Author: Moshe Segal, Founder and CEO
Fred is CIO of a high-tech company with some 300 employees spread across the globe. Having joined the company in its early days, he has accompanied its expansion and the organizational and business changes that have required the introduction of new technology systems. However, as the organization expanded globally, and cloud-based organizational applications were added, he had difficulty providing a quick response that would produce a simple, seamless connection between the information data passing between the different systems, and create complete business processes.
The need to provide a rapid answer for the assimilation of business applications has become essentially crucial for the company’s continued development and ability to provide an excellent and efficient response to its customers. Beyond the technological difficulty of supporting cross-system business processes, Fred is also contending with the impatience and need for immediate implementation on the part of the business leaders. The Information Systems manager is facing an enormous challenge.
In the world of business information systems, which has splintered into dozens or hundreds of specialist vertical systems aka business apps, in addition to the hybrid element of systems on the private network (LAN) in combination with systems on the public network (cloud), it has become hard for information systems to support cross-system business processes. One common issue is how to transfer and integrate business data quickly between the ERP system and the parallel financial systems that still operate in an on-premise environment, while both of them interface with the company’s cloud-based CRM system.
In 2014, the technology research company Gartner coined the concept iPaaS – Integration Platform as a Service – and defined it as “a cloud-based platform supporting data applications and business processes, and integrating applications and databases operating in a cloud and on-premise environment”. The underlying idea of this concept is simple: iPaaS becomes the glue, the adhesive at the heart of the systems, making it possible to create a uniform, common language between the organizational applications, supporting structured connectivity for an infinite number of systems and ITTT (If This Then That) scenarios.
If we go back to Fred’s example, in order to assimilate applications he needs a simple and flexible integration solution, providing a quick and very flexible response at a reasonable overall cost. iPaaS platforms offer such a solution.
CIOs today are dealing with an inbuilt conflict resulting from the dynamic business work environment that is characteristic of organizations. A conflict arises between the need for quick and immediate implementation, and the technological problem presented by the hybrid model and multiplicity of systems – this is the new challenge in realization of the organization’s business processes. When the CIO faces the need to integrate an organizational and financial application, human resources, customer relations, or any other application, the business world does not tolerate lengthy processes dependent on developers. Therefore, it is only the new tools that can enable cross-platform processes, simply and with immediate response time – with the accent on applied tools and not development tools.
This has resulted in a notable acceleration in iPaaS solutions, with a number of prominent players in the field, such as Informatica, MuleSoft, and others, despite the fact that the big manufacturers have not yet joined the race. Another solution is the platform of IConduct, an Israeli start-up, which enables the realization of cross-system processes of high value to the organization. Customers of the platform enjoy simple and quick implementation, within the confines of a lean budget framework.
Thanks to the platform’s capabilities, the core organizational systems can be connected to any entity – whether it is another specialist information system, a database, protocols, or any kind of file or folder. Using the IConduct platform, organizational integration needs can be implemented with one smart, secure tool based on advanced cloud technologies.
The platform has proven capabilities, and as a result, many companies have purchased it and been able to cope with the challenges described above, quickly and with an efficient cost/benefit ratio, using only the integrated user interface, ample inbuilt connectors, and applied definitions.
To summarize, iPaaS systems are the latest advance for business systems in the cloud world. Using cutting edge technologies in the world of computing, with no lengthy projects, dependence on development, or risk, they are quick to implement, and respond to the multitude of systems and the need for communication between them. This is a basic condition for any organization aspiring to full integration of its applications, whether they are on-premise, cloud-based, or a combination of the two in the hybrid model, creating a common ecosystem for the benefit of the organization.