The Changing iPaaS Landscape
Back in golden days of mobile phones, Nokia was the king. They were really good phones, packed with well thought-out features and built with reliable hardware. (Most of them still work today!)
However, only the “savvy” people could use features such as adding your own icons, ringtones and exploring the jungle of hard coded applications. You know, all the things that made owning and using a phone a highly personal experience.
Then Apple came along. The iPhone was a game changer for mobile phone industry, and the “smartphone” changed the whole temperature of the marketplace. The iPhone focused on user experience, ease-of-use and was designed for people who didn’t want to figure out how to use all the (mostly useless) features.
The iPhone was released on Sept. 20, 2003, and the downfall of Nokia started the very next day.
I am sure you don’t need me to tell you any more about this story. The marketplace now speaks for itself. But have you ever stopped to realize that this very same thing is now happening with iPaaS (integration platform as a service)?
Gartner defines iPaaS as “a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations.”
In practice, iPaaS is a platform that includes a set of automated tools for connecting software applications that are deployed in different environments. iPaaS is often used by large business-to-business enterprises that need to integrate on-premises applications and data with cloud-based applications and data. (Read more)
iPaaS is the first step we took as an industry toward mass-managing hand-coded integrations and managing huge numbers of APIs. The solutions haven’t changed much–they still are software-led but highly service-heavy solutions.
But many organizations using incumbent IPaaS solutions are still stuck with messy APIs, expensive maintenance packages and ongoing issues with turning internal resources to fixing, updating and managing connections.
The likes of Jitterbit, Dell Boomi, Mulesoft and Software AG (Built.io) all offer solutions to help connect a wide variety of cloud-based and on-premise technologies. Despite most of these players appearing in analyst reports as leading solutions, Gartner predicts that up to two-thirds of iPaaS vendors will not survive by 2023.
One of the setbacks we have found in even the leading iPaaS solutions is that they are often branded and sold as a “hub,” where everything is managed from a centralized interface. However, behind the scenes, everything is still built upon “point-to-point” APIs, and every app uses its own set of rules and processes, which is no good.
Point-to-point APIs are just as fragile as they have always been. As a result, relying on traditional IPaaS significantly prevents your business from achieving any real agility, flexibility or scalability.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.