Thought Leadership

How Embedded Integration Platforms Save Developer Time

How Embedded Integration Platforms Save Developer Time

Integrations are essential for B2B software products. Business customers expect modern software to provide seamless, out-of-the-box connectivity to the rest of their tech stack. And all this connectivity takes a considerable investment in engineering time.

In fact, integration development can require so much time and other project resources that you neglect needed updates and improvements to your core app as your devs attempt to build all the integrations your customers have requested. As a result, your need for engineers keeps growing.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the market for software developers and related roles is projected to expand by 25% between 2021 and 2031. That represents growth four times greater than the average for job roles tracked by the BLS. Coupled with this, one market research firm has stated that "the global shortage of full-time developers will increase from 1.4 million in 2021 to 4.0 million in 2025."

What is driving demand for software engineers?

The demand for engineers is currently far outstripping the supply. The reasons for this vary, but we can group them as follows:

  • Technology usage keeps expanding
  • Companies must compete in the global marketplace
  • Code requires regular attention
  • Engineers are essential throughout the SDLC (software development lifecycle)

Technology usage keeps expanding

Technology (and by this, we mean stuff that relies on software to function) is everywhere. Twenty-five years ago, technology was a factor in most businesses, but it wasn't a driving factor. Now, regardless of whether a company produces road graders, NFTs, or dental retainers, the technology that it uses to build, sell, and fulfill those products is every bit as important as the products themselves. And we need engineers to write and maintain the software for that technology.

Companies must compete in the global marketplace

The web has become a vast public marketplace. Whether you are selling ideas, hand-knitted alpaca sweaters, or an accounting app – you need a presence on the web. With more than 25,000 SaaS companies worldwide and more being started all the time, we need an increasing number of engineers to keep all those sites, apps, integrations, and databases up and running for billions of users.

Code requires regular attention

Devs would like to write perfect code – code that no one will ever have to touch again. The problem is that today's perfect code might be tomorrow's headache. Code must be maintained and updated to account for many things, including security exploits and changing market needs. In addition, devs need to take advantage of increasingly efficient languages and improvements in computer hardware.

As a result, it's not enough to write good code and deploy it with the expectation that it will keep running forever. Most devs spend more time working on existing code than building new code from scratch. And, as technology continues to expand into more markets, the amount of code that needs to be maintained expands along with it.

Engineers are essential throughout the SDLC

We might think of software engineers as those who write code, but they do much more than that. They also play a role in gathering requirements, creating designs, doing POCs, and building tests. Then there are the DBAs, network engineers, and others who are no less critical to ensuring that the code keeps doing what it was built to do.

How do you ensure that your engineering team can get the job done?

You may currently have all the necessary engineers and related staff, but that could quickly change. If we end up with a tighter market for engineers, as predicted, engineers will cost more when you can find them. That doesn't alter the fact that you have a SaaS product to build and improve, and engineers are critical for everything needed to make that happen.

What if there were a way you could move quickly to address your customers' integration needs but do it in a way that minimized engineering resources dedicated to integration development?

What if you could move things around so that your engineers could spend most of their time solving real technical issues with your core app rather than onboarding new customers, doing support, building integrations, or setting up and managing even more infrastructure than you already have?

There is a tool that will help you do this and more. It's called an embedded integration platform (embedded iPaaS), and it can help you stay on track with your product roadmap and build needed integrations – all without expanding your engineering team.

Engineering benefits of embedded integration platforms

Speed and innovation are critical for SaaS – not only for going to market with an original app but also for building new features and closing functional gaps with competitors (two things integrations can help you do). But the most significant negative of building integrations from scratch is the sheer amount of engineering time.

Let's look at how an embedded integration platform can benefit your company and your customers – freeing up your devs for work that enhances your core value proposition. With an embedded integration platform, you can:

  • Develop integrations with fewer engineering resources
  • Provide integration onboarding and support with non-engineers
  • Leverage ready-made infrastructure for integrations

Develop integrations with fewer engineering resources

Building native integrations via the traditional process requires much engineering time and effort. That work is costly and slows down core product development that engineering could be doing instead.

An embedded integration platform lets your non-engineering teams take on more integration development workload than ever before. Non-devs can build integrations using the low-code capabilities of an embedded integration platform's integration designer.

Devs can further empower integration builders by writing reusable custom connectors that handle industry-specific logic or niche apps. Non-devs then drop these custom connectors into integrations to build what your customers need.

Provide integration onboarding and support with non-engineers

Native integrations built using an embedded integration platform are reusable and configurable. A simple deployment environment makes it easy for your onboarding team to configure and deploy integrations for individual customers. Or you could put the power of onboarding into your customers' hands by setting up integrations to be self-activating via an embedded integration marketplace.

Similarly, engineers can be involved only when there's an integration question or issue in production. Support teams can proactively address and troubleshoot issues with the embedded integration platform's built-in logging and alerting tools. And you can take it a step further and ensure that each of your customers can perform initial diagnostics and troubleshooting for its integrations.

Leverage ready-made infrastructure for integrations

Writing the code for integrations is the first of many steps to running them in a production environment. And, if you are taking a traditional approach to building integrations, you'll need to stand up additional infrastructure (with all that it entails) to make them work.

An embedded integration platform has the necessary infrastructure to run integrations, the integration marketplace to expose them to customers, and all the required tooling to deploy and support those integrations.

You won't need to add infrastructure or the engineers necessary to set up and maintain the infrastructure. Instead, you can use those resources to support and enhance your core product.

Doing more with less is good business

As Yogi Berra stated, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." Yes, it seems that the market for devs will be challenging for the next few years. That said, doing more with less is good business, even when you can find inexpensive and plentiful engineers.

As noted, one of the reasons we need so many engineers is that nearly everything has a technology aspect. And development tools such as embedded integration platforms are force multipliers for your devs.

Instead of writing hundreds or thousands of lines of code for a single bespoke integration, your engineers can focus on your core app – the reason you hired them in the first place. They are there to assist with integrations as needed, but that's not where they spend most of their time.

The time savings for using an embedded integration platform vary based on several factors. But it is common for a SaaS company that used to take two months to build, test, and deploy an integration as a one-off to find it can do the same thing now, using an embedded integration platform, in a week or less. And the resulting integration is productized and ready to deploy to dozens of customers.

Request a demo if you'd like to see the engineering benefits of an embedded integration platform first-hand.

Download the Embedded Integration Platform Guide

Download the Embedded Integration Platform Guide

Learn about these and other benefits of using an embedded integration platform to manage your native integrations.

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About Prismatic

Prismatic is the integration platform for B2B software companies. It's the quickest way to build integrations to the other apps your customers use and to add a native integration marketplace to your product. A complete embedded iPaaS solution that empowers your whole organization, Prismatic encompasses an intuitive integration designer, embedded integration marketplace, integration deployment and support, and a purpose-built cloud infrastructure. Prismatic was built in a way developers love and provides the tools to make it perfectly fit the way you build software.

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