Integrating your business data is important. Look for a project management tool with custom integrations that will do it well.
Like everyone else doing business in the Information Age, your company has vast stores of data. Your CRM houses customer details. Calendars keep track of who is doing what and when. You have databases, spreadsheets, and documents that are full of valuable information. When those data stores are connected to each other – seamlessly, intelligently, and synchronously – your business runs like a beautiful machine of efficiency.
Integrated systems increase
data accuracy by 30–40%
– Boston Consulting Group
But if those data stores are siloed so that changing one database leaves another locked in time, everyone is working too hard, mistakes are frequent, and your customers will be annoyed. One study found that integrating data stores well improves business performance by 20 percent. Harvard Business review estimates that companies who invest in system integration see a 20 to 30 percent increase in efficiency. Boston Consulting Group found that integrated systems increase data accuracy by 30 to 40 percent.
Those are compelling reasons to put the effort into integrating your siloed data. But what’s the best way to do it?
There is an industry of integrator tools – IPaaS (integration platform as a service) – to help you connect siloed data. But there are times when point-to-point integrations give you a more powerful solution.
If you are shopping for a project management tool, for example, Moovila’s custom integrations are designed to not only simplify data connections but to let you leverage the full power of each tool as they work seamlessly together. An integration between complex tools – such as a CRM and a complex project management tool – is often difficult to achieve with an IPaaS solution. And the result will very likely be less powerful and prone to breakage.
A native integration is easier…
When you need to connect not only the data in your tools but also integrate powerful features so they work together to solve real-world problems, a native integration is vastly preferable. Building a complex integration – no matter how good the tool you use to do it is – is technically challenging and prone to security issues and breakage.
Figure 1: Moovila integrates easily with your other tools.
A native integration that connects your project management tool to your CRM, accounting software, spreadsheets, and other applications is easy to set up – a matter of a few clicks.
Requires less maintenance
Once the connection is made, it will survive any future software updates made by your CRM tool, office suite, or accounting package because a team of developers works behind the scenes to make sure of it. Your integrations will also be more secure since you aren’t bringing another tool – and its flaws and logins – into your stack.
A native integration won’t require that someone on your team become an expert at using an IPaaS integrator. No one will need to take time out of their other work to build the connection. No one will have to drop what they are doing to rebuild it when Windows or applications update.
And, perhaps most importantly, once a native connection is set up, it will sync seamlessly – in both directions.
Typically, your costs for this kind of integration are included in the licensing fees for the software. You don’t have to buy anything else or pay a team member to design, set up, and manage the integration. Those costs are borne by the developer.
Instead of getting into the business of integrating your own tools, you can stay focused on improving the business you are already running.
After the fact integrations with IPaaS
Integration is so important to business, that the need for it has spawned an entire industry of software solutions designed to connect siloed datasets. These ad-hock tools – called IPaaS as referenced before – let you connect databases that don’t have native integrations. They allow your calendars, accounting services, CRMs, and other tools to access and update all your data stores as one.
This is useful when you are connecting relatively simple tools – such as a calendar and email, for example. When the tools are complex, though, it is a complicated solution to build and maintain. And the results will not be as robust as if you chose a tools that natively integrate with one another. It will cost more money, require more technical ability from your team, and it may break often.
A complex decision
If you choose a project planning tool without the right native integrations, your next step is to choose an IPaaS tool and create that integration yourself.
This is a complicated decision. Carefully consider your own use cases and select a service that best matches your current needs and will anticipate your future needs.
The iPaaS market will exceed $11 billion
in revenue by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate of 18.3%
According to Gartner, these tools are in high demand. “We estimate that the iPaaS market will exceed $11 billion in revenue by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate of 18.3%,” reads a recent Gartner report.
That report then goes on to review 16 of the largest market offerings – including SAP, IBM, Oracle, Booml, Microsoft, and more – organized by use case.
Costs are hard to predict
Once you have chosen an IPaaS service from this crowded and complex field, you have to pay for it, pay someone to set up the connection, and maintain both the software and those connections. Using a third-party integrator will add a layer of complexity to your solution. It will also be inflexible and introduce the risk of communication failures between the two tools.
Some of these tools require a high level of technical skill and time while others are low-code and easier to use. Even if you have to the technical ability to build these connections with an IPaaS tool, that integration will lack the power and features of a native integration and will be less flexible.
Since your IPaaS solution is tacked onto two or more unrelated software tools, your connections may break when any of that software updates or when you switch tools or hardware. In short, using an IPaaS solution adds another tool to maintain and secure to your tech stack.
But the big sticking point with IPaaS for most businesses, according to Forrester Research, is not the labor these connections require or a bloated tech stack. It is the cost. Not only are the initial costs high. But you are likely to encounter price metering that makes your actual costs difficult to predict.
Make data integration a requirement of your project management solution and save yourself the trouble and expense of integrating your work management tool after the fact.
At Moovila we are committed to building robust software that is expertly integrated with the other tools you use and that can react to the latest changes in your tech stack. Our team of integration experts – lead by our VP of Integrative & Autonomous Technologies, Zoey Cole – are solely focused on launching new integrations and improving existing ones. To learn more about the integrations this team has brought to life explore Moovila’s current integrations here.