The importance of integration technology for pandemic recovery

automation iot machine learning process ai artificial intelligence by zapp2photo getty
Zapp2Photo / Getty Images

The pandemic created many challenges for organisations’ IT departments. Supporting and securing an almost overnight shift to remote working was the most pressing, and most high profile challenge, but there were many others.

Any organisation providing goods to the consumer market had to gear up to meet a huge surge in online shopping, beefing up all the IT resources needed to support this.

At the same time they had to try and keep costs under control — never easy when things are being done in a hurry — and provide support for internal resources struggling to cope with the new normal. For example, delivering the reporting and data for the rapid decision-making needed to respond to rapid market changes.

This led to increased appreciation of the benefits of business transformation, process automation and advanced IT infrastructure, and of the need to integrate all aspects of IT to enable IT to meet business and evolving customer needs, and reduce time to market for new products and services.

According to integration automation company Jitterbit, during the pandemic “The only way for many companies to keep serving their customers was to fully embrace integration technology and greater automation.”

Achieving this integration is a challenge in itself and this is where integration technology, or integration automation, comes into play. Integration technology embraces the tools and techniques to facilitate these integrations.

This brandpost will explore integration automation and the need for it. It will introduce the concepts of API integration and enterprise integration platform as a service to help organisations achieve IT integration and the business benefits that flow from it.

Integration technology introduced and explained

Information silos are the Achille’s heel in any modern business. Organisations are faced with ever-increasing application choices. There are more than 150,000 SaaS applications worldwide, and 4,300+ AI solutions.

IT teams are tasked with managing the data that flows between these applications: social sites, mobile apps, IoT, analytics, data lakes and more.

Research shows the businesses that win are the ones most able to make data-led decisions. This means eliminating data silos to understand market patterns and buyer behaviour, combining sales data, machine data, financial information, supply chain data.

The applications that generate this data must be integrated if maximum value is to be gained from the data. Such is the challenge that integration automation with integration technology is the only viable solution.

Respondents to a 2021 survey of more than 100 organisations of all sizes using Salesforce cited integration as imperative to deliver a better customer experience, make their systems easier to use, scalable and cost-effective.

However, despite this recognised importance of integration, achievement remains low. Less than 20 percent of organisations surveyed had achieved an advanced stage of integration maturity, and among companies with less than 500 people the figure was only five percent.

Need for automated API integration

Any exchange of data between different applications requires an application programming interface (API). Deploying and managing a few APIs is straightforward, but most organisations need to exchange data between hundreds or even thousands of applications.

Managing these multiple APIs is a challenging and complex task. API integration is an umbrella term that covers everything — skills, procedures, technologies — needed to implement and maintain multiple APIs.

An integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) makes it easy to realise API integration. It enables and organisation to connect different applications, databases and systems without needing to make modifications to them, without forcing a single standard onto IT and development teams, and without disrupting infrastructure or workflows.

To realistically achieve the level of application integration needed for maximum efficiency, automation is necessary. It relieves an IT team from having to manage integrations manually.

However not all iPaaS can provide this. Some require highly trained IT staff to code and configure them from scratch: time and budget must be allocated. However, an iPaaS  based on a low-code/no-code platform enables non-technical business and admin users to create integrations themselves, based on their intimate knowledge of business requirements, relieving the IT team of task.

A successful iPaaS installation can result in increased productivity, higher rates of production, higher-quality customer service, and the efficient use of materials.

Over the last decade, investments in API integration have grown, with a particular emphasis placed on eliminating data silos to create a 360-degree view of the customer. In 2020, the iPaaS market grew by 38 percent to reach $US3.5 billion to become the largest stand-alone integration market.

A best of breed integration solution will have the flexibility and scalability to support rapid growth and rapidly changing demands, allowing the organisation to focus its resources on new products and services and business expansion.

Introduction Jitterbit

Jitterbit, the API transformation company, enables businesses to quickly and easily exploit data from any source, to rapidly innovate and make faster, more effective decisions. They can connect SaaS, on-premise, and cloud applications and data to bring new offerings to market in days rather than months.

Jitterbit can also provide advice from its team of experts to enable customers to accelerate their business transformation and innovation. Jitterbit is used by more than 2000 organisations around the world.

To learn more about Jitterbit and how it can help you with application integration visit why jitterbit? Or contact salesau@jitterbit.com.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.