A No-Code Approach to Integrations

Technology
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Why integrations are crucial for modern businesses?

Integration is one of the most strategic investments a company can make today. Connecting your systems gives a holistic view of your data, processes, and organizational well-being. It improves customer experience and optimizes your internal workflows. Integrations are becoming an undividable part of modern software ecosystems.

Here are the major reasons that are driving this trend:

Increasing number of applications a business uses

The number of software tools is constantly growing, and this is going to continue in the coming years. If each application gathers and processes data separately, the more applications there are in a company’s environment, the more scattered the data will be. When integrated, the different software systems can unite the data and produce meaningful overviews and insights.

Increasing amounts of data

Data is everywhere, and there is hardly a business that does not depend on it today. However, huge piles of data can be doing more harm than good, if they are not organized and managed to create rational decision-enabling information. When data is integrated properly, it can help you make real-time analytics and take actions times faster, which boosts customer satisfaction.

Demands for faster time-to-value

Speed is of high importance when it comes to deploying new products, fixing bugs and reacting to customer questions or issues. Integration makes data available in real-time across departments, and this leads to faster decision-making and improving the overall work efficiency. Also, employees will always be aware of recent updates in any request, ticket or incident, and will take appropriate actions.

Necessity for real-time analytics

The ever-increasing volume of data makes it quite difficult to keep a close eye on the overall performance of the business, especially when data is scattered across multiple departments or applications. Collecting and processing data, as well as creating the resulting analytics, is a time-consuming task.

When integration is in place, your systems will gather data from various sources and sync it for you to have a single pane of glass. You will not need to wait for data to be manually transferred across multiple systems. Instead, if one system modifies the data, it will be automatically updated for all other integrated systems. This is why, one of the most significant advantages of integration is the real-time availability of data.

Automation is the norm

If you do not automate, your business will very quickly fall behind the competition. Integration is a type of automation, and it removes the need for repetitive manual data entry, reduces the chances for human error in processing data, speeds up your workflows and boosts efficiency. This helps you avoid unnecessary delays, omitted important details and faulty data records.

Improved team collaboration

When your systems are integrated, each team can work with the tools they are familiar with and still everyone will have the necessary data available in real-time. Employees won’t need to worry about staying in sync with other departments, as everything will happen automatically. This improves collaboration between the teams in your organization and boosts their productivity.

Everything in the world of business is becoming digital, and data is among the most valuable assets. But it needs to be usable and organized in order to serve its purposes. By integrating your systems, you can have the exact data you need in real time, get a single pane of glass to overview your ecosystem, and make decisions times faster.

What is no-code and how it relates to integrations?

No-code or a no-code tool, to be more specific, is a software tool that does not involve writing code but instead works with GUI (Graphic User Interface). No-code platforms are aimed at business users and can easily be setup and managed. They usually have a user-friendly interface and allow you to describe the business logic with ease, without writing a single line of code.

On the other hand, low-code platforms might ease and speed up the work of developers, but they still require coding and solid technical knowledge. With the help of low-code professional developers can avoid building repetitive basic code pieces.

Integrations can be tackled using a low code, no code, or code-based solution. Some companies also choose to build an integration internally from scratch.

Before we dive deeper into no-code, let’s see what the other common approaches to integrations are.

What are the major approaches to integrations?

There are four major methods companies use when it comes to integrations. Of course, each of them has some pros and cons.

Building an integration internally

When they spot the need for an integration, many companies consider developing it internally. This, however, usually requires a whole team of developers and might take months. It is difficult to define the budget for it, and often times is hard to maintain and scale.

The pluses are, that the integration in this case can have all types of customizations and is very flexible. It will be developed specifically for the use case that the organization has. Unfortunately, there still might be unpleasant surprises, as in some cases it turns out to be much more expensive and time-consuming than expected.

Code-based integration platforms

Code-based platforms are done for developers. They provide a framework for integrations, but a coding expert should work with them to build all the specific interactions needed between the systems you want to integrate.

