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9-step checklist: Choosing the right SaaS integration platform

There is no doubt that there are simple tools out there for comparing the SaaS integration solution (iPaaS) market. Many business leaders turn to analysts for the answers.

But these reports only give you small snap shot of the opportunities ahead, and they also don’t always consider the most forward-thinking views, often held by the most progressive people within the analyst organisations.

For example, despite providing a yearly and detailed magic quadrant for IPaaS, Gartner also suggests that two-thirds of IPaaS will be out of business in less than 5 years. So, you have to be very careful that you not siding with an incumbent player now… and setting yourself up for a fall.

What do you miss by focusing on analyst reports alone?

Emerging markets, and fast paced SaaS providers. These are the areas to be looking in if you want to side with a next generation IPaaS provider. Here at ONEiO we are committed to always being at the front of this race, and always staying a great distance ahead of what the incumbent IPaaS vendors can achieve.

But making great decision around integration solutions, isn’t just about looking for innovative software, it’s about you and your approach too. When advising our own new or prospective customers, we always take them through a concise checklist, which gives them a 100x improved chance of success.

Here’s how we do it: 

1. ‘Start where you are’

For those dedicated ITSM practitioners amongst you… yes, this is an ITIL guiding principle. We like it because it reminds organisations to take more honest appraisals of their current capabilities, before forcing themselves into a space they are not ready for. It can sometimes seem over-simplistic or even patronising to stress this. But the reality is more often than not, businesses make assumptions about their current maturity, and then make unsuitable decisions about solutions as a result.

2. Existing tools

“We are going to be replacing our CRM soon, so we need to choose an integration platform that will suit those needs” … Again, we often see businesses make decisions about their integration solution based upon other tools and software they would like to have in place in the future. You MUST base your decisions on existing software. The most-modern and latest generation of IPaaS software make it easy to change and scale your tools. So instead, you want to prioritise an integration approach that will make instantly improve and mature your use of software. 

3. People and process

Getting technology right is indeed important. However, the single BIGGEST reason larger integration projects fail is because IT leaders forget to appreciate and plan for the people and process elements of their integrations. Successful integrations are held together by collaboration, communication and transparency across teams. The technology just enables the new ways you have chosen to work. So, if you haven’t created a good way of working… the technology will just act as an obstacle to any desired progress and innovation.

4. The vision

Having a clear view on what integration is going to help you achieve as a business is key. Traditionally speaking, integration has been quite an insular body of work within the IT team, with objectives often relating to how well specific technologies will perform. Modern integration has to focus on improving business capabilities such as collaboration, knowledge, revenue and customer retention. These are all very possible and appropriate goals for organisations who can see software integration as something that can influence and be leveraged by, every area of the business.

5. Speak to your peers

It’s a simple one, but if you are well connected to other people in similar roles to you, talk to them. learning what didn’t work for them is often just as useful as finding out what did. Of course, everyone experience of a tool or provider will be different but collecting data and evidence first hand from your peers is highly valuable.

One really important question to ask your peers when discussing their integration choices is whether they think their integration has had a positive impact on productivity. This is important because we often come across organisations who are ‘happy’ with the integrations. However, the added complexity around the technology they are using is now taking up more system-administration time than before, due to the constant need for changes, tests and repairs.

6. Speak to multiple Service Providers

Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) often partner with innovative integration platforms in order to provide the most compelling and competitive services. Engaging with multiple providers in order to compare and assess the options available to you is a great method of both learning a lot and quickly getting to nub of the cost involved in achieving your goals.

7. Speak to us!

At ONEiO, we are some the world’s smartest and innovative integration specialists. We are constantly pushing ourselves to the cutting edge of what is possible, and we love to learn from and share with out industry.

You can get in touch with us anytime, to explore your ideas, challenges and goals for service integration. Whether it be to ask advice on specific platform or get feedback on your strategy and vision. We’d love to talk to you! 

8. Think big, start small, scale quick

Finally, modern integration is all about make short bursts of high impact work. We don’t treat integration as projects anymore, but instead and continual and iterative improvements. Our approach within ONEiO allows you to roll out integrations one or even one-hundred at a time.

However, we always encourage our customers to treat their integration ecosystem as something to be nurtured and improved overtime. Always making sure that each change and improvement creates the value, agility and connectivity your business needs to succeed.

Read more: The now and future of integration platforms

9. Learn more about ONEiO

ONEiO is a cloud-native integration service provider connecting people, processes, and tools – enabling seamless collaboration without traditional integration hassle. 

With ONEiO, all your tools, people and processes connecting and collaborating, using the world’s most effective software integration automation solution.