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Key considerations for choosing a cloud integration (iPaaS) solution

Key considerations for choosing a cloud integration (iPaaS) solution

  • Jennifer Zhou
    Jennifer Zhou joined Talend as a Product Marketing Manager in 2016. In this role, Jennifer works with the Director of Product Marketing for Cloud to bring Talend Integration Cloud to new markets, and to drive Talend’s cloud strategy. Prior to Talend, Jennifer studied at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, where she picked up an MBA with a concentration in Finance, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Jennifer brings 6 years of marketing and business development experience from companies such as EMC, F5 Networks, and Microsoft.

Digital Transformation, the application of digital capabilities across the organization to uncover new monetization opportunities, is the path that any company wishing to survive in today’s world must follow. Sectors like agriculture, healthcare, banking, retail, and transportation are exploring challenges and opportunities that have come with the digital revolution. As a result of this, new business models have emerged while IT departments have become the focus of digital transformation.

Today SaaS and PaaS applications are being combined with social, mobile, web, big data, and IoT. With this, an organization’s ability to integrate legacy data from siloed on-premises applications with new data from emerging digital technologies, like cloud, have become a deciding factor for a successful digital transformation.

The reality is that many organizations still use hand-coding or ad hoc integration tools to solve immediate and specific needs, often leading to an integration nightmare. They suffer the consequences of an uncontrolled set of access, potential risks in regulatory compliance or auditory practices, inability to organically scale with the data volume surge, etc. Organizations need an enterprise strategy to address the changes brought on by the hybrid era of cloud and on-premises integration scenarios. Through this, organizations are able to unlock the true value of the data to accelerate digital transformation, a key enabling component in such strategy is a cloud integration platform (iPaaS).

iPaaS has started to go mainstream in recent years. Results from research firm MarketsandMarkets predicted that the market will be worth 2998.3 million US dollars by 2021 and there will be 41.5% market growth between 2016 and 2021.

So what exactly is an iPaaS?

iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service), in simplest terms, is a cloud-based platform that supports any combination of on-premises, cloud data, and application integration scenarios. With an iPaaS, users can develop, deploy, execute, and govern cloud and hybrid integration flows without installing or managing any hardware or middleware. There are many benefits iPaaS offers: faster time to value, reduced TCO, accelerated time to market, bridging the skillset gap, reduced DevOps headaches, etc.

However, if your organization has integration needs or challenges, how do you pick the right iPaaS? I’ll explore a few key questions to ask when choosing the right solution.

Key areas for considerations when choosing an iPaaS

Does it support Big Data and Data Lake?

If you are embarking on an initiative to utilize your big data, you will need a solution that can handle the volume, velocity, and variety requirements of big data integration use cases. The solution should be able to support a data lake with complex data ingestion, transformation, and works well with the Hadoop ecosystems.

Does it support broad hybrid integration scenarios?

Although SaaS and cloud apps are widely adopted across organizations, on-premises apps are not likely to go away anytime soon. Because hybrid integration scenarios are still the norm, it’s important to have a solution that supports cloud to cloud, cloud-to-ground, ground-to-ground, multi-point, and multi-cloud integrations.

Can it empower my LoB and analyst teams in the project?

In most cases, an integration project is initiated to better serve business units to enable new business models, better serve customers, make more effective marketing and sales strategies, etc. LoBs are increasingly involved in integration work and therefore, to get your projects moving forward quickly, you need a solution with an easy-to-use UI, self-service capabilities like data prep, and data governance that don’t require extensive technical training.

Will multiple teams collaborate on the integration project?

If your integration projects require multiple teams, you may want to consider SDLC (software development life cycle) capabilities. This will allow you to create separate environments for each stage of SDLC like development, QA, production, etc. So your teams can plan and execute integrations more frequently and efficiently.

How do I ensure real-time data delivery?

Business agility, real-time decision making, and customer and partner interactions depend on the analytics from data delivered in real-time. To make fast and timely decisions, you will want to consider a solution that delivers data anytime with both batch or real-time streaming data processing.

What about data quality?

A critical capability that you also want in an iPaaS is built-in data quality that allows you to create clean and trusted data for analytics and decision making. You will want a solution that can handle different type and format data and ensure consistent quality throughout your data’s lifecycle.

Talend Cloud is Talend’s iPaaS that offers broad connectivity, native big data support, built-in data quality, enterprise SDLC support, and much more. If you are interested in jumpstarting your integration projects with Talend Cloud sign up for a 30-day free trial.

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  1. Amit says:

    Nice post. You summarize some important points that should be considered when buying an iPaaS solution. I have a couple of follow up questions
    1. Is a data integration (DI) solution a subset (part) of an iPaaS solution? By DI I am referring to the tool that allows enterprises to pull and push data to and from other third party enterprise connectors.
    2. How are data integration solutions generally integrated in enterprise web applications? From what I have understood so far it seems external where the DI solution is executed externally and the data is either exported via files or pushed into the system via rest api’s. What are the state-of-art ways of integrating with a DI solution?

    I would appreciate if you could share more insights on this. Thanks.