The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is an increasingly common cloud computing option for delivering enterprise applications. Whether its email and social collaboration, or customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and human resources management (HRM), odds are high that your business is using at least one – and probably multiple – SaaS solutions.
While leveraging the flexibility, scalability, and cost controls that SaaS solutions provide, the companies that take full advantage of their cloud applications are the ones that have flexible, scalable, cost-controlled SaaS integration software in place. Companies must be able to exchange data with their customers efficiently, and that’s especially true for SaaS providers themselves, who must support a growing roster of protocols and connectivity requirements as their customer bases grow.
Given the proliferation of SaaS solutions, cloud services, and the need for traditional on-premise applications and systems, integration has never been more critical than it is in today’s modern enterprise. But traditional one-off integrations lead to complex data processing challenges and cumbersome maintenance workflows. The ecosystem-driven integration approach, however, meets these SaaS integration challenges head-on.
Complex Integrations Come with Complex Problems
Enterprise SaaS integration is a moving target for many organizations. Connecting SaaS technologies and cloud data one at a time can be expensive and time-consuming, and some businesses lack the skilled IT staff to maintain each integration. Additionally, enterprises must integrate multiple SaaS solutions from multiple vendors with a number of internal systems and applications, and these expanding digital environments can get awfully complicated awfully quickly.
Some of the most common problems enterprises face when trying to execute SaaS app integration in real time include:
- Transformation of data from one system to the other, i.e. on-premise to cloud
Companies that want to experience all that cloud applications have to offer must first ensure they perform due diligence on how their data will be synchronized and integrated between their on-premise environment and the cloud. This requires data transformation tools to convert important data into a format that’s accepted by your systems to support hybrid IT environments.
- Lack of control, security
Using SaaS and other cloud-based services often means companies give up a certain amount of data control to a third-party vendor. They’re also trusting the SaaS or cloud vendor to secure the data, and without a proper integration solution that can govern data flows and protect sensitive information, access management and data privacy will be consistent business concerns.
- Incomplete solutions
Unfortunately for many enterprises, many SaaS vendors don’t offer a complete integration solution to their customers. Because cloud providers have an API to exchange information, it is often assumed that app integration capabilities come with it, and that the API can provide all the connectivity and data integration features a business would need. However, cloud APIs are often proprietary and complicated, and they certainly don’t equate “integration.”
- Improper connections
When you are dealing with a vast and complex ecosystem spanning hundreds of applications both on-premise and in the cloud, it is imperative to have the proper connections in place. Because data comes in many forms and sizes and may have to adhere to numerous compliance mandates, these connections must be able to accommodate secure data interactions across various protocols and between on-premise and cloud systems.
Create Strategic and Easily Sustainable Integrations
Instead of integrating all the systems and applications under the sun, it makes more business sense to focus on creating strategic and easily sustainable integrations that are key to revenue-driving activities within your organizations. And these often include the SaaS applications within every department across the enterprise.
The ability to conduct business with other businesses – B2B – is the heart and soul of revenue for many organizations, and traditional, API-led SaaS integration with little B2B consideration is not ideal. Instead, elegant SaaS ecosystem integration integrates your applicational data flows with your B2B processes, whether they are on-premise or in the cloud. Enterprises that can support fast and reliable information exchanges to and from customers and trading partners are just easier to do business with.
For SaaS providers, the ability to embed integration services within the offerings and enable data exchange between their on-premise environment and their customers is a competitive differentiator. These embedded integration platforms provide frictionless data movement between a SaaS or data-centric service business and its customers, which in turn helps to greatly improve those services and deliver more business value to customers.
An Integration Platform Up to the Challenge
So, with all challenges involved with SaaS integration, it’s easy to get discouraged and save the time and resources required to right the ship. But integration doesn’t have to be complex when you have a trusted solution that provides the data movement and integration capabilities that support SaaS integration.
An elastic, scalable, and API-enabled platform supporting all multi-enterprise, collaboration, and cloud integration usage patterns, Cleo Integration Cloud provides the tools to easily handle the data processing and transaction peaks that enable SaaS integration. This elastic and scalable platform also embeds into the SaaS provider’s environment to enable secure exchange of data with customers – no matter what format, protocol, and data size you need to accommodate.
A modern cloud integration platform, Cleo Integration Cloud eliminates the complexity of end-to-end integration and seamlessly connects B2B flows, applications, and data across entire ecosystems. It also comes packaged with any-to-any data transformation capabilities, 1,500+ preconfigured connections, and out-of-the-box support for up to 20 industry-standard protocols to execute your SaaS integration initiatives faster.