So what are integrations? Imagine you are wanting to watch a movie downloaded onto your laptop. In order to watch the movie on your TV, you would need something to connect the two devices, like an HDMI cable. The cable, in this instance, is the integration method. The cable enables a connection from one device to another that previously was incapable of connecting. In a business context then, integrations connect your software to third-party applications so they can share data with each other. Integrations bridge the gap between old applications and new software. They allow you to keep your current system by adding connections to third-party systems that enhance functionality with additional features. They can be vital for businesses that want to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of technology as they grow and evolve.
There are many integrations that can be classified into different categories. Some offer multiple features while others offer a singular function. Integrations can help virtually every business and purpose. From startups to enterprises, there will be an integration that benefits you. If you sell software, you would ensure connections for your customers to use with your software and other applications they may use. This is because your software may not have every feature or function your customers need to run their business. So, by adding an integration you will get the best of both worlds for yourself and your customer.
How do integrations work exactly? Often integrations between two or more applications or systems are built on an API. API stands for “application programming interface”. An API is an interface that a software uses to receive information (whether that’s data, servers, applications, etc.). By building integrations on APIs you can connect your various software applications and use them in tandem with one another. This allows for the flow of information in real-time between devices.
Integrations and iPaaS Solution (Integration Platform as a Service) are similar in theory but operate very differently. While an integration is a one-to-one direct connection, an iPaaS solution functions as a middle man and is a cloud-based platform that connects your applications and systems. You are probably wondering what’s the point? Well, if you are searching the marketplace and can’t find the right integration you would turn to an iPaaS solution to solve that problem. For example, some of the popular ones are Zapier and Talend.
As businesses find their tech stacks grow ever larger, integrations will be vital to avoid timesinks and information silos between various platforms. Integrations will help reduce wasteful admin time spent copying information from one system to another, or constantly moving in and out of platforms to access the same data. Finding the right integration you need will save countless time which can be better spent driving value for your business instead.
If you’re looking to integrate your own tech stack, have a chat with us about which option might be best for your use case.