What Is iPaaS?
Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a unified platform that helps manage integrations and data flows across disparate cloud and on-premises applications. It helps handle the full lifecycle of APIs, automate business processes and orchestrate workflows across multiple applications – all with a centralized integration platform. This single source of trusted data empowers modern enterprises to connect and leverage data in real time across multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
Let’s face it, in today’s high-pressure digital economy, organizations are in search of the most time- and cost-effective ways to tackle their data and application integration and automation challenges. That’s why iPaaS has gained immense popularity in recent years. In fact, the global iPaaS market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 25.6% from 2023 to 2033 and reach a revenue of US$ 53.88 billion by the end of 2033.1 So, what exactly is iPaaS? And why is it causing so much buzz in the market?
iPaaS empowers organizations to improve the quality of data and application integration with little effort. That’s because the service provider does the work of configuration, deployment and optimization. With an iPaaS solution, there’s no concern about managing and maintaining the software. It is managed with system updates in the cloud.
Plus, a modern, enterprise iPaaS addresses a broad set of integration patterns and use cases. It has the necessary breadth and depth of management and connectivity. Because of these broad capabilities, iPaaS can help streamline business processes, increase efficiency and reduce costs — all must-haves in a competitive market.
Now that we understand the basics of iPaaS, let’s take a look at why it’s gained popularity in recent years.
5 Key Adoption Drivers for iPaaS
iPaaS has emerged as a pivotal enabler in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. Here are five key adoption drivers that have propelled iPaaS to the forefront of enterprise technology strategies.
1. Ecosystem complexity
The ever-increasing complexity of IT ecosystems and the proliferation of diverse applications, both on-premises and in the cloud, have created a pressing need for seamless connectivity. Case in point: According to Productiv, the average company has a whopping 315 SaaS apps.2 iPaaS can help by streamlining integration processes, which allows businesses to effortlessly connect disparate systems and applications. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also accelerates time-to-market for new initiatives.
2. Process automation
Automation has emerged as a compelling adoption driver for iPaaS, revolutionizing how businesses approach their digital transformation initiatives. As organizations seek to optimize processes and reduce manual intervention, iPaaS offers a robust automation framework. By automating the integration of various applications, data sources and workflows, iPaaS can enable companies to streamline complex business processes and accelerate response times. This automation not only eliminates repetitive and error-prone manual tasks but also ensures real-time data synchronization and seamless information exchange across your ecosystem.
3. Hybrid and multi-cloud environments
The global shift towards hybrid and multi-cloud environments has further advanced iPaaS adoption. Organizations are leveraging various cloud services to optimize performance, reduce costs and gain scalability. However, managing integrations across these different environments can be challenging. iPaaS provides a centralized hub for connecting cloud-based applications, services and data sources, which facilitates the exchange of information and ensures consistent workflows.
4. Citizen integrators
The emergence of low-code/no-code capabilities, coupled with robust data management pattern handling, has boosted the rise of non-technical users — also known as citizen integrators. By providing intuitive visual interfaces with drag-and-drop integration building capabilities and pre-built connectors, iPaaS enables citizen integrators to seamlessly connect disparate applications and data sources without extensive coding knowledge. This boosts productivity across the organization.
The need for data-driven decision-making has spurred iPaaS adoption. In the modern business landscape, data is a critical asset that informs strategic choices and enhances customer experiences. iPaaS offers robust data integration capabilities, enabling enterprises to seamlessly aggregate, transform and analyze data from disparate sources. This empowers organizations to derive meaningful insights, make informed decisions and uncover valuable business opportunities.
Now that we better understand the drivers behind iPaaS adoption, let’s review some business benefits.
What Are the Business Benefits of iPaaS?
Because it allows organizations to drive integration and automation strategies in a single platform, iPaaS is a powerful tool. Let’s look at how it can help you meet the demands of today’s digital landscape.
Automation of complex processes
iPaaS helps create workflows to streamline and automate manual, rote processes and repetitive tasks. This allows your team to focus on more strategic, mission-critical work. It also empowers enterprises to be agile to meet the ever-changing customer and market demands.
Supports virtually all data management patterns
Because of its flexibility and scalability, an iPaaS helps support diverse data management patterns. This includes data ingestion, data integration, API management, application integration, master data management (MDM), data quality, data catalog and data governance.
Ease of use for virtually all users
iPaaS offers low-code/no-code technology, which empowers both technical and nontechnical users to build and manage integrations. This saves time and boosts productivity. It also enables collaboration across teams.
Due to its flexibility, an iPaaS can integrate with a wide range of cloud-based and on-premises applications. This helps organizations build complex integrations that span across multiple systems and applications. An iPaaS also ensures data accuracy and consistency across systems and applications and enables real-time data exchange, faster response times and personalized interactions.
