iPaaS vs PaaS: What You Need to Know and More

The variety of software we use on a daily basis can seem endless and overwhelming. It is inevitable that the adoption of additional software, widgets and plugins will complement our core tools with business growth. This can quickly flood us into silos of data, disjointed information, additional expenses, and other issues that negatively affect the fluidity and efficiency of our business operations.

From using video conferencing software to conducting daily meetings to document management and CRM software, many tools are required to successfully manage daily business operations.

In fact, the average business uses 137 unique SaaS applications and incurs a total SaaS spend of $ 4.16 million per year.

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Fortunately, there is a standardized solution on the market and it comes in the form of iPaaS.

The Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) enables organizations to integrate disjointed systems, unifying independent applications to create a seamless internal and external experience. This is extremely difficult to achieve with the traditional SaaS (software as a service) implementation.

iPaaS vs. PaaS

Before we look at why you should implement iPaaS in your business process improvement strategy, it is helpful to discuss Platform as a Service (PaaS) first.

Despite their similar terminology, iPaaS and PaaS are completely different in terms of functionality.

What is PaaS?

PaaS is a cloud-based platform where organizations have a complete set of tools to develop, run, and manage their web-based applications. All the necessary hardware and software: the network, the servers, the operating system, the databases and the storage are housed in the provider’s infrastructure.

It is an effective solution to the restriction and expense of a local platform because it allows developers to spend more time on the creative aspects than on the laborious technicalities of building an infrastructure from scratch.

What is iPaaS?

iPaaS is a cloud-based integration solution that enables organizations to automate the integration of software applications, data, and services in local, public, and private cloud environments. A modern business iPaaS is typically billed at a monthly subscription fee or a pay-as-you-go fee. However, like PaaS, it offers a complete set of features for your specific integration goals.

iPaaS is a great add-on for companies using PaaS and SaaS. It provides users with the integration capabilities necessary to unite and optimize their different tools.

IPaaS benefits

In many cases, iPaaS offers the same benefits as PaaS, but does so on a broader scale. Here are some of the benefits of iPaaS.


Implementing an iPaaS solution allows for greater flexibility because you can adapt and innovate as your integration needs become more complex. Additionally, iPaaS supports hundreds of applications and infinite connections, allowing you to scale on demand without having to implement costly and restrictive third-party software.

Eliminate data silos

Of course, as your business expands and your data volume grows, data silos can become a serious problem. If your company is made up of separate systems, it may lack visibility between departments, negatively impacting the flow of internal efficiency and customer satisfaction.

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Implementing third-party integration software can result in further disruption as you acquire more segregated tools. However, using iPaaS in conjunction with collaboration software means that everything is integrated and managed from a centralized hub, allowing for a much more streamlined process across all departments.

Easy to use

In its simplest form, iPaaS requires little or no coding capabilities, which means that pressing problems can often be fixed without scaling. This reduces pressure on developers and is an ideal solution for citizen integrators.


Traditional custom integration methods such as Enterprise Services Business (ESB) and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) can be costly workarounds. iPaaS eliminates the need to employ multiple third-party tools in a model that is already complicated with software.

Multiple tenure capabilities

Generally, each tenant requires their own instance to connect to the software. For example, each person on a phone call or conference call requires their own connection. However, the iPaaS solution has multi-tenancy capabilities, which means that it creates shared instances and eliminates system overhead.


Accessing and managing all connections from a centralized hub is a great advantage of iPaaS, as it removes the restriction that individual departments are responsible for different connections.

Improve security and compliance

Inevitably, all cloud environments are at risk of security threats. However, iPaaS not only provides built-in fraud detectors and intrusion alerts, but the centralized system makes it much easier for businesses to identify and resolve these threats.

Real-time processing

With real-time data connections and processing speeds, iPaaS eliminates the possibility of access delays and up-to-date information in all departments.

Increased efficiency

Needless to say, iPaaS is vastly improved workplace productivity and efficiency. Not only is workflow optimized by automation and centralization, but real-time processing and ease of use make iPaaS an efficient solution for daily business operations.

IPaaS challenges

Despite all the benefits, the potential challenges of implementing iPaaS need to be addressed.

Higher risk of human error

As mentioned above, citizen integrators can use iPaaS successfully for integration purposes. However, the ease of use of iPaaS can be overestimated. Many integrations require specific technical knowledge that, if done incorrectly, can create islands of data and other issues that negatively impact the overall structure of operations.

Additionally, there are significant risks when it comes to data security and compliance.

Industries such as law, healthcare, and finance often work with many applications that handle sensitive data in the cloud (virtual fax applications are a good example of this). As a result, serious problems can arise when a user who is not well versed in regulatory compliance changes an iPaaS system.

In fact, it is the business users themselves who pose the greatest risk to cloud security.

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Fortunately, many modern iPaaS platforms come with built-in security and compliance capabilities, including SOC 2 Type 2 and GDPR.

Confusing variety of options

There are a large number of iPaaS providers on the market. Comparison and technology websites tend to list vendors that are hybrid ESB / iPaaS or completely traditional integration vendors (such as ELT) that have supplemented their solutions with SaaS connectivity.

Coupled with the fact that there is no universal set of entry-level features and functionality for iPaaS, trying to find the right provider for your specific needs can become a confusing and time-consuming task.

IPaaS Business Use Cases

iPaaS has a wide range of integrations to suit many different business models. Here are three common uses for iPaaS.

Data integration

Transferring and synchronizing data from one system to another is particularly beneficial for companies that handle large amounts of data between departments. Considering that this process used to occur in batches, iPaaS offers a time-efficient solution. For example, data obtained from call logs can be transferred in real time to other applications, streamlining customer service and eliminating frustrating data silos.

B2B integration

If you have a large number of third-party vendors or partners, iPaaS negates the need to write API-based code. It also allows you to securely monitor data flows and enable better security standards.

Application to application integration

iPaaS allows you to integrate independent applications, data, and systems, allowing them to work together on premises or in the cloud. Data can be collected from any integrated system and automatically delivered to an end-user platform.

To carry out

Determining the specific needs and goals of your organization is a crucial first step in implementing iPaaS. For example, whether you are concentrating on integrating internal business data for workflow efficiency or on integrating communication or CCaaS platforms to improve customer serviceIt is vital to identify where your data resides and whether those applications support integration.

As we deepen our reliance on the cloud and consistency within internal and external processes, iPaaS has become a staple in business operations.

Image credit: pixabay; pexels; Thank you!

Grace lau

Director of Growth Content

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Keyboard, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. He has more than 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, he is responsible for leading brand and editorial content strategies, partnering with the SEO and Ops teams to create and nurture the content. Here’s his LinkedIn.


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