Cloud Integration: iPaaS on the Rise
It has become increasingly apparent that the deployment of Software as a Service (SaaS) and other cloud offerings poses significant integration challenges for the enterprise. SaaS integration solutions are capable of handling simple point-to-point or point-to-multipoint scenarios, but are too limited to meet more complex integration scenarios.
Both users and industry analysts report that connecting SaaS with other SaaS applications and SaaS to legacy systems is a major challenge facing today’s enterprises. In a recent survey, Saugatuck Technology asked companies to identify their main concerns about using SaaS applications. Besides security concerns, 32% of the respondents cited “integrating with existing applications” and 27% selected “integrating SaaS data with existing enterprise data structures.” Another 13% chose “integrating SaaS data and applications with other SaaS applications.”
Vendors have already started to respond to this need for SaaS integration solutions. A number of SaaS applications now include out-of-the-box connectors that connect to other SaaS applications and enterprise systems while other vendors offer standalone integration services that connect to popular SaaS providers. These offerings are primarily tactical solutions and differentiated by the party responsible for integrating SaaS applications: either the SaaS provider or a third party integration provider.
But cloud computing technology continues to change at a rapid pace and SaaS integration is only one aspect of a broader cloud integration problem. Companies are increasingly deploying Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), cloud computing models that deliver development platforms and infrastructure on-demand, resulting in the movement of additional data into the cloud and the creation of hybrid architectures that include both on-premise and cloud-based technologies.
So what does this mean for enterprise cloud users? In general, cloud integration is becoming more complex, with more types of cloud services from a greater number of vendors to integrate. Now, integration patterns not only consist of SaaS to SaaS, but also cloud to cloud and cloud to enterprise. Moreover, integration problems increasingly require the expertise of developers. Designed for business analysts, existing SaaS integration solutions are not equipped to address the growing complexity of cloud integration nor do they provide the kinds of tools that developers need.
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is an emerging cloud integration solution that is capable of handling tough integration scenarios. As a platform for building and developing integrations in the cloud, iPaaS can be used for simple point-to-point integrations but also includes developer tools for creating custom integrations, seamlessly scaling up as the number of endpoints increases.
Although iPaaS is a relatively new model of cloud integration, it is pretty clear that it has already set itself apart from existing SaaS integration solutions by providing enterprises with a flexible and reliable tool for meeting their changing integration needs. Keep an eye on iPaaS offerings like CloudHub; they not only stand apart from existing SaaS integration providers, they are changing the game in cloud integration.