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What system Integration does for your business?

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on System Integration

The complexity of business calls for a more streamlined system to make sure everything goes right. As each department is working with its own process, operations, and software, things can get lost in the line. Your sales departments, for example, might have different calculations with your stockist by the end of the week, which affects the finance. Enter the system integration, a way to integrate the process to assist businesses in simplifying the communication between departments, so nothing gets missed, no matter how trivial the data is.

Introducing: System Integration for Your Company

Remember how each data is sourced, used, and stored in each respective department? The system integration processes all the information and data from across departments within the company into a single location. To integrate all the data, your engineer might need to design the application from scratch and customize it with your business needs. This larger system then will be integrated into any new or existing software that you already have, the communication channels, and everything else in between. It might sound as complex as it is, but don’t worry, your IT guys will handle it all. 

 

However complex the integration process is, the result is smooth, unified operations that make sure every business software tools that your company is using operates together. It is like putting two and two together. No more reading data from the marketing, sales department, and logistics separately and then manually combining all the pieces of information. With every internal system connected, you can get integrated data that will make sense of everything and is accessible from the same server.

How System Integration Helps Your Business

Streamlined system integration is like a gift from technology to business. From productivity to security issues, here’s how system integration benefits your company. 

Saving Time: A super-system that host every sub-system together cuts the time spent to manually find, share, and combine information across departments. With efficiency being improved, productivity follows. 

Decreased Room for Errors: Having all the data combined and analyzed in one place removes the manual labor and thus, minimizing the room for human errors like repetitive data entry.

Accurate Data Analysis: The integrated system provides a holistic analysis that enables better data interpretations or comparisons that otherwise might get overlooked. 

Improving Your Security Issues: It’s expensive and risky to rely on a software security provider to secure each individual system in your company. The integrated system promotes better security control on crucial aspects, such as user access, customer data, and the private data of your company.

Challenges of System Integration

Though the purpose of system integration is to smoothen out your overall operations, several issues might be challenging for companies/ organizations that use it. 

Lack of skilled resources
Not all people in your organization are tech-literate, let alone able to run the system integration on daily basis. It is an expertise that is quite hard to find, even amongst professionals. The solution is to hire a system integration specialist to provide the integration technology and maintain it for you. 

Lack of Accountability
Having so many sub-systems that need to be integrated could blur accountability. Especially if it also involves several stakeholders, like the system owner, third-party vendor, and so on. It will be not clear who is responsible when something goes down. The solution is to find a single party that handles all the system integration projects.

The Restrain of Old System Legacy
A lot of businesses and organizations that have been around for a long time have some specific IT systems that have been in use for generations. With so much data that has been stored and all the complexities that come with it, a lot of these outdated system are irreplaceable, creating a “Legacy Trap”. Integrating these old systems with modern software is frequently very difficult.

The Different Needs of Each Department

First, you have each department that uses data from a unique point of view. Second, you need to provide a standard data model as a result of the integration for the company. A systems integrator must think beyond a company’s demands to develop an integration that has a standardized view of data across the entire organization.

 

The Limitation of Time

 

Most of the time, the integration projects are handled by business-minded, non-technical managers. Being unfamiliar with the best practices of integration software, they will expect the IT to finish it within a limited time, which constrains proper architectural planning and the quality of the system. The system integrator then needs to find a balance between the time constraint and the expected result.

 

Phases of System Integration

 

To make sure that the data and pieces of information flow smoothly between components, the system integrator run in six phases:


Plan / Requirements

 

Selecting and gathering all the data that needed to be integrated is necessary before building the system. In this phase, you will have some meetings with the IT or the system providers to discuss what the company expects from the system integrator and how it will work. You will list all the requirements and objectives on which the system will be based on.

 

Analysis

 

Now that the expectation and specifications are all laid out, the team will analyze its operational feasibility. How viable the expectations are translated into programs and to build the system based on the specification. Sometimes, what the company wants is not what they actually need, so take notes from the IT team’s recommendation. With accurate analysis and good collaboration, they can provide you with the best system solution to meet all of your requirements. 

Architecture & Design

The next step is designing the architecture of the system integration. Based on the analysis, the team will design the architecture of the system. They will lay out the blueprints, build the foundation, and develop a strategy to connect the multiple information sources in the company, so the system could function as a whole. The designing of a system integrator is the hardest part of the phase, because of its complexities and time-consuming procedures. It requires high-degree precision to connect various independent systems into one while making sure the data flows run without errors. 

Implementation

Now that the system integration is finished, it’s time to implement this and see how smoothly it integrates every individual system in your organization. The engineer will test the system to find bugs and errors, and fix other things that might still need attention. Once it’s completed, they will run a final test to make sure you get an error-free system integrator. 

Congratulation! Now your team can reap the benefit of the system integrator. In this implementation step, do your part as well by making sure that everyone in the team fully understands how the system and each of its components works.

Maintenance / Legacy

With all the energy and money spent on building an effective system integrator, you need to make sure that it stays on top of its performance. If you find bugs, missing features, or components that need replacement, report it to the company that engineered your system. Just like any other thing in the world, your system integrator could down if there are too many errors left unchecked.