By David Irecki
Director of Solution Consulting for Asia Pacific & Japan, Boomi
Driving innovation through data is essential to businesses. According to an ADB report, this is instrumental to delivering personalized responses and breaking through to customers, employees and partners. However, amid ever-increasing datasets, processes are at risk of complexities without effective integration.
The truth is, while making sense of information can be tricky, there already exist solutions that make these advantages attainable for Southeast Asian organizations to navigate digital transformation successfully.
The exponential growth of datasets has resulted in data and data sources that are squirreled away in increasing numbers, as local organizations implement more and more applications not designed for enterprise-wide use. Organizations are also increasingly constricted by data governance and privacy requirements, which fall in the remit of IT pros and not the everyday users who desperately need quick access to it.
All these challenges can be quite daunting for enterprises, complicated further by the need to meet evolving customer expectations. Today, customers expect 24-7 uptime, all-encompassing security, business consistency, and truthful information which raises the pressure on businesses to heed this call. But organizations have yet to fully capitalize on the value of data for more informed decision-making, operational efficiencies, and personalized systems of engagement with customers, partners and employees too.
Data Management with iPaaS
For organizations that want to survive and thrive in the era of big data, an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a critical component for successful data management. With Southeast Asia’s burgeoning industrialization and bustling manufacturing sector, adoption of iPaaS is crucial in helping businesses create the seamless and connected experiences end users now demand.
A study by Constellation Research revealed market leaders which transform and disrupt industries do so through technological innovation. Businesses that can harness data can gain the same insights and act quickly to gain a first-mover advantage and run parallel with emerging trends.
In the present business environment, speed and agility are everything, and iPaaS systems, through fast data and application integrations have helped businesses move into the cloud and get rid of technological barriers.
When it comes to choosing the right iPaaS, there are five key considerations to support long-term strategic connectivity and automation.
1) Cloud Application and API-centric Integration Capabilities
Before businesses can make the most from their iPaaS system, they must first be in the cloud. Unfortunately, Asia Pacific (APAC) is still lagging behind in this area, with regulatory conditions and slower market maturity diminishing cloud growth. Yet, for early adopters, massive digital advantages are available for leverage. With the cloud’s growing prevalence, defining integration around cloud-based apps, APIs, and cloud architecture ensures those systems continue to stay nimble and offer the necessary granularity.
2) Strong Data Integration and Governance Features
iPaaS systems that support integration through drag-and-drop or point-and-click functionality of trusted and secure software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications help businesses stay true to their purpose and prevent disruptions that break core functionality.
3) Workflow and Automation Features
The 2020 pandemic forced businesses to shift to a hybrid workplace, even as internet penetration in Asia climbed from 55.1 percent in 2020 to 64.1 percent in 2021. Consequently, businesses became hugely interested in the integration of IT applications and services to support a cloud workplace. That is why a platform should go beyond integration to support end-to-end data processes and the automation of manual repetitive tasks.
4) AI and Augmentation to Speed and Ease Integration
Today, AI provides businesses with the leverage to manage massive amounts of data in a rapidly changing environment without discrimination. As AI can ingest more data than humanly possible, it facilitates the methodical collection and filtration of information into actionable business outcomes. As such, businesses should seek an iPaaS that incorporates technology and improvements from every prior developer and will guide the business in integration-building. The question for CIOs is ‘Does your platform offer data management and analysis with an AI that outputs recommended integrations and workflow developments, while understanding natural language from users?’
5) Solid Customer References
Businesses today need to move at the speed of life not only in vertical markets but horizontal ones too. An iPaaS provides organizations the flexibility to meet these challenges. By talking with the existing customers of iPaaS vendors, businesses can gain insight into how those solutions can help tackle existing problems. Getting feedback on a potential vendor’s support, responsiveness and attitude during service requests, helps business owners understand the capabilities and limitations of those providers.
Smart Connectivity and Intelligent Automation in A Platform
A unified platform does more than just integrate your business systems. It empowers businesses to initiate interactions with trading partners efficiently, while intelligently discovering and managing your data seamlessly, transforming workflows from siloed to frictionless, so that organizations are hyper-connected and gain valuable, actionable insights.
As businesses plan for the hybrid and multi-cloud business approach, CIOs need to think about their integration needs – present and future. Consideration for data and application integration is not enough; it also requires stakeholders to familiarize themselves and experiment to fine-tune and go with best-fit iPaaS tools.
To fully capitalize on data and gain actionable insights, local businesses need streamlined solutions that enable informed decision-making, seamless workflows and end-user personalization. While it is tempting to view iPaaS as a short-term path to achieving this, business growth – spurred by digitalization – will inevitably lead to software ecosystem complexities. On the other hand, a long-term perspective empowers firms to maximize returns on investment when they implement new systems, without slowing down daily operations.