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Major integration PaaS (iPaaS) vendors can no longer differentiate themselves based on the variety of pre-built connectors and integration templates provided with their iPaaS offerings, and drag-and-drop and configuration-based integration flow development are common features. The standard iPaaS model for delivery of cloud integration capabilities is likely to be commoditized in the next three to four years, and it is therefore important that vendors target new user types and a broader set of integration use cases.

iPaaS vendors are focusing on driving greater developer productivity and less-skilled user enablement

In the past two years, several iPaaS vendors have added new features and capabilities or introduced new products to meet the requirements of less skilled, nontechnical users, such as LOB users. Several major iPaaS vendors have introduced consumer-grade UX to their iPaaS solutions to target this specific user type. In some cases (for example, TIBCO Simplr and Oracle Self-Service Integration), vendors have introduced a lightweight version of their iPaaS product to enable less skilled, nontechnical users to achieve integration with common SaaS applications and office productivity tools such as Salesforce CRM, Google Apps, and Marketo.

Another interesting trend is the way in which iPaaS solutions can be used to expose integration flows as REST APIs for use by different endpoints or applications, such as mobile applications. API-led integration is a key feature of most of the mature iPaaS solutions on the market, and some middleware vendors, such as MuleSoft and TIBCO, have added tools for rapid API creation and composition directly to the core iPaaS product. Other vendors, such as IBM, Oracle, and Dell Boomi, support tight integration between their iPaaS and API management solutions to facilitate API-led connectivity.

The next phase of iPaaS evolution, which we characterize as iPaaS 2.0, encompasses self-service and API-led integration capabilities driving developer productivity and enabling less skilled, nontechnical users to exploit pre-built connectors and integration templates and recipes for simpler use cases. iPaaS vendors are targeting different user types and offering self-service integration tools at lower price points to drive further adoption in enterprises. Enterprises already using iPaaS (via ICCs) will be inclined to adopt self-service integration tools for LOB users, and this represents a clear upsell/cross-sell opportunity for iPaaS vendors. Enterprises that are using self-service integration tools will find the value proposition of a full-fledged iPaaS solution attractive both for enterprise developers/integration practitioners and for less skilled, nontechnical users. In adopting iPaaS, there is no significant need for investment in reskilling or extensive training to enable users to develop integration flows connecting on-premises and SaaS applications.


Further reading

2018 Trends to Watch: Integration, IT0022-001091 (October 2017)


Saurabh Sharma, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions

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