An iPaaS Designed for Business Continuity: Keeping Your Mission-Critical Operations Up and Running

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for operational resilience in the wake of unexpected business disruptions. IT leaders have been busy reviewing their business processes and technology stacks to make sure they support one of the central mandates of executive leadership: business continuity. For many of these leaders, cloud services like integration platform as a service (iPaaS) are key to their strategic business continuity plans.

Why is business continuity a big deal?

It is critical for businesses to have a blueprint to keep operations running in the event of disaster or disruption. Without one, businesses risk loss of revenue, negative impact on brand reputation, loss of critical data, breakdown of processes, and sometimes much worse – business failure.

Disruptions can come in many forms, such as natural disasters, cyber attacks, human error, and – as we are now learning – pandemics. You don’t want any of these events to be the black swan that temporarily or permanently halts your operations.

There are many real-world examples of major organizations being disrupted because they lacked a fool-proof business continuity plan. Recently, the city of Atlanta saw major city services disrupted because of a ransomware attack. In another case, a large law firm lost access to confidential client information and business data during hurricane Katrina. No business is impervious.

A comprehensive business continuity strategy should consider everything from processes and people to platforms and IT systems. The platforms aspect – especially data and application integration platforms – is critical since an integrated enterprise is critical to your digital business.

What has integration got to do with business continuity, and why iPaaS?

Integration is a critical component of your digital transformation initiatives, which support business continuity.

Take for example the employee onboarding process. In the past, it might have been a manual, lengthy, and error-prone task that required manual data entry into various disparate and siloed systems, increasing the risk of failure. With real-time integration across systems and process automation, the entire onboarding process can be reduced to a fraction of the time. And thanks to the elimination of manual entry, the process can be completed without errors. New hires are automatically onboarded and business continuity is maintained.

Another example is in the complex supply chain world. Businesses like Amazon have complex multi-echelon supply chains consisting of multiple partners, workflows, and systems. When supply chain processes are integrated and automated, they can operate with  minimal manual intervention across back-end and partner systems. Everything just works, business runs as usual, and integration is one of the key reasons why.

For IT teams, iPaaS eliminates the burden of costly development and upkeep that they face if they choose to hand code integration scripts. In recent years, iPaaS has emerged as the de facto way of designing efficient data and application integration. Compared to costly hand coding, it requires little maintenance and provides out-of-the-box connectivity to a wide array of systems and applications. 

7 key Informatica iPaaS capabilities that enable your business continuity

The right iPaaS solution can help streamline and automate integration across multiple systems while eliminating errors and costly maintenance – a fact that itself can enhance IT’s business continuity posture. Informatica has been hard at work adding and improving features to Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) – the industry’s leading iPaaS. One area where we have made significant investments in our latest release relates to features and capabilities that support business continuity. Here are some examples:

  1. Increased intelligence and automation for 24×7 operations: Whether it be runtime autoscaling to handle different size workloads, or the ability to automatically block requests/responses that contain sensitive data, enhanced intelligence and automation help ensure smooth operations in an increasingly complex data landscape.
  2. Support for a wide array of integration personas: Integration has moved beyond the realm of integration specialists and developers only. Organizations need to support self-service integration by additional stakeholders such as business analysts and citizen integrators. Informatica helps organizations build resilient integration teams encompassing multiple personas using no-code development experiences and self-service so that there are no bottlenecks when looking to run critical integration tasks.
  3. Resilient infrastructure: The core data and integration infrastructure has been designed to ensure reliability and high availability through the elimination of points of failure, e.g., using hub and spoke integration, eliminating API size limits when using private repositories, and much more.
  4. Intelligent built-in monitoring: Informatica has integrated its Operational Insights monitoring and management tool with IICS to provide insights and alerts on resource usage, job execution, and much more.
  5. Downtime avoidance and recovery time acceleration: Avoiding downtime from scheduled events and accelerating recovery times is critical within any production system. IICS has built-in features that help enforce high availability especially during times like scheduled system updates and patching.
  6. Early access to environments for testing: IICS provides additional environments for early testing of new features so that there are no unwanted consequences of new feature releases.
  7. Redundancy and flexibility: In the event that one secure agent goes down, IICS allows the setup of a secondary agent that the system can failover to. Furthermore, for large deployments, secure agents can be isolated to run specific workloads, thus greatly increasing system flexibility.

Next steps

As you look toward future-proofing your application and data integration strategy and adopting technologies to embark on major projects such as cloud data warehousing and application modernization, your choice of technology plays a critical role in your success. Informatica not only offers the most comprehensive iPaaS in the market today, it underpins its core technology with key features and capabilities that ensure your operations are resilient to disruptions.