The Forrester Wave™: Integration Platform As A Service (iPaaS), Q3 2023 is live!

iPaaS continues to be a key part of application architecture. It’s used for both modern, cloud-native systems and rejuvenating investments in legacy systems. It is also growing in relevance for business automation. These valuable use cases have resulted in strong growth for iPaaS vendors, despite it being a mature market.

We assessed 15 iPaaS offerings across areas including types of connectivity, ease of use, operational efficiency, and more. We also evaluated strategic concerns such as vision, pricing, roadmap, and more.

Demonstration Scenarios

We asked vendors to demonstrate six scenarios during their briefing. Feel free to use these in your own proofs of concept as you evaluate vendors.

Scenario 1: General Connectivity

Build an integration that retrieves related data from two or more sources, joins the data, transforms it, and sends it to an output target. Show how the user validates that the data as each step of the integration is being built or other forms of debugging.

Scenario 2: Productivity

As a citizen integrator or ad hoc IT integrator, automate a manual business process using features like templates or prebuilt integrations, wizards, suggestions, etc.

Scenario 3: B2B Support

As a professional IT developer, onboard a new B2B partner. Establish an incoming file feed from that partner. Link the incoming file to a post-processing integration job that transforms the file from the partner’s schema to your company’s schema before saving it.

Scenario 4: Production Ops

As an operator supporting production, use operational monitoring tools to detect a failure, diagnose the problem, and restore service. Show how to mitigate the failure in the future, like implementing automated retry or other self-healing.

Scenario 5: DevOps Deployments

Show how the user follows the organization’s best practices for updating an integration. Show how it is versioned, built, and deployed through environments using DevOps methods (GitOps if possible). After deployed, show how to audit what code versions are deployed where.

Scenario 6: iPaaS Governance

Walk through iPaaS governance. This can include organizing assets, fine-grained access rights to iPaaS functions by role and team, delegating admin rights, enforcing best practices, auditing, etc.

Today’s iPaaS Market

Forrester’s surveys of both vendors and buyers point to pricing as a sticking point. Challenges in making apples-to-apples comparisons between vendors, high cost, or price metering may lead to unpredictable costs.

There is also growing investment from iPaaS vendors into business automation. Some iPaaS products today are showing a clear foundation upon which to build a fuller automation fabric product. Buyer priorities also reflect this: Automating business processes followed by business agility are the top two iPaaS priorities from our Wave survey of iPaaS buyers.

Where Is iPaaS Going?

Generative AI in iPaaS is currently rare, but expect that to rapidly change. Like Captain Kirk giving plain English requests to his ship’s computer, you will build integration via natural language — both for creating an enterprise integration flow and also for one-time requests as personal work assistants. But it will go far beyond that. iPaaS will also use AI for generating connectors, generating documentation, suggesting process improvements, handling production operations, and much more.

Application integration and business automation scenarios will drive iPaaS buyers. Data integration scenarios, in contrast, will splinter from core iPaaS and become largely irrelevant to the iPaaS market. Buyers who need complex data integration will buy that as a capability within a broader data management and governance product rather than from standalone iPaaS.

As EDI specialists enter retirement, we will also see a bump in B2B scenarios for iPaaS. Buyers will seek to modernize their ancient on-premises EDI products with something cloud-native. They will also demand a low learning curve for new hires with no EDI background. The MOVEit security fiasco has many MOVEit customers looking to move their batch B2B jobs onto iPaaS vendors offering MFT.

Check out the full report here: The Forrester Wave™: Integration Platforms As A Service, Q3 2023.