A Complete Guide to iPaaS

Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) has come about to fill a market need created by the proliferation of SaaS applications. Today’s cloud-based enterprise application landscape necessitates a cloud-based integration solution. So what is iPaaS, what is the difference between the market offerings for iPaaS, and what can it do for your organization?

What is iPaaS? 

Gartner defines iPaaS 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.”

It’s a platform that makes automated tools for connecting applications, such as pre-coded connectors, available to users. iPaaS also typically includes features like business logic to control integrations, data transformations, and API management, although platforms differ in the strength of different aspects of their functionality. 

When should you implement an iPaaS at your organization?

If you’re growing rapidly, and SaaS workflows that worked fine at a smaller scale are becoming problematic bottlenecks as employees struggle with manual data entry and data silos, it may be time to implement integration. iPaaS is beneficial to companies looking to scale processes to work as efficiently (or more efficiently) at a large scale than they were in the past.

Why the business technology landscape necessitates iPaaS

The proliferation of SaaS applications to small specific business process issues means that companies have a large number of applications, and often very little connectivity between the applications. The result? Siloed data, manual data entry, and subsequent errors and inefficiencies. The fragmented business technology landscape necessitates iPaaS- organizations need it in order to maintain consistent data across an organization and keep information up to date across lines of business.

What types of issues can iPaaS solve?

Improve financial visibility and minimize manual tasks by enabling real-time, continuous accounting.

Companies often rely on accounting departments to manually generate financial reports on a weekly or monthly basis. This is a data bottleneck. It can lead to opacity between the finance department and leadership or other lines of business. iPaaS makes it possible to automatically sync closed sales to finance. You can also use iPaaS to sync these records to your enterprise resource management system, creating transparency and making it possible for key stakeholders to make informed decisions with real-time financial data. 

Learn more about streamlining financial processes in our free ebook, The Role of Financial Automation in High-Growth Companies >>

Expedite reporting

iPaaS can expedite the reporting process for lines of business by automatically pulling data from one application to another, for example, uploading customer records to your cloud database. iPaaS can also expedite financial reporting, by syncing records without manual data entry. 

Reduce data errors

iPaaS reduces data errors, because when you don’t have people manually entering information in spreadsheets, your human error goes down. In addition to moving the data, iPaaS can also perform necessary data transformations as the data is moved from one application or database to another location.

Reduce data silos

If one of your lines of business is using an application that is poorly integrated to the rest of the business technology landscape at your organization, it’s going to create a data silo and reduce visibility across the organization. iPaaS facilitates consistent, centralized data. 

Automate employee onboarding

Provisioning software licenses and creating new account permissions for a new hire can be time-consuming, especially in a SaaS-saturated application landscape. iPaaS can make employee onboarding easier, by syncing data across applications throughout the process. You can set up a process using iPaaS to facilitate tasks like application provisioning, benefits, and even expedite sending the offer letter with DocuSign. 

So, is Workato an iPaaS or an Enterprise Automation tool?

Workato is often categorized as an iPaaS for industry comparisons such as Gartner and Forrester, but Workato is an enterprise automation platform. Workato’s functionality allows companies to move beyond point-to-point application integration and toward comprehensively automating business processes. 

>> Gartner and Forrester rank Workato as a leader in iPaaS 

What is Enterprise Automation? 

An enterprise automation platform makes it possible to implement a wide range of integrations and automations, from app and data integration to APIs and IOT, with the use of AI (artificial intelligence) bots, and ML (machine learning). The platform allows companies to scale automations by enabling many different personas, from integration specialists to lines of business users (like systems analysts or app admins), to create integrations and automations. The platform can be used to quickly deploy automated workflows, without setting up nodes, servers, or atoms. Redundancy and high-availability are built in, not add-on features. It also drives secure, fine-grained IT governance. Integrations and automations built by lines of business with the platform can still be centrally governed by IT. 

How do you create integrations in the platform?

iPaaS platforms generally offer pre-coded connectors for integrating applications, but the platforms’ environments for creating integrations vary from brand to brand. Workato’s platform offers pre-coded API connectors for a wide range of applications, presented as graphic icons in the platform’s workspace. You can drag and drop the icons into sequential workflow automations, governed by business logic. Another unique feature of Workato’s platform is RecipeIQ, a machine learning tool that assists users in creating automations, and the open source automation library that users can draw on in building their automations. 

Implementing iPaaS at your organization

Workato is the trusted enterprise automation tool among industry leaders across a variety of verticals: 

G2: “Workato, an iPaaS leader trusted by over 21,000 organizations, is the only platform for intelligent automation. It provides enterprise application integration, process automation, and a citizen experience, enabling business users and IT to collaborate to build, operate and rollout automations without compromising security and governance. The world’s top brands run on Workato including the #1 SaaS company, #1 enterprise collaboration company, #1 financial services company, #1 bakery cafe chain, #1 big data company, #1 cloud content management company, #1 home improvement company, #1 professional soccer league, #1 arts and crafts retail store, and more.”
To get started with Workato’s iPaaS and intelligent enterprise automation platform, request a demo from our team, or check out our free ebook on accelerating digital transformation.

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