As more organizations strive to achieve true digital transformation, the need for secure integrations and easy-to-build automation is growing. As a result, companies are turning to integration and automation platforms with pre-built libraries of connectors to systems like Workday, Salesforce, Office365, Azure, the Active Directory and more; they are also looking for easy-to-build workflow solutions.
These integration and automation platforms are called iPaaS (integration platform as a service). With iPaaS, you can easily connect the systems you use daily, eliminating the need for risky APIs and point-to-point integrations. With a visual flow builder, resources can save time and money, quickly wiring up the automations.
However, it can be easy for anyone looking at the iPaaS market to become confused. To help, there are a few things to look for – first and foremost – is it easy to use? A codeless platform will allow users to ramp up and create automations quickly.
You will also want to be sure that the library of out-of-the-box connectors is there – and that if you need a new one, you can quickly get it created. Examples include popular systems like Adobe, Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Workday, etc.
Finally, the workflow builder should allow you to quickly visualize and build automation with a drag-and-drop builder. This type of codeless builder means IT resources within your organization can quickly build a new workflow that fits their needs. Here are some additional benefits to using a no-code iPaaS tool:
Increased productivity: Codeless iPaaS eliminates the need for developers to write custom integration code, which can save time and increase productivity.
Cost savings: Codeless iPaaS reduces the cost of integration by eliminating the need to hire developers or purchase expensive integration software.
Faster time-to-market: Codeless iPaaS allows organizations to quickly deploy new integrations and services, which can help them stay ahead of their competitors.
Scalability: Codeless iPaaS can scale to support the needs of any organization, from small businesses to large enterprises.
Easy to use: Codeless iPaaS platforms typically have a user-friendly interface that allows non-technical users to create and manage integrations.
Improved data quality: Codeless iPaaS can help ensure data accuracy and consistency by automating data mapping and transformation.
Greater agility: Codeless iPaaS allows organizations to quickly respond to changing business needs by enabling them to easily add or modify integrations as required.
Overall, codeless iPaaS can provide organizations with a flexible, cost-effective and efficient way to integrate their systems and applications, which can help improve productivity, reduce costs and achieve business objectives more effectively.
Benefits of Automation
By implementing an iPaaS tool within your organization, you can quickly realize these additional benefits:
- Cost-Effective: Piecing different solutions together is complex and costs businesses a fortune. Reportedly, poor integration costs large-scale businesses half a million dollars. On the other hand, iPaaS connects software and converges data into one convenient cloud-based location.
- Improved Communication: Businesses need to share data within their entire ecosystem to avoid any critical information from being lost. iPaaS ensures that everyone has easy access to data, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
- Less Human Error: iPaaS allows users to access a library of pre-built connectors, reducing errors that can happen when using APIs.
- Improved Security and Compliance: Security is easily one of the greatest concerns for a cloud-enabled solution. With the average cost of cyberattacks rising to $4.6 million per incident, a business has to be vigilant about its security more than ever. Advanced security and compliance features can be found in the TeamDynamix iPaaS solution including authentication through OpenID Connect, Active Directory, and OAuth; role-based access control (RBAC); GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA compliance; and advanced API logging capabilities.
- Greater Efficiency: By minimizing the delays, costs, and labor associated with connecting new apps, enterprise solutions can quickly respond to changing market needs.
You’ll only get the full value of digital transformation when your systems and data can fully connect.
Getting Started with Workflows
Because there are so many possibilities for automation and integration within an organization and across departments, it can be challenging to know where to start. We recommend analyzing your possibilities using these two perspectives. Both can help you identify the correct places to start.
- For the first perspective, look at the workflows or management activities that have the highest need for improvement. You can use a survey of key stakeholders to help uncover these needs and start with frequent tasks that can be streamlined with better system integration. Or maybe you need to create a central hub that automatically accesses the latest data from multiple systems.
- For the second perspective, you assess the potential rewards of accelerated integrations against their budget justification. Criteria for this assessment might include the ability to implement a much-needed new system because the associated integrations can be enabled quickly, for example.
Using either of these perspectives, you will be able to identify which workflows make the most sense for your organization’s immediate and long-term needs. Here are a few ways others are using iPaaS:
- Employee onboarding and offboarding
- User permissions management
- Name changes
- Consolidated information for a resident, client or business
- Automated reminders, alerts and notifications
- Information opt-out processing
- Screening emails and online forms for sensitive data
Wherever you start, it’s important to remember that you’ll only get the full value of a digital transformation when your systems and data can fully connect.
iPaaS in Action - Metropolitan State and Pima County
Metropolitan State University is one of seven universities within Minnesota state and one of 37 institutions (state colleges and universities) as a whole. As you can imagine, there is an abundance of data being collected and shared among these different groups, whether it be across different campuses or on the same campus. This structure caused a great need for a common integration platform and workflow engine.
Ben Deneen, Director of Enterprise Information and Application Services at the university, explains, “Every time something runs, I want all that information, I want the error logs, I want that all documented so that we can run as efficiently and effectively.”
The University chose TeamDynamix iPaaS to do just that.
For example, Deneen is using iPaaS to link up systems and manage security access to buildings and classrooms.
Using the information collected through the use of iPaaS, the security team can verify information and requests when it comes to opening buildings and classrooms using RFID technology for door access. When someone swipes their ID at a door, a workflow will bounce back to the security system to validate credentials. If the person is cleared, the door opens, and the security camera is prompted to record activity at the site so there is a record of who is going in and out.
And that’s just one example of how Metropolitan State is using TeamDynamix iPaaS.
“We were using a different iPaaS tool before and it took a lot of time to spin up and it became really expensive for what we were hoping to do with it,” Deneen said. “It was fine for connecting macro systems, but we couldn’t scale it the way we wanted.”
With TeamDynamix iPaaS, Deneen is not having the same issues. In fact, they’ve been able to move quickly with the new iPaaS tool and use it to integrate all their systems from their old ERP to Workday, Active Directory and more.
“We’re able to easily spin up these connections and make it turnkey so anyone can use it,” Deneen said.
And with so many campuses across the state of Minnesota, it’s been invaluable to be able to have a common integration platform and workflow engine with governance and tracking.
“People feel so much more empowered and have so much more worth when they are doing things that are intellectually rigorous and challenging versus when they are just repeating the same mechanical actions over and over and over with very little thought,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said.
“Our ITSM is our entry point to our entire IT organization, and we want our employees to graduate out of this area into other roles within our organization – network technicians, client services, desktop technicians, developers and project managers,” he continued. “If all they’re doing is handling tickets and doing the same mundane, manual tasks over and over that’s not particularly great training. So investing in tools that allow our employees to engage in meaningful work is something that’s important to us as an overall IT organization.”
With TeamDynamix now in place, Pima County is looking to automate and integrate as much of the manual ITSM processes into workflows as they can.
“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”
This post was originally posted in March 2021 and has been updated with new information.