Built-in API management
iPaaS eliminates the need to publish custom APIs or combine APIs from other services. This empowers your teams to design, implement, deploy, govern and monitor APIs faster, speeding time-to-market for new products and services.
An iPaaS provides a range of connectors for building and managing complex integrations between multiple applications. This means businesses can connect multiple applications and systems, whether they are provided by the same or different vendors. This can lead to rapid integration, reduced complexity, improved productivity and better agility.
As enterprises acquire software applications, it’s critical for them to talk to each other in real time. iPaaS connects virtually all the applications and data on a central platform, delivering a 360-degree view of integrations to easily orchestrate process automation. In addition, enterprises get visibility into the process workflows across other business units, so you can better manage resources and processes.
We covered the many benefits of iPaaS; now let’s review what capabilities you should look for to ensure you experience its full potential.
What Are the Key Capabilities to Look For in an iPaaS?
Below is a list of capabilities to look for in an iPaaS:
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are integral capabilities of iPaaS due to their ability to empower organizations to harness data-driven insights and automation. AI enables intelligent decision-making by analyzing patterns and predicting outcomes, while ML algorithms continuously learn from data, which helps optimize processes and enhance accuracy. Through AI and ML, iPaaS helps transform integration and workflow management, driving innovation and efficiency in the modern digital landscape.
- Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud support provides effective integration across a broad array of applications and services. The right iPaaS will be an independent, neutral solution and able to easily move between different environments without any code changes.
- Out-of-the-box integrations help facilitate collaboration with a broad ecosystem of partner technologies. Some examples include:
- IaaS providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud and Google Cloud
- Cloud data warehouse solutions, including Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Oracle Cloud and Google BigQuery
- Connectivity to multiple sources and targets across virtually all environments
- SaaS providers, such as Salesforce, Zoom, Workday and Marketo
- Adherences to standards, including HTTP, Open API Specification, FTP, Apache Kafka, Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and more
- Self-service manageability delivers an intuitive self-service user experience that enables users to access their systems, applications and data without IT support.
- Security and privacy capabilities ensure that your iPaaS platform is built from the ground up with security as a primary design principle. Look for a solution that also uses industry approved and commonly used algorithms to encrypt sensitive information.
- Self-service analytics enable analytics across cloud data warehouses and data lakes. Look for an iPaaS that helps deliver analytics innovation, drive insights from streaming data, simplify analytics architecture and access data across your enterprise.
- Workflow automation streamlines and accelerates business processes by automating specific tasks, ensuring seamless execution and enhancing collaboration among various applications and systems.
- API integration facilitates the efficient exchange of data and functionality between different applications and services, which helps enhance interoperability and drive digital transformation.
Now that we better understand the key capabilities of iPaaS, let’s review some typical use cases.
What Are Common Use Cases of an iPaaS?
An iPaaS is valuable in many scenarios across multiple industries. Here are some examples:
- Retail and e-commerce: Connects e-commerce platforms with inventory management systems, payment gateways and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This ensures real-time stock updates, seamless order processing and enhanced customer experiences.
- Manufacturing: Integrates manufacturing execution systems with supply chain management tools to help enable production planning, inventory tracking and order fulfillment.
- Financial services: Integrates banking applications, customer databases and regulatory reporting systems to help facilitate secure data exchange and compliance.
- Healthcare: Integrates electronic health record (EHR) systems, telemedicine platforms and laboratory information systems to help improve patient care coordination and data sharing.
- Telecommunications: Integrates customer billing systems, customer support platforms and network monitoring tools to help enable seamless customer interactions and efficient troubleshooting.
- Logistics and transportation: Connects transportation management systems with warehouse management systems to help optimize route planning, shipment tracking and inventory management.
- Energy and utilities: Integrates smart meters, energy monitoring systems and billing platforms to help facilitate real-time data collection, analysis and accurate billing for utility services.
- Education: Connects learning management systems with student information systems to support automated enrollment, course management and grade reporting.
- Hospitality and travel: Integrates hotel reservation systems, flight booking platforms and loyalty programs to help ensure smooth booking experiences and personalized customer interactions.
- Government and public services: Integrates citizen service portals, government databases and regulatory systems to help enhance public service delivery and administrative efficiency.
An iPaaS can also be used within different departments across your business. For example, human resources can optimize the hiring or onboarding process. Sales can manage forecasting and track leads. And IT can use an iPaaS to better manage help desk tickets.
Based on the above, it's clear that iPaaS can enhance your competitive edge. Read on to learn how Informatica can help.
How Informatica Can Support Your iPaaS Needs
Informatica iPaaS, a service of Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC), provides robust capabilities that can help enable seamless integration of data and disparate applications across cloud and on-premises environments. This empowers organizations to rapidly design automated workflows and integration patterns with easy-to-use, self-service wizard builders. Informatica iPaaS supports virtually all data management patterns across multi-cloud and hybrid environments under one consistent user interface, including data integration, API management, application integration, MDM, data quality, data catalog and data governance.
