Our Five Key Points:
- The IPaaS meaning or definition is "integration platform as a service" and it is used as a tool for business data and app integration.
- Business and enterprise iPaaS may include ETL, ELT, and API management to achieve data integration and to share data between business apps.
- IPaaS vendors empower businesses to easily collate all their business data in a single data warehouse.
- One of the benefits of iPaaS tools is higher quality data, leading to better and faster business decisions.
- Integrate.io is an iPaaS providing all the data integration tools needed for online businesses.
As digital transformation becomes top priority to most businesses, more services and tools are going online. IPaaS meaning data integration platforms are one business solution that can help with data collation and analysis, for profit-boosting insights. But what is "iPaaS"? In this article, we'll examine the definition and meaning of "IPaaS." We'll also look at why you need to know about this acronym for your online business.
Table of Contents
- The Definition of iPaaS
- Data Integration Challenges
- Why Integration is Critical for Online Businesses
- Meaning: iPaaS Use Cases
- Conclusion: Integrate.io, an IPaaS for Online Business
The Definition of iPaaS
According to Gartner, an integration platform as a service, or iPaaS, meaning is defined as:
"…a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution, and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations."
What does this mean for the average medium or small business? It means that an iPaaS is a collection of cloud-based services hosted by third parties external to the business. These cloud-based services specialize in bringing together business data from apps, SaaS, PaaS, business databases, and other data sources, no matter where in the world these sources exist.
IPaaS solutions are an alternative to managing business data internally, which can be costly, resource-heavy, and time-consuming. It also requires coding experts to build data pipelines from scratch. Bringing all your business data together in this way is called data integration. It allows companies to store their data in a single repository that can link to all their other business apps to keep them up to date and at maximum functionality.
Existing Data Integration Challenges
Traditionally, data integration required hard work or expensive business middleware solutions. Before the advent of the iPaaS, many businesses needed to create custom programs to collate their business data. This requires coding experts or experienced data managers. Plus ,every time a business needed links to a new piece of software or database, a new data pipeline would need to be coded.
Considering larger organizations tend to use over 150 SaaS (software as a service) or cloud applications. That's an untenable amount of manual coding without a large and dedicated data management team. Multi-channel or omnichannel businesses have data coming in from more sources every day. Plus, it's no longer just pieces of software and apps that need to connect. As the Internet of things (IoT) expands, businesses may want to collect data from smart devices, cameras, sensors, and more.
Data integration solutions need to link to cloud computing tools, edge computing solutions, and destination data warehouses. They may also be able to link to device management apps and online business standards like social media, CRMs, and e-commerce platforms.
Security for online businesses is also a challenge in a world where cybercrime is increasing. IPaaS vendors have to guarantee the security of the data that passes through their pipelines, and also have to be transparent about the security measures they put in place when facilitating application integration.
Ask about how you can leverage Integrate.io's offering, securETL, to minimize data breaches and ensure data compliance.
Why Integration is Critical for Online Businesses
Online businesses, or any business with an online presence, have a huge volume of data to sift through from a dizzying array of sources. According to Statista, the recent pandemic situation boosted the volume of data businesses handle daily, thanks to more people opting to stay home and shop, browse, and engage with their favorite brands online.
Without ways to effectively parse and manage this data, you may end up with data silos. These are huge swamps of unprocessed data that provide no use to an organization yet still take up storage space and resources. Online businesses may have various customer engagement points, and without any way to link these up, key data like customer contact details can become muddled or out of date. This can lose business leads or even existing customers and create a poor customer experience.
How an iPaas Works
For an iPaas to be effective, there needs to be automation to ensure real-time updates. It needs to link to all critical sources of business data. Plus, it needs to bring that data into a single destination – or a few destinations, depending upon the use case for data integration.
Many iPaaS use a technique called extract, transform, and load, or ETL. The iPaaS collects, or extracts, data from a variety of sources. It transforms the data into a cohesive format. It then loads that data into a single destination, such as a data warehouse like Amazon Redshift from AWS.
Some iPaaS will have reverse ETL functionality, allowing data to move between apps or data storage solutions for effective data sharing. Others use an integration process called ELT, which is where data is loaded into a system before transformation. IPaaS tools generally use service-oriented architecture (SOA) to achieve integration.
Advanced iPaaS offerings provide API management. Many SaaS or other data sources have their own APIs to help ease the process of connecting. For services that have no ready-made connectors, API management or creation allows businesses to create APIs to connect to those services or tools and extract the data they need.
Speak to Integrate.io about our API services for generating secure REST APIs for enterprise data sources and tools.
IPaaS Use Cases
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of use cases for an effective iPaaS.
IPaaS can help improve business processes by providing a central repository of data that all teams or departments can access, in line with data governance strategies. In fact, IPaaS providers empower businesses to have better data governance strategies. It's simple to build effective data processes and assign responsibilities when you have full access to all your business data.
Having fewer obstacles to retrieving relevant data makes business decisions faster and improves cross-team communication. Data integration tools can also boost the effectiveness of enterprise resource planning services, such as SAP.
One of the key reasons businesses use iPaaS tools is to connect their business data to a business intelligence (BI) tool, such as Tableau or Looker. This makes it much faster to dig into critical insights such as the most effective marketing channels, weak points in the sales lifecycle, or what content gets the most hits.
Conclusion: Integrate.io, an IPaaS for Online Business
Integrate.io is a new, innovative ETL platform with deep e-commerce capabilities ideal for online businesses with varying integration needs. Simple point-and-click interfaces make ease of use a top feature, with built-in connections to various applications, including Shopify, Salesforce, and various AWS services. Enterprise integration has never been simpler, with Integrate.io's low-code or no-code solution that allows for incredibly fast customer data capture (CDC). Replace your legacy systems with data integration designed for modern business.
Schedule a demo of the platform to find out more, or contact us to discuss pricing.