Complex custom built on premise software has quickly given way to more streamlined and flexible cloud applications, but connecting these applications has been an afterthought until recently. While the integration of cloud software poses a problem for many businesses, the real challenge is establishing an integrated network that matches the flexibility of cloud applications.
The rise of iPaaS
In an increasingly competitive sector, ecommerce & B2B businesses need to take advantage of the speed, agility and economics offered by the cloud. This increasingly critical need has paved the way for purpose built iPaaS services that help companies handle the integration requirements of today’s business environment, future-proof their integration solutions and increase the value of their IT investments.
To really understand what iPaaS is and what it does, you first need to understand why we even need the iPaaS solution the first place.
The way we do business
It’s no surprise that the way we do business is changing; more importantly, the way we run our business is changing. Over the years there has been a steady but significant shift away from complicated on-premise systems which have become difficult to manage and complex to integrate.
While large enterprises may have been slow to shake off their dependence on their clunky legacy systems, smaller and mid-sized businesses have sought to streamline business processes and embrace the flexibility offered by new cloud applications. With this change, however, a new problem quickly materialised.
Software solutions are rarely, if ever, built with other software in mind. While you can have several highly functional cloud applications to cover finance, customers, logistics and ecommerce needs respectively, there is nothing to say these applications will work together. If you can’t share information between these key business areas, what use are these software applications?
Most organisations understand just how important answering the integration question is, with one survey finding companies plan to have the level of connectivity across their business reach 78% by 2020, up from 62% today.
Up until recently the solution has been simply to build custom integrations in-house or use a third-party extension to do the same. The difficulty here is that custom integrations are expensive and difficult to maintain while third-party solutions are often point-to-point, requiring a new extension or every additional end-point. While in thoery this works just fine, it can quickly become difficult to manage.
What is iPaaS
Integration Platform as a Service or iPaaS does exactly what is says on the tin; it offers a single platform that accommodates integrations for many software applications. That’s integrations plural. An iPaaS offering is a cloud solution to a cloud problem, and allows a software application to ‘plug in’ in to others. These API connections mean information can be shared to make dataflow and other processes possible.
Put simply, it makes your cloud applications useful again.
As with all things in the cloud, iPaaS has gained in popularity due to its flexibility and almost infinite scalability. Businesses are catching on to the potential of iPaaS; seeing a significant growth with 94% of today’s organisations looking to deploy the solution in the next 12 months. So exactly why are all these businesses getting on the iPaaS express?
The benefits of iPaaS
iPaaS enables the efficient development of connected networks, supporting processes and information flows amongst cloud-based systems. This means that business can fully harness the power of their cloud applications to keep their business operations streamlined.
Make the most of your applications
Your software simply can’t work for you if they can’t work together. An integrated platform as a service connects all your disparate software applications to provide synchronisation of data, enabling vital workflows and business processes, plus better reporting and analysis. Short term this means meeting the day to day needs of your business operation, long term it means optimising your business performance for future growth.
Achieve complete connectivity
Any point integrations allow you to connect a wide range of applications to meet all your dataflow needs. Depending on the applications already available on the service provider’s network, this means you can connect 2, 10 or even 20 end points. The capabilities of iPaaS are virtually unlimited.
Look to the future with scalability
This any point integration set up also means your business can expand without having to worry about setting up yet another custom in-house integration. As long as your future applications are available on the network, your integration platform can grow with your business.
Kind to costs
Finally, iPaaS solutions are a much easier and often more affordable way to set up and manage your integrations. Cheaper than employing an IT specialist for an in-house build or paying individually for several custom connections to a third party, iPaaS costs are tiered to give you more for your money and grow affordably with your business needs.
The only solution for today’s businesses
Any point iPaaS solutions match the versatility businesses benefit from with their cloud software to enable vital data synchronisation and processes. Companies seeking the complete connectivity of their important business applications, for example ERP or CRM systems, should seek a provider with their current and potential future applications already available on their network.
Mothercloud is an iPaaS making cloud integration simple. Current integrations available already encompass a wide range of the world’s leading ecommerce, ERP, Accounting and Shipping software. With new applications added all the time and a range of affordable payment packages available, Mothercloud offers the ideal long-term solution to your cloud application needs.