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Key Criteria for Evaluating iPaaS Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. iPaaS Solutions Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take

1. Summary

Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) solutions help organizations connect diverse applications, services, APIs, and data sources across on-premises and cloud environments. These solutions have evolved gradually to support the requirements of API lifecycle management, data integration, master data management (MDM), B2B/electronic data interchange (EDI) integration, and mobile app/backend integration. iPaaS solutions were born out of the need to integrate SaaS applications and tackle the increasing heterogeneity of enterprise application portfolios and data sources. The most common iPaaS use cases include on-premises-to-Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), SaaS-to-SaaS, and on-premises-to-on-premises integration.

Digital business requires organizations to invest in flexible integration capabilities. The center-of-gravity hypothesis applies to integration architecture, as is evident from a greater inclination to deploy integration platforms closer to applications and data sources.

Contrary to popular belief, greater overall agility and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) are driving a strategic shift toward agile approaches to integration, including iPaaS solutions. The iPaaS market has enjoyed high double-digit growth rates for the last four to five years, and we expect this growth trend to continue.

Traditional integration approaches, including enterprise service bus (ESB)/service-oriented architecture (SOA), enterprise application integration (EAI), and custom-code development proved to be ill-suited for meeting a range of hybrid integration scenarios in an agile manner. Given the increasing need for organizations to do more with less, integration centers of excellence (COEs) have embraced agile approaches to integration and it is not uncommon to see line-of-business (LOB)-led iPaaS adoption.

However, iPaaS adoption in organizations faces its fair share of roadblocks as well. One issue is the inertia characteristic of integration practitioners that have qualms about reskilling and the prospect of redundancy with the solutions and the integration skills they have developed over the years. As integration is still managed predominantly by practitioners, IT leaders must consider “ease of use” for both practitioners and less skilled, non-technical users (e.g., citizen integrators) when selecting an iPaaS solution.

In this key criteria report, we focus on evaluation criteria that are important for enterprise/solution/integration architects, integration competency center (ICC)/integration COE directors, and LOB leaders when selecting an iPaaS solution. Certain criteria refer to standard, expected features and capabilities, while others look at the differentiating value offered by iPaaS solutions.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.