Updated on by Hayley Brown
SaaS integrations are somewhat of a requirement within modern software and tech companies, but in the process of implementing integrations there can be a number of challenges thrown up.
Why is SaaS integration hard?
Firstly, the methods to implement SaaS integrations can be difficult and costly, especially the likes of ETL (Extract, Transform, Load). These methods can result in a loss of revenue and productivity due to the time and expertise needed to implement the ETL method.
Other methods becoming more widely used are IaaS (Integration as a Service), iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) and embedded iPaaS. These are external integration providers that help you build and deploy your own SaaS integrations for your organisation, or enhance your product for your customers to use.
Secondly, if the data transformation isn’t done correctly this can have a knock-on effect. For instance, data isn’t in the correct place at the right time for different teams, or data is siloed in different systems and not correctly communicating with each other.
Performing data transformation takes time so it is important to expect this and account for it. Otherwise if done incorrectly it can result in lost revenue, productivity and morale.
To ensure the process is handled and done correctly it is important to thoroughly research, vet and understand the integration solution you are going to implement. Don’t just rely on one method and be open to the process happening in stages rather than all at once.
Security is always a challenge, especially when trying to keep company data secure. When implementing SaaS integrations they must be able to implement multi-layered security controls. As well as maintaining security levels or improving them if the organisation is switching from on-premise to cloud-based as part of their digital transformation strategy.
Prior to implementing and ensuring secure integration processes an authentication protocol is typically agreed upon prior to implementation. In doing this there will be finer control on access, data will be encrypted and meet the latest security protocols.
Ultimately a lack of knowledge can really hinder the SaaS integration process due to the lack of skilled staff to develop and maintain integrations. Integrating with multiple SaaS vendors can expand an organisation’s digital environment, but it can get complicated very quickly.
Ways to Minimise these Challenges
To help implement SaaS integration and minimise the challenges you can:
- Understand your integration needs and how they can help your digital strategy
- Research integration methods and vendors to figure out what is best for your organisation, then thoroughly vet them
- Scope and estimate the time scale of the project but be flexible
- Plan and factor in contingencies to follow
- Get everyone on the same page by updating teams and informing them about what is required
- Keep track of your progress
The challenges of SaaS integration shouldn’t be underestimated, but organisations shouldn’t be deterred by them. By finding the right method and integration provider organisations can set themselves up for integration success seamlessly. They’ll be able to navigate the integration landscape and expand their product to improve their competitive advantage and their strengths.