The global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly sped up digital transformation across industries. Advancements that would have otherwise taken years happened in days.
Companies of all sizes realized that everyone “lived” online, especially during the lockdowns, so that’s where they needed to be. Granted, pretty much everyone had an online presence even before the pandemic.
But was this presence what their customers needed it to be? Was their marketing seamless across channels and platforms? Not really. This is why the companies that not only survived but also thrived were those who embraced digital transformation either before the pandemic or in its early days.
Were these companies led by visionaries? You could say so.
They managed to grow their companies by leaps and bounds and, at the same time, they did something even more significant: they showed the path to follow to the laggards.
We were stoked to see our subscribers thrive through integration. We were happy to receive even more messages asking for our help in leveraging integrations even better. And, of course, we were happy to onboard more subscribers than ever. You can read some of their success stories here.
This increase in integration adoption was our first queue that things were moving and shaking. What was obvious to us and to the early adopters of iPaaS became the norm: integration is the key that unlocks digital success — pandemic or not.
Industry numbers reflect that, too. The iPaaS market was poised to grow exponentially even before the pandemic. But now this growth has been accelerated and it has reached new highs.
In case you were wondering: yes, we feel very lucky to have thrived during the pandemic. But we also know that this growth comes with added responsibility. The integration industry still has a ways to go and it’s up to us to deliver the kind of solutions that empower our subscribers.
This article will take a look at the iPaaS trends for 2021 based on customers’ demands and will analyze the direction in which the industry is heading. But first, a primer on how the iPaaS industry is faring — in numbers.
The iPaaS Industry by the Numbers
The global integration platform as a service (IPaaS) market size was accounted for $575.0 million in 2016. By 2024, this number will look like a mere blip on the radar, as current reports forecast growth of up to S2.70 billion.
This spells a CAGR of 18.9%!
As the image above depicts, this growth has started quite a few years ago. In fact, a Gartner report shows that the market reached $1 billion in revenue in 2017, thanks to a 60% growth in 2016 and a staggering 72% growth in 2017.
No one said that high-growth markets are easy to be in. A 2019 Gartner analysis predicted that two-thirds of the iPaaS players will not make it to 2023 either because of mergers and acquisitions or because of a market exit due to unprofitability.
While we’ve seen a lot of mergers and acquisitions happen in this space since 2019, the market does not seem to flinch. iPaaS is still on steady growth, just like other cloud-based technologies.
If you think about it, it makes complete sense: global revenue from public cloud technologies will reach $330 billion by 2022. SaaS will dominate that with $144 billion, an increase of 80% from 2018.
These numbers come from another Gartner report dated 2019. While SaaS dominates the public cloud market, it often needs help. iPaaS helps SaaS solutions become more productive and yield better ROI for their users.
This is why the growth of SaaS will always be followed by the growth of iPaaS. Today’s customers want seamless experiences across channels, in both B2B and B2C markets. And the companies that want to offer them (that should be all of them!) need iPaaS to make it happen.
With increased demands from both end-users and iPaaS subscribers, the integration market is bound to go through some changes. We can call the growth pains if you will. Because the iPaaS players who don’t experience them will be part of the two-thirds who don’t make it.
Let’s take a look at the trends in iPaaS to find out what customers expect of this industry:
2021 iPaaS Trends You Can’t Afford to Miss
As I mentioned above, the iPaaS industry doesn’t exist in a void. Its interdependence with SaaS is obvious. But it’s not the only one.
After more than a decade in this industry, we can say without a doubt that iPaaS and marketing are a pair that always go together. You can’t understand the evolution of one of them without looking closely at the other.
It’s a (virtuous) circle if you will. It starts with the end customer demands, it moves through marketing who has to deliver on those demands and it ends with iPaaS who has to empower marketers to deliver.
Sometimes, iPaaS follows suit. You’ve probably seen in our quarterly recaps that some of our new integrations or new features of existing integrations are inspired (or downright demanded) by our smart subscribers. Other times, it’s iPaaS that brings innovation to the table and marketers embrace it and use it to create better campaigns.
Between the two, there are always some gaps that need to be filled. Instances where iPaaS lags behind on delivering what marketers or salespeople need. Or instances where marketers miss a beat and they don’t take advantage of all the innovations in iPaaS.
When looking back, we see what went wrong (hindsight is always 20/20, right?). So we call these things trends and bet they will become reality soon.
This is what we missed so far and what you can expect from the integration industry in the upcoming months and years:
1. Connectivity Will Be Everywhere
Finished connecting your wireless headphones and your smartwatch to your phone? Good! Then why not do the same with your mission-critical solutions?
If you think that the analytics of your latest jog are easier to analyze on your phone, where you have access to additional data, just imagine what you can do with your marketing and sales data in a single dashboard.
iPaaS will go even further. It has to go even further. If you take a look at the integrations created by SyncApps, you’ll see that you can connect accounting and financial data to marketing and sales insights, along with customer support information.
