS). Here are the key differences between these solutions. 

What is ETL?

ETL is a process that extracts, transforms and loads data from one or many sources into a single data repository such as a data warehouse. This is a three-step, batch-driven process that first extracts data from many systems, then cleans and standardizes the data in the format that is required by the business and finally loads it into the data warehouse for access by business and IT teams. A related approach is ELT or Extract, Load and Transform with the key difference being in the order of the operations performed on the data.  

The Problem with ETL

Most ETL tools are legacy products that can perform some data integration tasks but fail to integrate modern SaaS applications. ETL tools take a long time to set up and launch into production, leaving them unsuitable for the modern era where time to market is highly competitive. Additionally, ETL pipelines can be difficult to modify and update, resulting in significant challenges as organizations try to adapt to changing external circumstances. Finally, legacy ETL tools result in an increasing technical headcount and a higher cost of ownership that scales as your organization grows. 

iPaaS can help your teams build real-time, event-driven integrations that can keep your data in sync

The iPaaS Solution

iPaaS is a modern integration and automation platform that is purpose-built for high scalability, low total cost of ownership, flexibility, and speed of deployment. iPaaS can connect any system that has an API and is best positioned for helping your organization scale over the next decade. Moreover, the suite of modern API management capabilities, security and governance features, simple user interfaces and team collaboration features will empower your lines of business to build their own integrations without needing support from enterprise systems teams.  

iPaaS can help your teams build real-time, event-driven integrations that can keep your data in sync. Clients can use iPaaS to easily load their data into a central repository, quickly build powerful workflows and get a single view of their business data like never before. iPaaS is powering the emerging trend of the citizen integrator who can build their own solutions independently, as they are the ones who know their business needs best. This approach to integration and automation is what will best position modern enterprises for success in the digital age.

Want to see how businesses are using iPaaS? Check out these customer spotlights:

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