- Integration in days. Integration appliances are plug-and-play devices so they enable companies to integrate in days, instead of weeks or months. This aligns with the rapid provisioning benefit of a SaaS application, as users can access critical business information quickly.
- Ease-of-use through configuration, not coding. Integration appliances are designed to complete integrations without the need to write any code. Simply plug in the appliance and configure the integrations. This mirrors the configuration experience of a SaaS solution.
- Low IT impact. An Integration Appliance does not require complex coordination or specialized IT skills to deploy. Ongoing management and maintenance of an appliance imposes minimal demands on IT due to their "lights-out management."
- Subscription pricing. They are offered with monthly subscription pricing plans. By eliminating upfront costs, integration appliances deliver the same type of economic benefits that led companies to choose SaaS solutions in the first place.
- Easy to change. An integration appliance allows IT to change connectivity endpoints, revise transformations and modify workflows using a point-and-click approach in a visual user interface. Easy changes mean integrations can be quickly updated to better serve the constantly evolving needs of the business.
Since integration appliances connect equally well to local and remote applications, the physical hardware can we hosted anywhere. With the remote management capability of integration appliances, customers can monitor, maintain and upgrade appliances in distributed geographic locations.
SaaS applications offer tremendous benefits including rapid implementations, ease-of-use, low IT requirements, subscription pricing and ease of maintenance. As SaaS adoption increases, the integration of SaaS and back-end applications is critical.
It's clear that IT environments will include a mix of SaaS and on-premise applications for a long time to come and that companies will select various combinations of these systems to maintain true differentiation and be responsive to the needs of the business.
To realize the full benefit of SaaS applications, integration must be dramatically simplified. Companies need a solution that can run anywhere, connect applications anywhere, be managed from anywhere and require no specialist integration skills or IT infrastructure. These solutions must be easily configurable, flexible and scalable — which means no coding. And, the integration solution must implement projects within days, not weeks or months.
Fortunately, integration appliances provide these benefits today. By taking advantage of the simplicity of these appliances, companies can obtain the full benefits of their SaaS applications faster than ever before.
About the Author: Simon Peel is senior vice president of Marketing and Strategy at Cast Iron Systems. He has more than 20 years experience in strategy, product management and marketing of enterprise-level solutions. www.castiron.com.