Code-based integration tools might ease the work of the development team, providing some models for the integration flow, but they require a lot of time and effort to have a completed and working integration.

Low-code integration platforms

Low-code platforms are easier to use, but require some coding and API knowledge, as well as some preliminary research to be done. They speed up and ease the work on an integration, as they provide some ready-made blocks and templates, but they still require the work of a dedicated developer.

The low-code integration tools might be a bit more flexible than the no-code ones but take much more time to be setup (usually 1-3 months) and need an expert to work with them.

No-code integration platforms

No-code integrations are meant to be done easily even by non-technical users. They take very little time and can be setup through the UI without the need for any coding or API knowledge.

The reason some organizations might be hesitating to use a no-code integration platform is that integrations have various use cases, and most of the time, they need a lot of flexibility. No-code platforms typically are too stiff and limited to produce the desired results.

In reality very few integration platforms are truly no-code. Most of them are low-code or code-based.

Why no-code?

As every other method, the no-code approach has its benefits and flaws. However, it is quite interesting, because more than any other method, it depends on the platform you choose. If you choose the right platform that fits your particular scenario, you will get numerous benefits, like:

Super-fast integration

With no-code platforms, even more complex integrations can be completed in a fraction of the time, compared to low-code, and code-based methods. For more simple integrations, you can sometimes have your setup finished in a matter of minutes.

Business owners can do it themselves

All other integration methods involve allocating a developer or even a team of developers. With no-code integration you will not need to have experts to work on it. Business owners can set it up and maintain it easily.

It will scale with you

A good no-code integration platform will allow you to modify your integration and add more connections whenever you need to. You can customize and update the mapping of the fields, the preset filters, as well as the whole integration flow.

Automatic updates

The platform should take care of updates and new versions, and it will be compatible with the latest versions of the systems you are integrating. Keep in mind that not all no-code integration platforms support that, though.

Back-up system

Some of the no-code platforms have a backup system and save your configuration even if any of the integrated systems crashes.

Advanced integration platforms work even with complex ITSM, Monitoring, DevOps and CRM tools. For example, let’s say your service desk team is using ServiceNow to track tickets, your development team is using Jira to manage their tasks and your sales team is using Salesforce to track customer orders and flows. If your systems are connected and are transferring information flawlessly between each other, we can imagine the following situation.

A service request comes in ServiceNow and it turns out to be related to a software bug. All the necessary info is automatically logged in Jira as a new issue. At the same time, the customer order in Salesforce is updated with a comment that this client is waiting for a resolution. Once the bug is resolved and the development team updates it in Jira, this is reflected in ServiceNow and in Salesforce in real time.  No one needs to open ServiceNow manually and update the request there. The customer receives notification that everything is fixed, and the issue is automatically closed. A lot of time and manual work is saved.

Unfortunately, most no-code integration platforms are either not advanced and flexible enough to match more complex scenarios or are not truly no-code. This is why many system administrators refrain from trying them.

However, there is such an integration platform that is super flexible and customizable, provides advanced filtering and field mapping options, works with complex ITSM, Monitoring, CRM and DevOps tools and has all the benefits listed above. And it is completely no-code. This is ZigiWave’s ZigiOps. To see how it would work in your specific use case and how quickly you can setup your integration, they have a free trial.

Summary

The business world is becoming unthinkable without integrations, as the systems and software tools that companies are using are multiplying by the minute. Data is one of the most important assets of modern businesses, but if it is not organized and systemized, it is useless.

This is why many organizations are seeking for integration solutions. However, choosing an integration approach is not an easy task, and there are lots of variables that you need to take into consideration.

Typically, you need to assemble a team of developers, or at least have a responsible coding expert to work on the integration. It might take months and the result is often not as expected.

This is where no-code integrations come into play. With them the integration you need can be setup quickly and easily, and if you choose the right no-code integration platform it will be flexible, secure, scalable and support the latest updates of your systems.

If you are looking for such platform, try ZigiOps.

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