What is iPaaS and Why Should Your Business Care?
Business + ManagementAccelerate AIposted by Elizabeth Wallace, ODSC June 18, 2019 Elizabeth Wallace, ODSC
AI, cloud computing, and massive data. It’s getting beyond the capability of most companies and organizations to host and manage the type of infrastructure needed to build and deploy models. Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) could be the answer to in house computing and security issues. Cloud integration is complicated, and security is faring even worse in most in-house solutions, putting companies at considerable risk. To build security and tackle computing issues, businesses are turning to Platform as a Service integration services to handle their needs. [Related article: Why Your Business Needs Edge Computing]
What is iPaaS?
Integration platforms give organizations the infrastructure to build and deploy in the cloud without having to manage the hardware or middleware itself. It reduces the load on in-house storage solutions but doesn’t require the organization to sacrifice capability. You have an established in-house infrastructure; I know. However, with the Agile culture of tech and development, how much time are you spending making sure that in-house solution still works? Here are a few of the benefits of moving to iPaaS:
- iPaaS solutions remove the burden of maintaining 24/7 security and put it in the hands of companies with capabilities to keep up proactively not simply reactively. If you’ve ever scrambled to answer threats that have already happened or find your security team building solutions only after the problem is discovered, you may want to make that move.
- iPaaS also removes the cumbersome maintenance of legacy products. Your in-house solution was great five or ten years ago, but now your best talent is spending too much time trying to maintain it. Let it go and get your best talent back onto the interesting part while your iPaaS system builds scalable infrastructure in real time.
- iPaaS also realizes your dream of hybrid architectures. The complexity of deploying deep learning and translating it to marketable products for customers requires a suite of products niched down to handle specific aspects of that deployment. That can make integration a nightmare to do with your existing in-house solutions. The iPaaS model could make integration and the subsequent update management a whole lot smoother.
Adopting iPaaS the Right Way
Unfortunately, this is a relatively new service concept, so some of the full capability hasn’t been realized yet. A report put out by Gartner regarding this new service outlines the three areas iPaaS effectively addresses, so one way to begin the process is to identify one of these in-house pain points to choose your service.
E-commerce or B2B integration allows you to deploy products on customer-facing models. On the B2B side, iPaaS solutions allow your organization to connect with partners regardless of what kind of legacy systems they’re using. Integration can happen smoothly, and in some cases, in just a few hours. On the E-commerce side, you’ve got flexible, fast integration even as your services change. You can enact hybrid solutions for a suite of products that move from customer acquisition to follow up, enable messaging, and capture analytics.
The future is in cloud applications. Your in-house system is a security risk, bogs down your talent with menial maintenance, and can’t sprint. Cloud integration platforms transfer your legacy systems to secure, flexible environments in the cloud and maintain their infrastructure so that your team is free to create, deploy, and evaluate.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)/Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
ESBs are great for vertical scale, but iPaaS could soon be a viable alternative for horizontal scale or an alternative altogether. iPaaS already has the upper hand with data governance and multi-tenancy, so it’s just a matter of time before this cloud-based solution outperforms the traditional in-house capability of ESB. On the SOA side, you can now use iPaaS to handle your API issues while maintaining an on-premises SOA for low latency, mission-critical projects. While iPaaS may not be a replacement, it can certainly speed up your iterations within your existing SOA. If you’ve got the capability, however, it may be a good move to change to iPaaS altogether depending on how you address the benefits listed above. [Related article: What are MLOps and Why Does it Matter?]
The “New” iPaaS Solution
In reality, iPaaS has been around for a few years, but our cloud capabilities have only just caught up with the iPaaS potential. As these systems get more efficient and sophisticated, they have the potential to answer some of the most pressing concerns with cloud integration and leaving behind on-premises legacy systems. In reality, we’re moving away from having on-premises solutions anyway. Security risks are too great for all but the largest enterprises to handle on-site, and as we’re passing the Moore’s Law line, organizations will need more storage and computing power than can be housed locally. Because products are niching down, and hybrid solutions are becoming the norm, iPaaS could be the glue that holds everything together.