The Truth About iPaaS
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is one of the latest up-and-coming technology trends that the manufacturing world doesn’t seem to have caught on to yet. The idea is simple: taking the integration platforms that have existed for a long time within the enterprise world, i.e. CRM and ERP connectors, and moving them into the cloud. Instead of on-premise servers and data syncs between enterprise applications, iPaaS integrations allow users to host their connections in the cloud, where they are implemented and maintained by an outside iPaaS provider and accessible through an internet application. Vendors of iPaaS technology then enable their clients to collect valuable data and business process information from integrated ERP and CRM while securing it and storing it offsite.
Furthermore, modern iPaaS models are more elaborate than ever, syncing not just your data between enterprise systems but also capable of integrating process models from every single aspect of your business. Think specific, critical manufacturing processes like manufacturing rules, scheduling functions and more. Because of their flexibility and ease of use, cloud-based integration solutions are growing fast within every level of the enterprise world. A Gartner report indicates that at least 35% of mid-to-large sized businesses are using a form of iPaaS offering. So why are some companies still hesitant to adopt iPaaS integration? Read on for some of the biggest hesitations we find about cloud integration—and why you might not need to be worried about them so much after all.
iPaaS Integrations Only Connect Cloud Software
Because the solution is based through the web, you may think that you can’t use iPaaS integration for anything besides cloud-based enterprise applications, limiting enterprises that have pre-existing on-site solutions or want to implement them in the future. However, the flexibility of modern iPaaS integration effectively busts this myth. Any range of enterprise applications and vendors can be integrated through the same platform, and you can choose how they are integrated. Most enterprise connectors even have the capability to connect your legacy software. But why are you still running legacy software anyway? If you ever do upgrade your software, then it is relatively simple to modify your integration platform to accommodate the new systems, rather than simply piling on more add-ons and point solutions.
It Isn’t Secure
The most resounding criticism of cloud software is the concern with security of any data stored in the cloud. Because the cloud takes information that was once totally private and provides it over public servers, many assume that the cloud is inherently more dangerous. Because providers of cloud solutions like iPaaS integration are very aware of this concern, they work doubly hard to address each client’s fears, pouring huge amounts of their investment dollars into sophisticated encryption methods and mobile management solutions that can help you feel more secure about your valuable data and process information. After all, keeping you happy is a service provider’s biggest concern. They are going to do everything they can to keep you feeling safe and ensuring you renew your subscription when your contract comes up. For example, we have built a platform that protects your data with a firewall that means sensitive information will never get into the wrong hands.
If you host some (or all) of your enterprise software on premise for security reasons, you will still be able to integrate it with a web-based connector. Cloud technology has by now become a huge portion of modern enterprise software, meaning that providers must dedicate a significant portion of their services towards security. That money most likely totals up to more than the investment you could provide yourself towards on-site data security.
iPaaS Requires Sophisticated Programming Knowledge
Many believe that due to its complex name, iPaaS is difficult to implement and hard to understand, requiring a sophisticated knowledge of development within the software systems you are integrating. This is a total myth. In fact, most platforms are pre-built, so you don’t need to complete any complex coding or development work just to connect data from disparate systems. The iPaaS providers do all that hard work themselves. They build an application that is ready to be implemented within your existing software structure and get your data synced up to provide the intelligence you need to drive revenue in a much shorter time frame than a custom integration would take.
It's Not Worth the Cost
It can be scary to get the upfront numbers for an iPaaS software integration, but those digits don’t tell the whole story. You might not see the cost savings directly, but they will undoubtedly emerge once you have started gathering the granular data that an ERP and CRM integration can provide by running analytics in real time and using that information to reduce losses, increase efficiency and drive down costs.
If you are currently relying on point solutions and are a growing small to midsize business, know that with growth these kinds of specific, one-off integrations will only get costlier to maintain and reconfigure. An iPaaS solution is much more flexible, and maintained by your service provider. Your subscription includes the cost of upgrades and support so you can factor that into your budget from the get-go, not be shocked when you get billed for a maintenance issue after the fact.
While there are legitimate concerns about the viability of an iPaaS integration for your business (especially if you are a larger business with a lot of existing solutions and systems already in place) some of the most common worries clients have with iPaaS can be overblown. Here we have tried to dismantle some of the most common myths when it comes to web-based integration and address some fears you may have as a small to midsize business about adapting to this extremely new technology. In fact, iPaaS is poised to grow exponentially in the coming years thanks to the solution’s flexibility, scalability and adaptability to a host of businesses and enterprise applications.
Here at Datix, we’ve built Unity, an iPaaS solution for seamless Epicor ERP integration. Get in touch with us today to get your own demo of the software, and learn how cloud integration can truly benefit your company!