As the needs of the company change or grow, the IT department has to buy more and more new components. Eventually, the number of them becomes so high that working with all of them at once becomes problematic.
The result? Productivity decreases while the analysis of the work process worsens.
What can be done to rectify the situation? System integration.
Many IT departments try to delay system integration for as long as possible. They’re afraid it’ll take too much time and prefer to make quick fixes and patches with new software. This leads to failures and downtime. Eventually, system integration is the only answer.
What is system integration?
System integration involves collecting different pieces of software purchased from different vendors at different times and making it work as one. Having one simple system rather than numerous pieces to work with increases employee productivity and eventually results in profit increase.
The ability to work with data across the same system improves the analysis of information, thus giving businesses an opportunity to develop the company further.
System integration is an ideal solution for businesses that have trouble working with a number of independent subsystems. These companies usually waste plenty of time re-entering data into different pieces of software.
According to experts from Entrance Consulting, system integration will improve the productivity of staff and increase their output, without it, employees are wasting time repeating their actions over and over again.
But to get the most out of integrating your systems, here are seven things you need to know:
1. Identifying your needs
Before you proceed with system integration, you have to identify your company’s needs and goals.
- What do you expect from system integration?
- What do you need it for?
- What could make your software easier to use for you and your staff?
Remember, such a thing as a standard system integration doesn’t exist. Each company needs a unique approach.
2. Considering security
Before diving into the system integration process, you need to consider the security of your data:
- Does an IT service provider offer adequate security for your information?
- What about backup?
Ask these questions before the integration begins.
3. Choosing a system
When the system integration takes place, your data will be transferred from multiple systems to just one; it won’t be duplicated inside another. So, it’s up to you to identify where the information you need will be placed.
Take the time to figure out which system is more valuable to you and get expert advice about the pros and cons of each system.
4. Determining synchronization intervals
When planning system integration, you need to identify synchronization intervals; how often will your data be synchronized between the systems? You can set the synchronization interval to be automatic (every day, week, month) or deal with synchronization manually.
5. Calculating project length
How long the system integration will take depends on how many pieces need to be put together. Each system is unique and so is the integration process. You have to be prepared for possible downtime.
Ideally, you should be doing system integration during the off-hours. However, the process may take several days. Once the integration is completed, it must be verified and tested and in case experts detect bugs or errors, they would have to fix them and run testing once again.
You should also remember that even though the solution is made of the software you’re familiar with, it will still take employees some time to become comfortable with it. This could also lead to a certain downtime.
6. Developing a strategy
Before hiring an IT company to perform integration, you have to ask which strategy it’s planning to use. IT experts should be able to justify the method they’re planning to take advantage of in order for the integration to go smoothly.
The integrators can put systems together to function as one but only if they create a formidable foundation. Doing so can eliminate a big number of risks. Whether you’re working with an internal team or hiring a third-party company, you should have a clear plan for all those involved in the integration.
7. Looking to the future
System integration should take into account the possible growth and development of your business. Scalability is the key to proper system integration. Before you can begin any process, make sure you know how it will enable further business growth and development.
Avoiding system integration for as long as possible could lead to irreversible consequences by not allowing the business to function properly with the right systems in place. Take note of these seven considerations to make sure you have a good idea of how the integration will be done and how long it might take to avoid misunderstanding and downtime.