How iPaaS Is Changing Enterprise Integration

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    Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is making headway as a more mainstream enterprise solution, according to marketing research firm Ovum.

    The firm’s new report, “Ovum’s Decision Matrix: Selecting an Integration PaaS (iPaaS) Solution, 2015-2016,” ranks nine iPaaS vendors by technology assessment, market impact and execution. Informatica and Microsoft opted not to participate.

    Ovum discovered that iPaaS is gaining acceptance and broader adoption in the enterprise. Of the nine vendors featured, six have already supported enterprise-scale integration initiatives involving three or more use cases.

    Two factors are driving enterprise acceptance, according to Ovum. Originally, lines of business introduced iPaaS, often adopting it without IT’s involvement. Once IT became familiar with iPaaS, though, IT itself began to deploy iPaaS in other portions of the enterprise. Another significant force behind enterprise adoption is the iPaaS vendors themselves, who have evolved the solution by adding capabilities such as B2B integration and API management. The maturity of those capabilities does vary among vendors, so if you’re interested in API management or B2B, you’ll want to read page five of the report for specifics.

    New use cases are still emerging for iPaaS in the enterprise. For instance, iPaaS is now used to expose on-premises or SaaS application data as APIs for mobile applications, the firm notes.

    What can we expect from iPaaS vendors in the immediate future? Ovum reports that iPaaS vendors are working to support “near real-time” integration for “data-intensive integration scenarios,” which suggests streaming data (dare I think IoT?). Also, you’ll no doubt be hearing more about on-premises deployment of runtime engines, which some iPaaS already support. This makes it possible to support on-premises-to-on-premises integration. 

    “This is particularly important for mitigating data security and privacy concerns regarding the use of iPaaS for enterprise application integration (EAI)-type scenarios,” Ovum adds.


    There is one odd political side effect of iPaaS adoption, though.

    “The role of an ICC is undergoing a significant change, with LOBs more aggressive in moving ahead with the adoption of agile approaches to integration to cater for the requirements of business-critical initiatives,” the report notes. “iPaaS has benefited from this change, which signifies a strategic shift in enterprises’ integration strategy.”

    Ovum’s rankings involve three charts to show each criteria, which makes it a bit tricky to compare the rankings to similar reports such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service or Forrester’s Wave™: Hybrid2 Integration. When it comes to the overall technology assessment score, though, Dell, Boomi, IBM, MuleSoft and SnapLogic emerge as leaders.

    Ovum clients can view the full report from the firm’s site, of course. You can also find a partial version available as a free download from some of the vendors mentioned in the report, but be forewarned: It’s only the first 10 pages plus the SWOT analysis for that particular vendor. I downloaded my copy from SnapLogic and Boomi.

    Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.

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