Why Business Process Automation is the Next Evolution for iPaaS
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations were already adding new cloud applications to their tech stacks to scale and keep up with customer demand. Blissfully found in its 2020 SaaS Trends report that overall spend per company on SaaS products was up 50% compared to 2018, and the number of unique applications used per company was up about 30% year over year.
Then, COVID-19 forced accelerated digital transformation on a worldwide scale. According to a 2020 McKinsey Global Survey of executives, companies have accelerated the digitization of their internal operations and customer and supply-chain interactions by three to four years.
Enterprises that quickly adopted new technology and updated their processes managed to survive or even thrive in spite of the pandemic. By finding other revenue sources, offering new products, forming different kinds of customer relationships, or taking advantage of changing market dynamics, they left behind the competitors that clung to the familiar past.
These two transformative forces – the rise of the cloud model and a global pandemic – have also impacted the Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) space. Simply connecting one application to another is not enough. Just like enterprises across all industries needed to innovate during this new era, iPaaS providers must evolve by enabling companies to automate their business processes end-to-end.
The Challenges of SaaS Sprawl and Data Silos
With the abundance of SaaS applications available, many companies have taken advantage of them to fundamentally change the way they do business, how they operate, and how they interact with their customers. There’s a SaaS application for just about any business function that you can imagine, and they are typically easy to deploy and use by various teams.
However, increased SaaS app usage also creates a SaaS sprawl with data silos, where information is trapped inside those individual applications. A typical business process, such as Quote-to-Cash or Order-to-Cash, spans across multiple applications, departments, and teams. Silos make data more inaccessible to everyone involved in the business process, preventing them from obtaining accurate visibility to make informed, strategic decisions.
A lack of integration also causes employees to resort to manual data re-entry, switching back and forth between multiple applications, and other inefficiencies. When a company is stuck with inflexible processes, they cannot be agile enough to quickly identify and adapt to changing tastes, economic conditions, new threats, and new market opportunities.
The Reimagined Value of iPaaS
To address these challenges, an iPaaS provides a centralized platform. However, the right iPaaS does more than streamline data between applications.
As Celigo’s CTO Scott Henderson described in a recent VMblog article, “iPaaS is a mandatory tool for enterprise businesses because it standardizes the way integrations can be built and managed. Organizations that use iPaaS to connect their apps and automate the business processes across those apps, can remove mundane, error-prone tasks and free up their teams to focus on what they do best.”
These days, automation paired with an integration strategy is more critical for businesses across all industries than ever before. This goes beyond simple point-to-point integrations that focus on a narrow problem and lack the level of customization necessary for adapting to an organization’s long-term needs. True automation spans multiple applications, processes, and departments and ensures the processes are not just automated, but automated in the most optimal way.
Additionally, it is important to strike a balance between automations that are easy to deploy and can be implemented by teams other than IT, while also allowing IT to have oversight of the automations. This enables those who are most familiar with the processes to be able to build and deploy their own automations while still providing a level of centralized control by the IT department.
Celigo’s Business Process Automation Products
For this changing business landscape, Celigo recently announced the availability of the first and only business process automations that can integrate multiple cloud-based applications to a central hub application.
This one-to-many automation approach will allow companies to quickly automate an entire business process by integrating all of the required applications into a single, cohesive flow. By applying best practices through embedded business logic, artificial intelligence, and past learnings, these new products eliminate repetitive tasks, ensure data integrity, and enable end-to-end process automation.
Also, these pre-built integrations eliminate the need for heavy technical resources while allowing IT to still have oversight. With these new products, IT and non-IT users alike can quickly automate an entire business process by integrating all of the required applications into a single, cohesive flow.
While other iPaaS providers claim to automate complex workflows, Celigo’s development aligns with the vision of what a true iPaaS provides: completely connected and optimally automated processes across the organization.