And this is only the beginning. Current market demands dictate even more connectivity. In the near future, iPaaS will deliver company-wide data at-a-glance.
2. eCommerce Integrations Will Still Be Ahead of the Pack
eCommerce had the biggest growth spurts of the pandemic. You know the reasons: more people relied on online orders than ever before. Even those who swore by their bi-weekly supermarket trips adapted and ordered everything online.
Sure, some people will return to their pre-pandemic shopping habits. But most of them won’t. Online shopping is convenient, fast, and affordable.
While eCommerce may not grow at such a huge speed in the near future, we won’t see a decrease either. So the players in the industry will need more integration options.
At Cazoomi, we’ve seen a huge demand for integrations for the eCommerce industries. On the one hand, we’ve had established online shops that were flooded by massive amounts of orders and they needed to streamline their processes even further.
On the other hand, we’ve had a lot of brick-and-mortar shops that pivoted to online because of the pandemic. In this latter category, the demand for easy setup and user-friendly integration options was huge (more on this below).
Another important trend in integration for eCommerce is the need to connect physical locations with each other and with the online store. Better stock management and better, faster order dispatch are only two of the benefits that integration can bring to the table here.
3. Plug-and-Play Integration Solutions Will Be the Norm
Not long ago, integration was reserved for the “initiated”, the digitally-proficient marketers. No one seemed to care about the “neophytes”. We’re stoked to see that our mission to democratize iPaaS is finally (almost) accomplished.
You see, until a few years ago, integration was expensive and hard to use. So it was only for big companies who had budgets large enough to accommodate expensive subscriptions and large teams of professionals.
Cazoomi was built with another idea in mind: to make integration both affordable and accessible. This is why our pricing plans fit any budget (heck, we even have 100% FREE plans — and I’m not talking about free trials here, but about plans that are free forever).
And this is why our integrations are as plug-and-play as it gets — we’re still working continuously on making them even easier to use. To leverage the SyncApps integrations, you don’t need to know how to code or how to perform complicated tasks.
You’ll be ready to go in a few clicks. Plus, you’re never on your own. When you sign up to SyncApps you have an entire team of integration specialists ready to help you set up and leverage our solution 24/7.
Because we’ve known from day one that making integration accessible to everyone means being ready to support everyone, from bootstrapping start-ups with virtually no marketing team to struggling nonprofits that survive driven by their important missions.
We’re happy to see the market catch up and offer similarly user-friendly and adaptable solutions. I know, it sounds like bragging. That’s because it is. Because we believe we’ve earned our right to brag about this.
4. iPaaS Will Mean Full, Seamless Integrations instead of Bits and Pieces
This is one trend we’ve seen coming for quite some time. Most integrations on the market offer some degree of connectivity. But when you connect two solutions, you usually miss out on a lot of features from both. Or you can’t really connect everything or pull all the insights from both of them.
Case in point: one of our most sought-after integration is Salesforce to Constant Contact. Since both of these are massive tools, with tons of features and functionality, most integration solutions focus on the obvious: clicks, bounces, open rate, and a few others.
We’ve already started taking things further. With the SyncApps integration, you can sync more data than with any other solution on the market. Yes, even those that you don’t like looking at (but are oh-so-important), like unopened emails or bounces.
In the future, we see this trend accelerating, and more and more subscribers demanding to be able to use all the solutions at full speed and with their full functionality.
We’re working on this!
5. Better Workflow Automation
Who’s got time to do manual data migration? No one, really. And no one should, either. It’s 2021, for God’s sake, we have more important things to do than copy-paste email addresses from Mailchimp to Dynamics 365.
The workflow automation of the future will rest on two major pillars: accuracy and quality.
Ever connected two solutions only to find out that your database got entirely messed up during the migration process? (If you’re on SyncApps, I know this never happened to you. But it does happen frequently with a lot of expensive integration solutions providers.)
This can’t happen anymore. Automation isn’t really automation if you have to manually fix glitches.
The quality of the workflows is another sensitive issue. It’s not just about how many things you can automate through integration, but about the value of those automated tasks to your business.
Data migration is a fine beginning. But we need more. We need to be able to use integration as the central node of your business strategy. One business, one dashboard to rule them all, whether it’s marketing, sales, or accounting.
Cutting down on time is only part of the integration of the future. The other part is more significant: offering more (relevant) insights across platforms.
Wrapping Things Up
New to the integration industry? Stay tuned! We’re only just beginning.
iPaaS has already shown its potential. In the near future, expectations will be surpassed and business processes will be transformed at the core. Fueled by the accelerated digital transformation brought about by the pandemic, the iPaaS industry has to deliver more to more people.
As I said above, such growth comes with increased responsibility too. We know we are now responsible for more people and more businesses than ever. So we have to live up to their needs.
Watch this space for more exciting announcements about iPaaS progress. And if you haven’t tried iPaaS yet, it’s high time you got on this high-speed train. Sign up for free and let us show you how we can help transform your business.