The business case for cloud-based applications, or SaaS, does not end with subscribing to one. In fact, it begins there! Once you have subscribed to a SaaS application, you need to figure out how to use and integrate the application with your existing processes and software. This part of the equation is turning out to be a major problem for most businesses.
Integrating data between applications will grow as a major pain point
According to a poll of IT executives and CIOs, by Dimensional Research, 67 percent reported issues integrating data between applications. In fact, according to the study, most concerns around SaaS data relate to the fact that it will be trapped in silos, lack of integration options, and not be able to provide business users with the big picture or detailed analytics.
Surprised? You are not the only one.
With their infrastructure and cost requirements, integration problems are generally associated with on-premise software. Custom point-to-point integrations between software systems have been around for years. Apart from the high expertise and infrastructure costs associated with such integrations, on-premise software integrations also suffer from another, important drawback: complexity.
According to the authors of a report from the Arizona State University, the number of integration bridges grows exponentially by a factor of N(N-1), where N is the number of systems being integrated. Thus, the more the number of systems being integrated, the greater the complexity in connecting them together.
Considering that they use a relatively less number of applications as compared to large organizations, most small businesses might shrug at these numbers. Statistics, however, deflate these complacency. At last count, the SaaS market was expected to exceed $14 billion in 2014. A large part of this burgeoning market is made up of small businesses , who find the value proposition of cheap and effective software compelling.
As small businesses discover the convenience of SaaS and user adoption rates spiral, corresponding software complexity will also grow. This is because small business applications will migrate from using SaaS applications for individual tasks to integrating them into their business processes. When that happens, SaaS integration will become important.
Benefits of Cloud Apps Integration
Perhaps, the greatest benefits of SaaS integration lies in achieving economies of scale. Traditional systems architecture follows a monolithic silo-centric aesthetic with multiple systems from different departments integrated to exchange data and information. Different units within the organization manipulate information and product to form a cohesive process.
SaaS integration disrupts this foundation by allowing a policy of convenience and choice through interoperability. It enables conversations and integration in new and exciting ways. For example, you can choose to integrate productivity applications with your marketing applications. In simple words, it enables you to think differently about your business. Finally, SaaS integration reduces infrastructure and programming costs and simplifies systems architecture complexity.
Integration as a Service
Integration may sound like a complex and confusing term. Here, at Cloudwork, we are focused on making the task easy for you. In this blog, we will focus on Integration-as-a-Service as an emergent trend. As the name denotes, IaaS follows a business model that is similar to SaaS. In the next few weeks, we will discuss possible SaaS integration approaches and feature use case scenarios.