What else? The C-suite often asks this question when considering their first or next steps in Digital Transformation.
As service providers, we hear concerns about pain points impacting the bottom line.
- Inefficient/isolated processes across platforms take up considerable time and human effort.
- Lack of insightful analytics leads to lack of operational visibility and direction.
- Opportunity cost of pursuing non-revenue-generating tasks.
The underlying problem spells-
Overwhelming systems/applications, underwhelming performance and growth.
This problem is caused by the use of several cross-enterprise applications that support a range of distinct business processes across functions. These processes evolve and need new technology services and data to support them. For decades we have built and adapted systems for accounting, sales automation, marketing automation, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory control, and human resource management, among others. But these serve a niche purpose for a niche user group and, more importantly, do not share the same DNA when it comes to application development and data storage. Even then, these applications have much value and are critical to running the business.
A sustainable solution
Enterprise Integration offers a sustainable solution to this problem created by islands of automation that co-exist within an organization. It involves directing digital transformation efforts towards integrating all the enterprise applications into a unified set of business processes, composite applications, or a unified data model. Integration helps reduce the complexity caused by disparate and disconnected systems in the work environment.
A new dimension to Integration
Over the years, the advent of web services has led to Enterprise Integration adopting a service-oriented model, on the lines of SaaS. The model is a cloud-based service that connects applications and data deployed in the cloud and on-premise. This offering is called Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). iPaaS simplifies integration in the cloud by removing the element of middleware or hardware. It proves useful in connecting applications, transferring and cloning data in the cloud, on-premise and SaaS.
A level playing field in business
iPaaS is designed keeping in mind the business imperative for Enterprise Integration. In the 21st century, there is a fundamental shift in how a company interacts with customers, manufactures goods, organizes and manages business. This has resulted in a need to manage business in real-time. iPaaS considers this need for agility and scalability to meet ever-changing business needs.
An iPaaS has the following capabilities -
GUI for development: A graphical user interface (GUI) enables a low code/no-code approach to building an integration with iPaaS. This is made possible with a drag-and-drop feature allowing both business and technical users to assemble an integration using connectors (apps), widgets and pre-packaged business logic, making it very intuitive and easy to use.
App (Connector) Library: iPaaS vendors build a library of connectors for the various apps a business is likely to use. Connectors use pre-built code to communicate with apps and various data sources. These connectors reflect fields and entities of the configuration within the iPaaS user interface to help the user build the integration.
Integration Creation, Execution and Management of Workflow: An iPaaS enables the creation, execution and management of integration applications from end-to-end. It provides start, stop and schedule capabilities for the integrations created. It also has an in-built monitoring feature to verify the status, outcome and output of every run within a workflow (journey).
With these capabilities, an enterprise iPaaS platform helps to create a level playing field for any organization looking to transform how it executes business-critical tasks and works optimally with a better focus on the bottom line.
This article was originally published in Express Computer.