An application integration strategy can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Here are 10 reasons why you could need an application integration strategy:
- Passing work between applications today
You’re already doing it. You do it every day, so get a strategy around it. Increased use of technology in business means creating a strategy for this just as you would with any other department of your organization. The need for a strategy increases when you have already invested heavily in best-of-breed applications, and users want to incorporate a cutting edge point solution application. A recent purchase or development of an integration due to changes in the organization could also signal the need for an integration strategy to ensure your invested dollar is being used in the best possible way.
- Out of date current practices
Handwritten forms, printouts, and reports sent via email are all different ways to share data between teams, but these ways of sharing are outdated. Automated sharing through integration is more efficient and reliable for your team. Import/Export workarounds are inferior to integrations. Think about what happens when an import fails halfway through. A true integration can handle the order of operations, workflow rules, stored procedures, and concatenate and parse data.
Look at the software you currently have. Is it software that offers scalability through multiple software copies? If your IT is bogged down with report writing because access to all of the data is not available to the users needing it, you are not working at the scale you could be. If you are unable to properly scale through the current software you have, an update could do you some good.
- Predictive Analytics
Many organizations could use help ensure the decisions they are making are the smartest decisions possible. The right integration will give you a comprehensive executive analytics dashboard. The predictive analytics that are yielded from such a dashboard are irreplaceable for your organization. The ability to pull data from multiple applications will increase your ability to make smarter decisions.
- Changes on the horizon
Changes to your operations could mean an increased need for an application that involves information sharing with current applications. Especially if you frequently experience changes in product or service offerings or changes to your competition. Having a strategy in place will make this transition smoother and more effective in the long run.
- Visibility at all levels
An application integration strategy can bring all levels and departments of your organization together through streamlined data. If the current state of your business has department leaders reporting different results and these data discrepancies are costing your team time to reconcile the data, you are not up to industry standards. This could be negatively impacting your organization and having one truth for the data will bring visibility to all levels.
Let’s say your sales doubled overnight, would your team be able to keep up? Would you still offer the same level of service to your customers? If your accounting team wants visibility into daily operations, will it disrupt a workflow? If your team and your technology couldn’t adapt to changes in your organization, it’s time to look into an application integration strategy.
- Load Balancing
Dividing the work that a computer needs to do between two or more computers should be a thing of the past. If it isn’t in your organization, look to the future and the increased efficiency that is possible. Your end-users shouldn’t need to operate “swivel chair” integration, either. It is inefficient to use multiple applications on various computers, shuffling back and forth to get the data they need. Getting more work done in the same amount of time can be achieved through a strong strategy around application integrations.
- Cloud Computing
Moving to the cloud can complicate integrations so you should have a plan in place, this includes hybrid clouds. The cloud opens up a lot of possibilities and many organizations are moving toward the cloud for data integrations. Your managers and employees in the field will be able to access the latest data on their mobile devices without a trip to the on-site office or trailer when integrations are hosted on the cloud or a hybrid cloud. Making sure you are ready to make the leap to the cloud will increase the benefits you reap from the cloud.
If your company has to uphold regulations such as HIPPA or others, an integration strategy could be beneficial. Regulatory changes may have to be made quickly and this organizational need can be built into your integration strategy. This can keep headaches to a minimum each time a regulatory change is made. Audit trails are an important compliance liability for your company, as well when it comes to meeting regulations. The ability to track the chain of data operations from who, when and what was changed at each piece of information is essential and needs to be done independently from the application. If this is a need your organization has, an integrations strategy should be made.
GadellNet is an award-winning IT consulting firm that provides full-service technology solutions to small businesses. Since 2003, we have been delivering efficient, profitable and happier workforces. GadellNet’s best-in-class engineering team is highly successful at implementing and maintaining value-add hardware and software technology.