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You’ve heard about Zapier; you may have used it to automate a process. And now you wonder, if the coupling that you need, can be made with Zapier. And if possible, is Zapier then a good choice?

Zapier is a boon to many professionals. One automation tool connecting thousands of apps and services sounds fantastic. Yet it is not always the best solution for every link between systems. In this blog, we discuss when you should and especially when you shouldn’t use Zapier to create a link.

When
do
Use Zapier?

  1. If you have no technical skills

One of the biggest advantages of Zapier is that it requires no technical knowledge to use. The platform uses a visual interface that allows you to set up automations (“Zaps”) by following a few simple steps. This makes it accessible to non-technical users who want to automate processes.

  1. For easy integrations between popular apps

Zapier, meanwhile, supports more than 5,000 apps, including commonly used tools such as Gmail, Slack, Trello, and Google Drive. If you want to automate a simple workflow, such as receiving a Slack message every time you get a new email in Gmail, Zapier is a powerful and easy-to-use solution.

  1. For rapid implementation

With Zapier, you can set up and implement new automations within minutes. This is particularly valuable for companies that need to respond quickly to changing conditions or want to improve efficiency in the short term without investing in complex integration projects.

Zapier screenshot

When
not
Use Zapier?

  1. For complex or unique business processes

While Zapier is excellent for many standard automations, it may have limitations when it comes to very specific or complex business processes. In such cases, you may need to develop a custom integration that better suits your organization’s unique needs.

When does this apply?

Complex workflow logic: Processes that rely on complex decision trees or custom workflow logic that cannot be easily mapped to the standard Zapier ‘if this, then that’ structure. For example, processes that require multiple conditional steps and variables to be dynamically modified based on specific business rules.

Custom/legacy systems: When a company depends on a custom solution, it is often not feasible to deploy Zapier. The connectors that Zapier builds are meant to provide a solution for many different Zapier users. This is obviously not the case for custom tools. For example, the likelihood that a home-built ERP system from 2003 can be easily interfaced with Zapier is extremely low.

Advanced data processing and storage: Zapier Storage can be used to temporarily store data and use it again later for linking. However, it is not meant to hold data in large quantities or over the long term. If this is necessary to integrate your systems then it may be wise to look at another solution.

  1. At high sensitivity for data security

Although Zapier takes security measures to protect user data, some organizations may be reluctant to give an outside party access to their sensitive data. Companies working with particularly sensitive information, such as financial institutions or healthcare organizations, may do well to consider alternative solutions that give them more control over their data security. Also, there is still disagreement among legal experts as to whether Zapier complies with all AVG (GDPR) guidelines.

  1. If cost is a consideration

Zapier offers several pricing plans, including a free tier, but costs can increase as you perform more Zaps and tasks. For large organizations or for intensive use, it may be more economical to invest in customized integration solutions that do not incur ongoing costs.

Conclusion

Zapier is a great tool for automating workflows between different apps and services. It is ideal for simple integrations, users with no technical background, and situations where speed is essential. However, for complex needs, firm security requirements, or to control costs, there are situations where seeking alternative solutions or developing custom integrations is the better option. Understanding your specific needs and requirements is crucial in determining whether Zapier is the right choice for your interfacing needs between two systems.