Informatica iPaaS is built on six core pillars:
1. End-to-end automation
Informatica iPaaS helps organizations drive end-to-end automation by managing large amounts of data and events in real time. This helps businesses to design process automation workflows and integration patterns with out-of-the-box integrations and simple drag and drop, low-code workflow automation capabilities. This in turn helps boost developer productivity and agility so you can maintain a competitive edge.
Informatica iPaaS delivers a productive data management environment powered by CLAIRE, our AI engine. CLAIRE provides recommendations to automate and accelerate integration and data management tasks. The AI capabilities provide enriched and trusted data to be used for various use cases, such as analytics, data mapping and workflows. Some examples include e-commerce product recommendations, order to cash, supply chain and chatbot responses. The AI-powered recommendations enable faster decision-making, which is critical in a crowded market.
3. Low-code/no-code platform
Informatica iPaaS is a low-code/no-code solution that empowers nontechnical users to easily configure automation and integration tasks. This capability allows your teams to create process workflows and design integration patterns with simple mouse clicks or drag and drop with an intuitive UI. Informatica iPaaS also empowers organizations to drive connectivity with out-of-the-box templates and accelerators.
Informatica uses security as a design principle and offers a high level of scale and trust. Customer data and workload security are always considered during the product development life cycle. This level of security is achieved through multiple, overlapping layers of the infrastructure stack and in virtually every aspect of accessing and processing integrations. Informatica has also received many third-party attestations, memberships and industry certifications, including GDPR, FedRAMP, HIPAA, SOC, etc.
5. Real-time visibility
Informatica iPaaS offers organizations real-time visibility into virtually all integrations, which drives more holistic and efficient operations. This complete view of data and application integrations, APIs, processes and ecosystems provides a big picture of the overall health of the business. This allows for higher business productivity, efficient business processes and tighter data security.
6. API integration and lifecycle management
Informatica iPaaS provides a codeless API integration capability, which eliminates the need for complex hand coding. Instead, it has a drag-and-drop UI for rapid API integration. API lifecycle management capabilities provided by Informatica iPaaS enable organizations to manage virtually all APIs (third-party and internal) that are being used in the business environment. This includes business processes that span multiple clouds and on-premises systems within and outside firewalls. This helps boost workflow automation and provide data integrity.
Another benefit of using Informatica iPaaS? Big ROI. Nucleus Research interviewed multiple Informatica iPaaS customers and determined that over a three-year period, the solution delivered an average annual ROI of 413% with an average annual benefit of $2,201,369 and a payback period of 4 months.3
Plus, Informatica was recently named a Leader in the first IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud Integration Software and Services (iPaaS) 2023 Vendor Assessment.4 Let’s turn to a few customer success stories to better understand how Informatica iPaaS works in action.
Informatica iPaaS in Action
Here are a few real-world customer success stories that show how Informatica iPaaS helped them deliver better outcomes.
- Tech giant Dolby needed to elevate customer experience and support evolving business needs for their new developer platform. They leveraged Informatica application integration and data integration capabilities to enable a scalable architecture, including Informatica-supported internal APIs for Dolby.io. The company can now develop and manage the monetization of APIs, which drives the subscription business with minimal manual effort. They also automated their billing processes, which allows them to receive payments at a predictable pace.
- With Informatica iPaaS, Rockwool Group, a leader in stone wool solutions, increased efficiency and improved customer service by integrating production lines with factory and warehouse systems in real time. This integration continues to promote flexibility and provide a foundation for automated guided vehicles and warehouse robotics to optimize stock picking and fulfilment.
- HuFriedyGroup, a dental instrument manufacturer, sells most of its products through authorized distributors. This made it difficult to access and query their partners’ data to better understand how customers are using their products. By implementing Informatica iPaaS, they are now able to automate transformations of transactional data that distributors upload to an FTP server and move into SAP and Salesforce. This resulted in better customer loyalty due to targeted marketing and better insights into which products dentists buy. The deployment also increased sales, helping the HuFriedyGroup win additional market share.
Ready to explore how Informatica iPaaS can bring you seamless integration, scalability and efficient data management? Check out the valuable resources below.
- Experience Informatica iPaaS with a free, 30-day trial.
- Take control of application integration, workflow automation and data integration with Informatica iPaaS.
- Find out five sure-fire ways to boost productivity with process automation and application integration.
- Explore how iPaaS can boost your ROI in the Nucleus Research report.
- Learn how to simplify and optimize business processes with iPaaS.
4IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud Integration Software and Services (iPaaS) 2023 Vendor Assessment (doc #US50244723, February 2023).